What are our executives afraid of?
Great discussion last night with the terrific members of New York Chapter of Meeting Professionals International, moderated by Whitney (formerly in the events business, now escaped to the world of health innovation) with myself and Mike Dominguez in his role as Chairman of MPI.
We spent 90 mins kicking around the challenges of reinventing the meetings industry from both a supply side (hotels, resorts, airlines, caterers) and demand side (meeting planners and their corporate clients). All kinds of ideas and opinions were thrown around, but the area that was most intriguing to us?.. Fear of failure.
While many (smart) companies are actively encouraging limited failure in a bid to create more innovative cultures, apparently those same execs want their corporate meetings to run perfectly predictably and smoothly.
We think it’s time to change that and the time is ripe for restoring the idea of the corporate retreat. Corporate offsites are intended to be retreats, where leaders can face themselves with humility and address the opportunities and risks they face in the market.
It’s time for event planners to push their clients harder and suppliers to think far more creatively around production. And participants need to be retrained to stop being focused on the food and the bed linen thread-count of a hotel and instead committed to learn, speak and have their minds stretched while away from the office.
If it’s not that time, then maybe we’re on a losing streak with the B-Sides that FrontierLive creates for our clients. Perhaps we should instead focus more on ensuring the banquet chicken is up to scratch…
If you’re not going to have hard conversations and challenge your people to raise their thinking, is it really worth the airfare to get them to the offsite?
SW, New York