There are times when moving out of your regular meeting space enhances both the meeting and the results you achieve. Getting away from the office or boardroom setting is important when you are doing strategic planning or having a retreat on a major question that requires a different level of thinking or innovation.
Having said this, however, routine leadership or board meetings are often best done on site. You have access to documents, staff can be available on a short notice, your meeting table is set up to accommodate discussion back and forth on issues, etc. In a consistent meeting space, you establish patterns, and often those patterns can be healthy and productive.
So then, why the push to get off-site?
The impact of a new space
- Strategic planning and innovation are about defining what changes are needed to meet a changing future. If your venue is full of memories and artifacts of the present way of doing business, it is best to get away from it.
- You can interject new thinking by having the venue be close to one of your existing operations, putting you closer to your customer and what he/she is experiencing.
- Strategic planning should be about dialogue or discovering the common truth through circular vs. linear communication with one another. If you are used to discussion or win-lose debates in your existing meeting room, that room will not promote the kind of “out of the box” thinking that is needed for planning a future.
- Getting away affords opportunity for social interaction after the sessions. These interactions can break down long standing deadlocks between team members and again foster a new future.
To enhance your next key strategic meeting, and the results you achieve, try a new venue. Getting away from the trappings of the present shows you are serious about creating a new future.
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