Start the new year off the right way with an inspiring planning meeting.
As we enter 2020, most businesses will be taking stock of the past year and starting a fresh round of planning for the year ahead.
The beginning of every new year brings with it the opportunity for a fresh start — albeit mainly psychological — as we evaluate the year gone by and decide what to focus on in the immediate future. For family businesses or family offices this provides an opportunity to not only discuss business but also strengthen familial bonds.
Get out of your comfort zone
Often the familiarity of our immediate surroundings can keep us in a tunnel-vision state and prevent us from both recognizing problems and identifying new opportunities. New surroundings can offer some fresh perspective and inspiration.
This could simply be somewhere away from where you’re based, like a secluded spot in the countryside, or a neighboring city. It can, however, also be an opportunity to really head out and explore what’s happening in other areas of the world. Having a destination meeting can also present new ideas, and the ability to learn from local examples.
Choose a location that has a lot to offer
Choose something that has a lot to offer, perhaps a little exotic and can give you a fresh perspective. Here are three ideas for fresh destinations:
Madrid – This city oozes a “business chic”, is a well-connected travel destination in Europe and can also be an easy choice for people from other Spanish speaking countries. If you need some ideas of places to stay, Tótem in the heart of the chic Salamanca area offers understated cool. A perfectly curated experience of everything both business- and leisure travelers need — clean designer decor, excellent linen, light switches that are easy to operate to a mini-bar filled with great local products. Or if you’re someone who prefers a swimming pool for morning laps or a spa, Hotel URSO in neighboring Justicia is close to Malasaña & the centre. Any place will be close to plenty of great food.
Photo Taken In Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo – In the run-up to the 2020 Olympics, Tokyo has even more to offer than normal. The city with all its attractions, great food and rich history provides western travelers with an opportunity to really enter an entirely new world filled with inspiration, and new ideas. When visiting during 2020, visitors can expect to be met by Japan’s showcase of their expertise in robots, autonomous cars and other technological advances — balanced by their friendly people and helpful culture. When considering where to stay, you could try and go all “Lost in translation” and stay at the Park Hyatt right in Shinjuku. If you prefer some designer chic, try either the Trunk Hotel or the Trunk House for a really authentic luxury experience. And if authenticity and luxury is your thing, no-one does this quite like Aman, and their Aman Tokyo is no different.
City of Cape Town in South Africa, dockland in the foreground and the iconic Table Mountain towering … [+]
Cape Town – an easy destination for Europeans as it lies on the same time zone, meaning that you arrive after a painless overnight flight and could even stay connected with the office while planning from the restaurants, wine farms or pools. The city also has plenty of options for places to stay, you could opt for the laidback luxury experience and rent a villa, try a new design hotel in the city like Gorgeous George, go full luxury with the exclusive Ellerman House or step back in time to a bygone era and opt for the vast gardens and pink walls of The Mount Nelson.
The wide plains will help you disconnect and gain a fresh perspective.
Southern African Safari – If you’re up for a little walk on the wild side, why not consider a Southern African Safari as part of your break away experience. South Africa boasts some of the world’s premier safari and game lodges and game reserves and is home to Africa’s Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo). Or if you’re feeling adventurous, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia is also offer unforgettable African safari experiences. The exclusive luxury safari lodges in each of these countries not only cater to your game viewing experience but offer a host of modern comforts, amenities and gastronomic experiences that will delight you. Many feature state-of-the-art conference facilities with high-speed internet, so you definitely won’t have to be “unplugged” from the rest of the world unless you really want to be.
Consider a new structure
When the purpose of a planning meeting is specifically to try and break out of our molded thinking, the structure of the meeting itself should also receive some attention. There has been plenty of research and discourse around why traditional meetings are far from ideal in achieving the desired outcomes.
A recent HBR article outlines the following as key preparation steps that should be considered — Assessment, Preparation, Facilitation, Reassessment. The same could be applied to a strategic planning workshop.
Bring in the wildcards
Research shows that when adding wild card scenarios to planning processes, it provides the opportunity to examine numerous possible futures and to think about how these futures might affect the course an organization sets for itself.
This wildcard thinking can be further encouraged, by adding individuals who themselves are far away from the problem. This can bring a really fresh perspective to the planning, problems, or opportunities at hand. For example, what would a Michelin Chef with know-how around experimental cuisine and running a tight operation, have to say about the future of manufacturing car parts? Directly they might not have the answers, but they may just ask the questions that help the organization down a path of innovation.
Well-organized planning trips offer the opportunity to both open up to new ideas and then focus on what’s relevant and important right away. Return home inspired with a fresh perspective.