A place for reflection and introspection, communication and thoughtful conversation.
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.” - Jane Austen
There is a special kind of activity that is quite common in the business world and which is called the “Offsite” meeting or the “Retreat”. This is an occasion where selected staff are taken away from their normal work environment and stay away for a couple of days (and nights) in order to work through an agenda and resolve current issues, plan for the future and set future directions. The rationale behind this is that while away from the normal work environment, staff are able to disengage from routine and distractions, thus being able to concentrate fully on agenda items and be able to devote their activities and collective intellectual resources on resolving the issues at hand.
I am currently taking part in an executive “retreat” fro a couple of days and it is a strategic meeting designed to analyse our current activities, identify areas of concern and prioritise intervention strategies in order to be able to effectively plan ahead. I was pleasantly surprised by how much we achieved in these couple of days and how much better we were able to work together as a team and to function effectively as an executive body that set directions for future developments and growth.
We are at a very nice conference and spa centre about 60 km to the north of Melbourne, called Macedon Spa. The setting is lovely, right in the middle of Victoria’s spa country and at the foothills of Mt Macedon. Hanging Rock (the very atmospheric setting for the 1975 Australian film “Picnic at Hanging Rock” is only about 5 km from here and there is a real tranquility in the crisp, clean country air. Autumn has really arrived and the temperatures plummet down to single figures for the night, although the days are sunny and still quite pleasant.
It is a good balance, the work and the relaxation, the social conviviality and the resolution of the problems at hand. Getting to know one’s co-workers in this type of environment is a really good exercise and it does contribute to a better organization.
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.