Walk and Talk – The New Approach to Meetings
You’ve heard about walking the talk now the new fad is “walk-and-talks” according to the Sunday Times and the author Nilofer Merchant. Well what’s so new? We’ve been offering and delivering walking the talk events for many years with our clients seeing the benefit of this innovative approach.
So what exactly are “walk-and-talk” events? Well they are the art of conducting business meetings on the move and in our case in an inspiring environment taking people out of their comfort zone.
When Nilofer Merchant, the Silicon valley strategist and author, requested a coffee meeting with the venture capitalist Heidi Roizen and was told Roizen “didn’t do coffee”, she jumped at the chance to accompany her for a dog walk instead. In fact, she liked the idea so much she introduced “walk-the-talks” into her own schedule. “It struck me that I had managed to do a fitness thing and get a meeting done at the same time.”
Walk-the-talks have become increasingly popular in Silicon Valley as companies focus more on incorporating employee wellbeing into hectic schedules. Nilofer goes on to say that:-
” I find myself, probably like many of you, spending way too much time in front of my computer. When I do face-to-face meetings, my colleagues and I typically met around some conference table, sometimes at an airport lounge (nothing like getting the most out of a long layover), and quite often at coffee shops (hello Starbucks!). But that means that the most common denominator across all these locations wasn’t the desk, or, the keyboard, or even the coffee. The common denominator in the modern workday is our, um, tush.”
As we work, we sit more than we do anything else. We’re averaging 9.3 hours a day, compared to 7.7 hours of sleeping. Sitting is so prevalent and so pervasive that we don’t even question how much we’re doing it. And, everyone else is doing it also, so it doesn’t even occur to us that it’s not okay. Chris Tomkins, head of personal health risk management at Axa PPP Healthcare says:-
“What organisations in the modern service economy are experiencing is a steady reduction in productivity as the cognitive performance and energy of their organisation are being sapped…..”
Is this really the most healthy or productive way to undertake meetings? Can you really clear your head, seek inspiration and get those creative juices flowing in another homogenous coffee shop or hotel lounge! As Nilofer says “If you want to think outside the box you have to get out of the box.”
Benefits of Adopting this Approach
We believe the landscape creates a place and a space for ‘deep reflection’. In addition it creates a powerful place for engagement and sustainable learning experiences. We term this our ‘green meeting room’ approach. The benefits are:-
- Moving people out of their comfort zone allows for greater engagement with meeting participants
- Allows for more creative thinking – literally thinking outside the box
- Health benefits as above
- Leave the smart phone and tablet behind for once!
- Immersion in inspirational landscapes can began to create new ways of thinking and change of mindsets
- More pleasurable, enjoyable and productive meetings