Leave the office? Bad things could happen…

Earlier this week we walked with the owners of Valuable Content in the Mendip Hills, just south of Bristol. We do this sort of thing a lot.

Four of us. A short walk. Something like 6kms in under 2 hours. At a pace that allowed for easy talking and laughter. With lots of stops to take in the views, listen to birdsong, and feel the breeze on our faces.

An early sandwich. And then to the office.

Mood changing. Uplifting. Inspiring. Energising.

Gordon Bennett! When did you last feel like this in a business meeting or workshop?

A creative thinking walk isn’t possible for many business leaders of course. Is it? Here are 3 reasons why this is so “evidently” the case. You will know of other excuses reasons. Let me know.

The tail wags the dog!

“Mondays are just SO busy. All those anxious weekend emails, as well as the old smelly lurkers. I need my Monday morning to get stuck into these as well as chair a couple of really important meetings”.

Come on! You are a leader. A shaper of futures. And here you are dancing to the tune of other people’s emails. How about a simple out-of-office message that tells people you will look at emails in the afternoon (or whenever)? You have cleared the space; they know the score; everyone is cool. Be more dog. Own your tail. Don’t overthink it. Just get out and give it a go. What’s the worst that could happen….

Bad things could happen!

“If I am not there to answer questions, give direction, and provide “tone” it could all fall apart!”

Oh really! Sounds like you are a brilliant doer of stuff with a time horizon measured in hours. Not the architect of your business’ future. So here’s an idea. Put something in your diary which says “this morning/day/week I am going to be a leader, do leader’y stuff, do some powerful thinking, have significant conversations, attend to my personal wellness and resilience” etc.. Use your task management skills to task manage your business’ leadership needs!


“I don’t know these people. What if the weather is bad? What’s the value of this investment in my time? I might give it a go someday.”

Great points. You are a leader operating in a complex and challenging business environment. You are expert at balancing risk and opportunity. You understand the need for external expertise and collaborations. And you are constantly looking to innovate. So, here’s what you do. Do some due diligence (start with the almost weekly media articles around the business value of walking, talking, and thinking in the outdoors), personally model the experimentation mindset that underpins your claims to be agile and innovative, and COMMIT. There are seven days in the week and SOMEday isn’t one of them 🙂

And finally…

When you do commit to be more dog and go outdoors, do so as part of a group or one of your formed teams. Large or small, it doesn’t matter. It’s a bit of a cop out to go on your own. Ok, that’s a bit harsh – the point is that there is huge power to be had in bouncing and building fresh ideas with others. But you know this.

Go on, give it a go. Here are some other great reasons to do so.

Dave Stewart

Managing Director

The Fresh Air Learning Company