Five walking meeting ideas

I’ve just come back from a big walk. About 230 kms to be precise. My husband and I just finished the Larapinta Trail from end-to-end which is in the Northern Territory stretching down the West McDonnell ranges. If you have a good pair of walking boots, and you love red dirt and scenery that leaves you speechless, then it’s a good one to add to your adventure holiday list. I won’t mention the lack of showers or freezing cold creek crossings, as you may change your mind and that would be a shame.

Long walks like this aren’t a daily or weekly occurrence. You need to step out of the office for a start, and you need to be physically and mentally prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. Walking and fresh air is a great combination. New physical muscles are discovered and your brain gets a good workout with new conversations, sights to see, skills to learn, and habits to undo. I took advantage of these endless hours of walking to think about new business ideas that were currently sitting in the “problems to solve” category.

“... walking, fresh air and new ideas - a great combination”

Back in the office and it’s time to put the boots away and get serious. Or not. Walking, fresh air, and solving business issues combine together beautifully. Generally, corporate meetings are held in corporate offices. One-to-one meetings, team meetings, executive meetings … they’re all held inside and mostly held using a structured format. I know there are scrum meetings, stand-up meetings, and sometimes offsite meetings, but the majority of meetings follow a habitual format. And of course there are formal office environments and the less formal (i.e. Google) but once you adapt to the environment you’re in, then it becomes known and habits are formed.

Do you ever just go for a walk with a colleague, or your team, in place of one of your regular weekly meetings? I have and I’ve never been let down by the positive and innovative conversations that result from it. And you, as the meeting organiser, can get creative with these walking meetings.

Here are 5 walking meeting ideas:

  1. A “problem to solve” walk meeting. There is one problem to solve as determined by the meeting organiser such as “how to engage the whole company in our social media strategy”. Each small walking team of 2-3 has to come up with a really crazy idea (these crazy ideas are then boiled down to real ideas but it’s good to stretch way out to crazy initially).

  2. A “building on strengths” walk meeting. Each walker discusses their most successful project / idea / client / whatever over the last three months and thinks of new ways this can be strengthened or replicated and how that can be achieved within the next 3 months.

  3. A “personal goal” walk meeting. Each small walking team of 2-3 discusses something they want to personally achieve over the next 3 months and plans how they are going to achieve it and more importantly what is the very first step they’re going to take.

  4. A “wellness” walk meeting. Each walker receives a piece of fruit and/or bag of raw nuts to enjoy as they walk and talk. This is a simple idea but a change in scenery, habits, and mode can bring about new ideas.

  5. A “learn something new” walk meeting. Each walker is from a different team so they don’t often take the chance to talk. Walking teams of 2-3 find out something new about their colleague’s team. Each has to ask each other 5 questions starting with who, what, how, why, or when.

So go for a walk this week during work with a colleague or three. You may uncover the next great idea by simply eating an apple whilst walking in the park. And don’t come up with the excuse that you’re in a city office. Every city has a park. If you need to catch a cab to get to it, then just do it.