Need to Stretch Your Innovation Muscles? Head to the Beach

BeachFor event, meeting and conference planners, coming up with new ideas and approaches to meet client needs is one of the most important aspects of the job. Hotels and resorts often face the same challenge. It's easy to get stuck in a rut both personally and professionally. Everyone runs into dry spells when, try as you might, that blockbuster idea just isn't coming easily. When this happens, it's time to shake things up.

Start with something small. Eat at a new restaurant. Try a new dish at your favorite restaurant. Take a new route when you drive to work. Buy a new outfit in a color you've never worn before. Stay at a new hotel. Vary your routine. These are small seeds that you're planted that can encourage you to experiment in other areas of your life.

I've had a chance to experiment with this lately. I've been traveling pretty well nonstop since mid-October. For me a lot of the experimentation has centered around the beach. I have a very familiar routine that I learned from my family. When we return to Jamaica, we're up early in the morning to go to the beach. By the time the sun is fully up, we're having breakfast. After all, Noel Coward who spent a lot of time in Jamaica said:

Only mad dogs....go out in the noon day sun. (Note I've edited his quote to make it politically correct.)

Out of necessity, I've changed my beach routine a few times with surprising results.

Jamaica: In November when I was in Jamaica with an incentive travel client, I returned from the stables really hot, late on the first afternoon I was there. All it took was the few moments required to respond to an urgent e-mail and it was dark. In the tropics, night fall means just that. There is hardly any twilight. I ventured down the path to the beach any way and discovered many people enjoying themselves. It was great fun and swimming after dark was a new experience.

Barbados: The only time I had free to go to the beach was at noon. To my surprise, it was comfortable in the share and there was a cool breeze. Lunch, a quick dip and I was energized for my business meeting.

Dubai I've always seen Americans, Canadians and Europeans lounging by the pool and I could never get the concept. I tried it yesterday and today and found it was a relaxing way to pass the time. I read, napped, had lunch and even wrote 3 blog entries. Including this one. The ideas just flowed. In fact, it was much easier to write than sitting at a desk.

So the next time you're stuck. shake things up a bit. Venture out and try something new. It may be exactly what you need to spark your creativity.

Photo Credit: Executive Oasis International

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