The Park Hotel Meeting

July 12, 2010 — Leave a comment

In 1995 I was working with a small group of guys to establish a profitable, strategic business in systems integration, support, and services.  One of the most important investments we ever made became known as the Park Hotel meeting.  At the start of each quarter I set aside an entire day with my leadership team to work on the business (rather than in the business).  As the company grew, it became more and more difficult to set aside this time, but we did it anyway.  We set the date for our next meeting while in the current meeting, picking a date that worked for the group.  This date was written in stone – it was non-optional.  We talked about strategy, personnel, futures, profits, ideas, etc.  Things that would make our business not only work, but work well. Looking back, those four days were worth every minute.  We could bill or sell that day, however the plans we set in motion multiplied the profits of our company.

In 2003, when I started Stelzl Visionary Learning Concepts, the business I run now, I set out to do the same.  My leadership team is just my wife and I, and often I schedule my “Park Hotel Meeting” alone, yet it has the same result.  Fresh ideas, a broader view of where I am headed, and a rest from the daily grind.  This week I am doing something a bit more extravagant.  I’m spending not just one day, but 4.  No vmail, no email, just focused time…

If you’ve never done this sort of thing, I highly recommend it.  One of Rockefeller’s habits includes this sort of planning and strategy time.  In fact, many great leaders did this – why do we have such as hard time stopping our wood cutting to sharpen the saw?

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