Sometimes it just feels like things aren’t getting planned or decided. Meetings are constantly being interrupted, and daily operational needs always seem to be taking over. Strategic thinking just doesn’t seem at all possible.
Try taking your work away from the office for a day. At The Cornwall, we have hosted many meetings and team days, and the feedback has always been that the session has been a success. Need a business case for the finance team? Here are some suggestions…
There aren’t the usual distractions
The workplace is incredibly distracting. Emails, phone calls, colleagues, customers, just the usual daily operational needs, all demand attention and can make concentration difficult. We all know that sticking the Meeting in Progress – Do Not Disturb sign on the meeting room door is pointless; everyone seems to assume it doesn’t apply to them.
You can’t just “pop back in” to your office or work station. This is especially true if you’ve come to The Cornwall from “upcountry”, and therefore the physical workplace is a considerable distance away.
Out of the workplace, everyone is focused – however, you may want to consider putting the smartphones in the drawer, schoolteacher style, until home time.
You don’t have to run around
If the meeting is hosted on site, there’s a lot of detail to arrange and manage. From IT to dietary requirements, everything has to be taken care of and attention to detail must be paid. It’s easy to lose the strategic purpose when the flip chart paper has gone missing.
If you take your meeting away from the workplace, someone else can take care of it for you. At The Cornwall, we’ll assign a member of the team to look after the nuts and bolts, leaving you free to concentrate on the business in hand.
It builds relationships
Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t know their colleagues. Putting people in a new setting really helps them to get to know each other.
Simply having lunch with your colleagues can be a great icebreaker; however some companies prefer to arrange a “team building” activity to keep the motivation flowing. The Cornwall can be a fabulous base for a works party to stay overnight and bond over drinks and dinner, having had a day of vigorous mild peril on the coast or on the moors. Nearby Porthpean Beach offers some great activities, which can be followed by collapsing, relaxing and celebrating with us.
The man formerly known as “Steve from Accounts” is now “Steve who’s great on a kayak and always gets a round in.” That’s not as shallow as it sounds: when Dan from HR has a fiscal problem, he knows there’s a helpful chap who can sort it for him. On a more strategic level, business plans take a better shape when departments genuinely pull together as a team.
A new environment can lead to new ideas
This may sound a bit idealised, but it’s true. A change of surroundings is a wonderful way to free the mind and see things differently. It may simply be because you’re not bogged down with the daily slough of emails and messages, and therefore have the headspace you need to focus.
Encourage your team to wander around our Woodland Estate, and they will definitely start seeing the wood for the trees.
It’s so easy to forget that work should really be enjoyable. Even if you have a serious agenda to get through, and you’ll all be working hard, a day somewhere else is still, well, a treat, isn’t it? Yes, it’s work, but there’ll be a nice lunch, which breaks an enduring routine.
A team build or staff party is specifically designed to improve morale. An out of office meeting does this as a handy by-product.
At The Cornwall, we have facilities for meetings of up to twenty colleagues. An option for a smaller group wanting something a bit more informal is one of the Woodland Homes in the grounds. Twist the MD’s arm to book a table in The Arboretum for dinner or plan a bonding session in The Parkland Terrace.
Convinced? It’s not possible to hold every meeting at a four star hotel and spa; but once in a while, if you really need to pin down some ideas or take a business plan forward, leaving the usual boardroom behind can make a huge difference.