Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Remedy For The Universal Occupational Hazard.

No matter who you are, or your job title, or job responsibilities we all suffer from one universal occupational hazard - Tunnel Vision! You’re good at what you do, that’s why people pay you to do it, you have things to get done, you have deadlines to meet, and milestones to achieve. You need to focus, to keep your head-down, working - working -working. And down the tunnel you go. But every once in a while it’s really healthy to look up, take a step back, excuse yourself from the day-to-day engine that we all hum along with and break from your tunnel vision.   

Last week I had the honor of facilitating the National Breakthrough Network Retreat in Estes Park, Colorado, and literally got my inoculation to my professional tunnel vision.  This Community of Practice intentionally removes itself from the ‘rat race’ once a year. We go to an isolated location where the cell coverage is spotty, and the wifi is weak, so we can leave our ‘lists’ alone for a few short days and expand our understanding of our industry, our challenges, our peers and ourselves. 


Like any good business related activity we have an agenda, but more importantly we have that most precious of gifts, spontaneous conversations with others who care as much about their work, as we care about ours. The agenda topics frame the retreat, guide the conversation, but it does not rule the event. By allowing conversations to run their natural course, shooting off in different directions or down a unique path, we can all step out of our ‘expertise’ and hear each other, learn from each other - Look outside of our tunnel.  


I’ve heard from several of the attendees that they felt refreshed and recharged, and like happy squirrels getting ready for winter, they were thrilled to have a new nugget of insight, a fresh perspective to take home and nourish themselves. 


The challenge is how to do this when you cannot literally get away from it all. How do you create the space for your team to get this remedy for their own tunnel vision? How do you take time away from the working, working, working, producing, producing producing to sit back and maybe not produce anything tangible, but something that is ultimately priceless? It is a challenge I hope you will accept, will champion, and will enjoy. 


Julie Gold

Product Manager
VisionLink