Brainstorming & a Shock Test

In a little over an hour, my leadership team and I will gather in a room to start a brainstorming session.  We’re going to talk about how we can become better/do better.  But instead of talking about ethereal topics, we’re going to put a timeline on our path to improvement.  We’re going to get specific on how we plan to improve.  We’re going to own our journey and our results.

MS Leadership TeamLast week, we all attended the Global Leadership Summit (#gls17, #fwgls) here in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  We were exposed to a lot of great content.  It’s time to put that content to work for us.  Today’s brainstorming session will kick-off this process.

Shock Test?  Yes.  We’re going to discuss what we would do/be differently when a deadline is applied to something we are expected to provide every day.  More on this later…

Today is about being intentional, creative, and influential.



It’s about leadership.



Are tweets, statuses, pins, pokes, and pixels dominating your life? This week, as part of our #unplug series, we’re re-posting some of our most popular stories from the archives, with a special focus on the beauty of a tech break, the power of analog, and how a little quiet can kickstart creativity.

New research shows that if you want to purge your mental muck, you should make like a tree and leaf.

Puns aside, a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine evidences that green spaces lessen “brain fatigue”–that familiar (urban?) feeling of being distracted, forgetful, and flighty, as Gretchen Reynolds notes for the New York Times.

All it takes is a stroll

You may be familiar with the clanging clamor of urban life–and psychology helps us understand why it’s so sapping. Pedestrians get drained because they have to remain vigilant of all the madness that’s around them, being forced to use directed mental attention–a limited resource–to get from one block to another without being run over by something with two legs or four wheels. In contrast, the environs of a park, unless there’s a stroller festival afoot, can put you into a state of soft fascination,the aaaaah-inducing feeling of taking in the space around you. By being in a green space, that ever-so-scarce resource of directed attention is able to renew itself.

Leafy prescriptions

Some countries might be ahead of Scotland in the greenery game. Outside Magazine had an amazing feature in December about how doctors in Japan are beginning to prescribe walks in the woods to help the mental health of overloaded urbanites. There’s even a totally adorable word for it, shinrin-yoku, which translates as “forest bathing.”

But you need not be in Edinburgh or Tokyo to get your shinrin-yoku on. The key is to get into the woods, whatever the neck may be, says Jenny Roe, the professor who oversaw the Scottish study. Reynolds has the quote:

…Right about now, you should consider “taking a break from work,” Dr. Roe said, and “going for a walk in a green space or just sitting, or even viewing green spaces from your office window.” This is not unproductive lollygagging, Dr. Roe helpfully assured us.”It is likely to have a restorative effect and help with attention fatigue and stress recovery.”

So do your brain a favor and have a midday stroll. Or, maybe better than that, do your colleagues a favor– make your next meeting a walk in the woods.