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  • Writer's pictureOlivier S.E. Courtois

Time-Outs Are Essential!

When you want to understand a city you don't read the official reports, you talk to the cab drivers!

The other day I heard this remark and I couldn't help but draw a parallel with the business world. When you want to understand an organization, reading the official reports or interviewing its official representatives is good. But chatting in an improvised and informal way with its employees, is better, much better, to feel the pulse of the organization.

This is a very useful tip for investors about to invest of course, but a must for any self-respecting leader. To understand what is really going on in the field, there is nothing like a walk in the corridors. To capture trends and ideas, there is nothing like listening to the teams, all the teams.

These impromptu conversations have many advantages: in addition to capturing reality, they allow you to draw new ideas. They equip you to play your role as facilitator, as connector. They enhance the value of the teams and accelerate the integration process of new employees.

These improvised and unstructured moments were rare during the period of confinement. Let's take advantage of the 'return to the office', to 'real life' to put these moments back on the agenda.

On the agenda? A paradox, isn't it? Well agendarizing those 'improvised' moments, is helpful when you've lost the habit. Just to remind yourself that these time-outs, of perceived waste of time are a great investment! They are also an excellent opportunity to become fully human again!


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