We’ve all experienced it before, the challenge of coming up with ideas or sorting through work problems, only to no avail. Usually it doesn’t even matter if its 3 people or 30 people in a meeting, when the mind goes stagnant it seems to affect everyone. Funnily enough, the environment we commonly set our meetings in, isn’t conjusive with promoting creativity and fresh thinking. There is a lot to be said about where and how we run our meetings.
Science has proven that creative thinking (or problem solving thinking) requires a relaxed environment that allows one to be at ease and under no perceived stress. Stress and pressure cause our creative mind to shut down and its our creative mind we want working at it’s best, to come up with the most effective solutions. So how do we create a relaxed environment whilst dealing with the issues at hand? I hear some of you say: “Out of office lunches” or “Business drinks”. And yes while these may help everyone to relax, they can begin to cost the company a lot more than they are worth, plus they don’t exactly fall in line with, or complement company health policies.
So guess what reduces stress, releases endorphins and promotes creative thinking? You guessed it, exercise. Exercising rates as one of the best ways to clear your mind and come up with new ideas. Think about it for a minute, how many of those light bulb moments have you had while on a run, a walk or sweating it out in the gym? Yep, exercising is not only good for your health but for your business’ health too! Now this doesn’t mean you have to have every meeting in the gym, but why not try some of these alternative locations next time you have to have a business meeting:
– On a walk/run outside- Lifting some weights in the company gym
– In a group exercise class (you might get your whole team in the class then can debrief afterwards)
– Walking or swimming laps in a pool
– Indoor rock climbing
– In a boxing class/gym
Pick your favorite form or exercise and run your meeting there. You’ll kill two birds with the one stone, getting in your exercise for the day and coming up with effective solutions for your work problems. All you need to insure is that you have a pen and paper or iPad, on stand by to keep you on track with the meeting points and record your solutions. With a global community that is only becoming increasingly unfit, it is paramount that leaders take more responsibility for organizational health and lead by example. Small changes such as this will resonate with your team and make apparent the importance of health of and how essential it is to life/work balance. So next time you have a meeting over a coffee, why not suggest a meeting in the gym instead?