Plus 5 Tips to Maximize the Power of Your Walking Meeting
Do your employees dread having to go to a meeting and sit at the same conference table or in the same office hundreds of times?
I know you are probably wondering what this has to do with creativity or marketing. But it has everything to do with both!
Steve Jobs was known for walking meetings, and we all know just how successful Apple has been as a company. He would walk with other leaders of Apple to discuss new directions and pivotal issues while walking around the company’s campus and neighborhood.
Not only did it provide a change in location, but some other amazing benefits were better connections between employees and increased creativity.
The Benefits of Walking Meetings
I just mentioned a few of the benefits walking meetings have, but let’s dive a little deeper into that.
- Breaks Down Barriers: Walking meetings change the dynamics of the group, particularly the power dynamic. Without the hierarchy of traditional meetings, employees and employers can engage on a different level. In fact, one study shows that people can become better connected in 4 and half minutes or less with a walking meeting.
- Energizes and Engages: Getting out and doing some walking energizes our brains, reduces stress, and improves our mood.
- Better Communication: Walking meetings gives us all a chance to “unplug” from our devices that can distract our attention. Plus, walking to wake up the brain enables more honest and open communication between people.
- Increases Creativity: Walking meetings can help us feel more inspired and boosts our creativity. In fact, one study found that walking meetings increase creativity by 81 to 100 percent. Combine that with a more relaxed vibe and improved communication and people will be more willing to bounce ideas off one another in a truly collaborative and challenge-busting environment!
How to do a Walking Meeting the Right Way
Those are some amazing benefits of walking meetings! In order to really maximize the power of walking meetings, you need to do them the right way. Here are some tips to follow to help you hold a walking meeting that encourages your staff to break through and think outside of the box with creative ideas for your marketing strategy.
- Structure and Purpose: Even though you are getting out and about to change the scenery, you still need to have a purpose and structure to your meeting. Let people know what the agenda is and then stay on track during the meeting.
- Know Your Meeting: When planning your meeting, make sure that your meeting is appropriate for walking. Some meetings, like those where supplies are needed, may not be best suited for a walking meeting. Rather, meetings where you are brainstorming or decision making are better suited for walking meetings.
- Size is Everything: Walking meetings are best when you have about four or less people. You don’t want a large group who can’t hear what is being said because they are at the back of the group. However, if you want to take advantage of a different location with a larger group, a standing meeting outdoors could be a good option.
- Assign Roles: Because more factors are involved with being outside, walking meetings require a bit more organization. Assign roles to different members of the meeting like the Leader (to help keep everyone focused and facilitate the process), the Guide (who knows the route and can take care of safety concerns), and the Scribe (who can take notes or suggest breaks when important things should be written down).
- A Few Other Things: Make sure that all participants are willing to have a walking meeting. Also be sure that the speed of the walk is good for everyone. Remind people to wear clothing they feel comfortable walking in and pick a destination that is safe and within distance for the time allotted. Finally, have fun and enjoy the experience!