This year, the team has left the UK, turned the mobile phones off, and left all distractions behind.
The theme for this conference is to work"on" the business, not just "in" the business. And this is a point I think that far too many Company leaders fail to focus on. It's very admirable to work long hours at the "coal face", but if your efforts are misplaced then the business isn't going to be any further on. We have focused this week on a "Time to Think" philosophy - what are we wanting to achieve, are our efforts effectively aligned to these goals, are we contacting the right prospects and/or markets for future opportunities, or are there things we could do better (the answer is yes - we must all work on the basis of continuous improvement)?
By taking that step back from the front line and rising up to take a "helicopter" view, it is incredible how much you can see, and how many tweeks and minor changes you can effect to get you back on the course of the Company vision.
It's like a ship sailing the oceans just one or two degrees out of line - it starts off quite close to the original course, but after a period of time it will be a long way from the original target destination. Regular checking on the direction, as well as the day to day operation of the vessel, will give the Captain the information to make the minor tweeks he needs to reach his scheduled port.
This week the team has worked well to these ends in the conference sessions and produced some valuable thoughts that we intend to progress further as a Company.
Note: One highlight of the conference so far has been a seminar presentation by Dragons Den entrepreneur, David Pybus ("Scents of Time"), who lifted the lid on the behind the scenes aspect of the show, and what it has been like working with Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis (who together invested £80k into his business).