Walking is good for you. It can also be good for the health of your business and stimulate your agency growth.
That’s the guiding principle of the Walk and Workshop days for agency growth. Note though that it doesn’t have to be about ‘growth’: you can substitute growth with transformation, sense-check, reboot, staying in business, rebranding, rethinking goals.. or just plain getting your Agency Owner mojo back.
Everyone who has been on the day has benefited from being away from their desk, with electronic devices limited to taking the odd photo of a great view and with lots of actionable ideas at the end of it. Actual testimonials say so.
Talking about Walking…
Walking is great for encouraging blue sky thinking (even when the clouds are in evidence), or ‘Solvitur ambulando’ (“it is solved by walking.”) as Diogenes, 4th Century BC philosopher is cited as saying.
I already knew that from personal experience: heading to the hills helps me think through knotty issues or think about those ‘what ifs’ and ‘how can I..’ types of opportunities. And I’m a confirmed hill botherer.
But what about the agency owners and their teams that I’ve run these days for? They attest that when you combine a good walk with a ‘flexibly structured’ (agile, even!) workshop on the same day, you get some great results.
We’ve kind of known this for thousands of years but there’s more and more scienctific evidence pointing to the fact that a decent walk gets your grey matter moving. Witness a fair few articles, for example the New York Times often write about the benefits of walking and Arianna Huffington does a better job than I have here in extolling all that’s great about energising your thoughts with a walk.
All these articles highlight that having a good leg stretch helps fuel problem solving and ideas generation. And there are books that extol the joy and benefits of a good walk, I have read a fair few of them including Walking by Erling Kagge (great book, and it goes beyond the prosaic ‘walking is good for you’, do read it).
“One of the great overlooked superpowers we have is that, when we get up and walk, our senses are sharpened”
Shane O’Mara, Neuroscientist: In Praise of Walking.
My plan for the Walk and Workshop days was (and is) to not make these networking or ‘netwalking’ events days: there are some great examples of those dotted around the country. This is a day dedicated to one creative services / agency business. And either just for the owner or for the wider team if requested.
“When I was living in Los Angeles, many of my best ideas were conceived while hiking.”
Arianna Huffington, 2013 article on the virtues of a good long walk.
And alongside those problems tackled and fresh ideas generated for agency growth, if the agency owner brings along their team they get a great team-building day to boot (pun intended).
What’s the Walk and Workshop format?
I have a dedicated Walk and Workshop page that explains the detail but in summary, we aim for the best part of a day to cover both the walk and then back to the ranch for the workshop session.
The two sections are tightly linked, as is the discovery call I have with the agency owner before the day itself. They all inform each other.
“The interaction of walking and cognitive performance is influenced by sharing resources between two tasks”
The workshop itself workshop uses a mix of techniques and tools: I have a ‘toolkit’ I can dip into, either pre-structured and / or flexed on the day, as the conversations develop on the walk itself.
What do others think?
“Mark helped me cement my business ideas into a solid plan and make practical decisions on how to grow my business over the next few months. I’m brimmed with excitement and enthusiasm and can’t wait to get going!”
Jenni Tulip, Agency Owner.
“Nothing like fresh air and no distractions to clear the mind and bring out the best ideas.”
Lucy Dunleavy. CEO, LearnBox.
“Nailed 2 months of actions to grow the agency.”
Viv Craske, Owner, The Amaze Agency.
And more from Viv here:
If you are interested in a Walk and Workshop, just let me know.
I’ll get back to you to arrange a good date for you and ask a few initial scene-setting questions for the workshop.