As your 2016 gets rolling, before you carry on with business as usual, consider a “Think Week.” The start of the new year is a great time to step back and do some long-range strategic thinking about your company before you take action!
Reflect and Reset
Microsoft founder and CEO Bill Gates starts each year with a “Think Week.” In his case, it means a private retreat away from colleagues, family, and friends. In “Why You Need a ‘Think Week’ Like Bill Gates,” app developer and The Creativity Challenge author Tanner Christensen explores Gates’ motive behind the hiatus.
“By actively disconnecting and looking at everything from 50,000 feet, I [Gates] am able to effectively reflect, reset, and clearly rethink my goals and aspirations.”
During his “Think Week,” Gates reads relevant papers and articles and ponders essential questions. The process, he says, is enlightening.
Do you feel refreshed in your approach to company leadership, business strategy, and employee engagement? Are you taking proactive steps to make 2016 the best year yet and lay the foundation for long-term success, in work and at home? Maybe a “Think Week” is for you, too.
“Think Week” and the 50,000-Foot View
Senior Inc. writer Ilan Mochari endorses “Think Week” in “A Blueprint for the First Work Day of 2016.” It’s the first article in a series called “The First 90 Days” — our team recommends following his entire recommendation! Read Mochari’s article to learn about making this year one of “breakout growth for your business.”
Michael Karnjanaprakorn, CEO and cofounder of Skillshare, also takes a “Think Week” at the beginning of the year, as he outlines in a FastCompany article, “How Skillshare’s CEO Cultivates and Applies Creativity.”
You can still reap the benefits of a “Think Week,” even if you can’t afford an full week (or an exotic location). Just take a day, or even a few hours, advises Karnjanaprakorn.
“Visit a new neighborhood, find a quiet spot in the park, or rent a desk at a local co-working space. With a little effort, you can uncover a wealth of new places to inspire creative thinking.”
One article respondent says she uses a day at the spa for deep thinking about her business. Sounds good to us!
Enhance Your Long-Term Strategy
Bill Gates’ “Think Week” influences the future of Microsoft and even the IT industry, observes staff reporter Robert Guth, in a Wall Street Journal article, “In Secret Hideaway, Bill Gates Ponders Microsoft’s Future.”
But it’s not just Gates’ “Think Week” ideas that change technology, but what he does with them. Employees across the globe know they can expect texts and emails from Gates based on his reading and research. After “Think Week,” Gates holds multiple follow-up meetings to discuss ideas and inspirations and how to incorporate them into company strategy.
For your own “Think Week” strategy, begin with a review of your company’s vision. What are you truly trying to accomplish? Who are your customers and what are you providing for them? How does that benefit your community and the planet? How is your vision and mission—and the products or services you provide—different from what competitors offer?
Guth quotes branding and business strategy guru Ty Montague:
[Tweet ““The most beloved and respected brands have a quest beyond commercial aspiration.””]
Discuss with your team how your “Think Week” ideas can enhance, or even revolutionize, your long-term strategies. Who knows? One of your inspirations could lead to the proverbial “next big thing” in your industry.
Be inspired! Make 2016 the year you refresh your engagement efforts. Download our free 2016 “how-to” guide to building an everyday culture of appreciation and start today!
We wish you a healthy, happy and successful 2016, at work and in life!
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