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Fresh Tracks

Facilitating Adventurous Conversations

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Welcome to the Fresh Tracks team building blog. This is a growing collection of team development news, opinions, tips and advice. We would love your input so feel free to comment or get in touch.

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Big Budget Boredom

Once upon a time a well known retailer was working hard to recover from a slump and wanted it’s store leaders to stop competing against one another and instead share their best ideas and resources. A noble and wise message.

During the months of build up their conference agency designed, refined and honed an event to inspire their top 500. The AV team produced a phenomenal stage and set. There was even a wardrobe department with a seamstress on hand. The budget ran to several hundred thousand pounds.

On paper the programme looked impressive and inspiring. Until the management team took to the stage, all of them! Each ignoring their five minute allocation and instead sharing their perspective for ten, fifteen and in one case twenty minutes!

All were reasonably accomplished speakers, one or two were entertaining but none had rehearsed and they had certainly not compared notes to avoid repeating themselves. Each extolled the value of collaboration, yet their three hour marathon to a post lunch audience in a darkened room simply illustrated that they hadn’t worked together.

Just after 6pm the jaded audience emerged, two hours late somewhat less than inspired.

If you are organising a conference, start with what your delegates will feel, not with what they see. Bright lights have a momentary impact but a well structured message with audience participation can last a lifetime.

There is a vaccine for mental illness

Whilst mental health is highly complex, numerous studies have proven that in virtually every case of mental illness, there is pre-existing sleep disruption.

Poor sleep is, therefore, a reliable early indicator that our mental health is at risk. Whilst it is quite normal to lose some sleep during periods of stress, the danger is that the fact we are not sleeping well can further increase the threat to the health of our minds.


Why Great Leaders Say No

We seem to be living through a time when elected leaders at least, have succeeded by telling people what they want to hear.

Is this really leadership? We’d say it’s not. True leadership requires the courage and wisdom to say out loud, the truths that people don’t want to hear. It’s not fun, it upsets people and makes the leader unpopular. In the short term for sure and often, for much longer.

stranded-leader

2 Steps to Overcoming the Time Poor Trap

More than ever it seems that increasing numbers of us are overwhelmed by an ever-growing and never-ending to-do list.

Just as we seem to get some time to catch up, urgent requests pings into our inbox and yet another well-intentioned day is high-jacked. For many of us, this has become our normal state, thereby creating more urgent requests as critical tasks slip through, only to pop up again a few days later as urgent priorities.

Space for Adventure


Ranulph Fiennes, Ben Fogle and Dervla Murphy live lives filled with adventure. Whilst the closest many of us get is a visit to Cotswold Outdoors, during our lunch hour.

We have every intention of adding another adventure to our existence, yet we rarely seem to find the time, weather and suitable location to wear the Goretex we bought during that optimistic lunch break. Acquiring the kit is the easy bit, the greater challenge is finding a few days to escape to the wild.

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