Work, play and imagination

We have just completed our annual Quinx ‘deep dive’ meeting in Greece, at Artisa. In 4 days we covered everything from strategy to finance to interpersonal relationships to personal learning. We made some big decisions, we got to know each other a lot better and Quinx is re-invigorated, energised by our renewed enthusiasm. We also swam, hiked, lounged around the beach, had long siestas, and also enjoyed the local food and wine to the full.

This is not the first time we have experimented with surroundings for meetings. Furthermore, research is growing on the effects of environment on inspiration – particularly through the work of Otto Scharmer (Theory U) and the various nature-based programs entering today’s workshop market.

Some of the finest work I have done with organisational clients has been on a ‘Camino’ on the way to Santiago or in the Ardennnen. I remember working for an organization in the USA and we had some vital last-minute design work on a particular project and I can still see the rolling eyes and general suspicion on my colleagues’ faces when I told them I would do it on the ski slopes. But I was serious! And I completed the task successfully. What could be more inspiring than designing a training on a ski-lift looking out over a snowy desert and a sparkling blue sky? AND I had a great ski!

Can you imagine suggesting that in your organization? What is this addiction to offices? Of course some tasks need to be done in the office, phones need to be answered and it is probably better to sell shoes from the shop rather than down by the river,  and I am not suggesting locational anarchy at work. But it is crazy to think that our best and most creative work will be done hugging a desk and computer. Get a life!

And if one of your colleagues gets some personal enjoyment and pleasure on the way, congratulate her, rather than judge her  for ‘taking advantage’ or ‘profiteren’ as they say in Belgium. Pleasure is still seen as something of an enemy to work, whereas really it is the key …