Beyond the stretch interlude

After a long hiatus (and by ‘long’ I mean: since high school) from moving legs quickly for any reason other than work or catching trains, I have recently taken up running.  And besides the obvious benefits here: health and fitness; I’ve noticed a reward that I didn’t see coming when I laced up my Nike Frees.

When I get my body moving, it seems that my mind follows. Ideas come easily, solutions to problems that I couldn’t find the previous day sitting at my desk spontaneously jump to the front of my brain. I wonder if the pounding of the pavement is reverberating up to my brain and releasing things that might have been stuck.

I’ve taken it so far as to have a few meetings en route. Of course, you can only do this with colleagues that also like to run. But now you have two or three minds that are free-flowing…so you do the math. For me, the results have been extraordinary.

So, what if we could get even more people moving. Imagine the flow of ideas.

Meetings are generally static. Attendees sit in general sessions and listen. They sit in breakouts and listen and participate. But it is very rare, that they are asked to move beyond a quick afternoon, “let’s all get out of our chairs and stretch for a moment” interlude.

And—based on my own ecstatically productive, moving experiences—I wonder what would happen if meeting attendees were asked to move…more.

  • Meeting are often held in beautiful places that attendees barely get to see. Imagine they are asked to solve a company challenge in small groups. They have two hours. And they’re encouraged to walk or run together as they talk, share and problem solve.
  • What if there was going to be a large amount of problem solving and learning at the meeting, so to prepare the attendees, they all received iPod shuffles loaded with keynotes, lectures or training downloads…and they were instructed to listen to these while they walked or ran or worked out at home before they came on-site.

‘But what about documentation!‘ you ask. Notes can be recorded by voice on a phone (heck, the whole ‘move’ session could be recorded that way). Or, as I’ve found of late, the really good ideas that sprint from the depths of my brain to that spot between my eyes, are so solid, that they’re still hanging out there at the end of my run….ready to be written down, ready to be put into play, ready to move.

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