Thinking. Talking. Walking. These basic human functions are inextricably linked to each other throughout history. It’s a fundamental human experience that we need to move, travel, and become inspired to discover new things. Fact is that walking greatly enhances creative thinking. It’s only with the advent of cities expansion with modern office buildings that meetings as we know them, evolved to mean meeting around tables, with participants seated in chairs. Now with shifts in our society, many of these principals are becoming redundant as the traditional idea of the office and its workplace disintegrates due to increased mobility, personalised technologies and a growing attention to our human wellbeing.
But what about the first great thinkers and speakers? The ancient Greek philosophers were particularly enamoured with walking while talking, teaching and collaborating. Indeed, Raphael’s fresco “The School of Athens” depicts Aristotle and Plato walking while discussing hot topics of the day with their followers, holding their books which undoubtedly contain the very first meeting notes. It’s no coincidence either that Aristotle’s followers were called the Peripatetic School (meaning one who walks habitually and extensively, the name links thinking with walking). And there were the Sophists, philosophers that wandered from town to town delivering talks to audiences hungry for information and new ideas.
There is absolutely no doubt that the process of walking (and connecting with the people that you are walking with) increases creative thinking, and nowadays can lead to better employee engagement by breaking down barriers between supervisor/subordinate or between co-workers. (And of course, the experience of walking side-by-side your boss causes conversation to be more equal and free, than if sitting in an office around a table with your boss being at the head).
So back to Aristotle…he was very aware of the importance of making meeting notes and jotting down ideas. He always carried his trusty notebook with him on walks and talks and that’s an important consideration before undertaking a walking meeting, how to make notes while on the move? Obviously walking meetings (or should that be “Weetings”?) are not the occasion to bring your favourite notebook and pen. It’s best to keep the flow of ideas and dialogue free and creative. (Of course, if the “next big thing” pops into your head and you’re worried you will forget then jot down the essentials into a smartphone app, or try a voice memo recorder).
So how far can technology assist in Walking meetings/Mobile meetings/Meetings on the go? What if you could organise walking meetings and take notes just using a “smart device”? Would you? (This could be a solution for those souls that have “iPhone separation”, and don’t like to be away from their desks and electronic contact for long).
The need for sleek and discreet solutions is something that Arthur Holm is familiar with. To create smart solutions for sharing & collaborating (and eliminating external devices), the DynamicShare range integrates an intuitive AV collaboration system for meeting room participant sharing.
How long before this award-winning system is able to be 100% portable and be used for meetings in the great outdoors! In the meantime, see the DynamicShare here:
But until the day that technology starts to integrate more in walking meetings maybe it is best to just “be”. Enjoy being human and free without any hindrances*. Walk, meet, enjoy, talk, get lost in the creative thoughts and energy that will start to unfold once we start to move, think and interact away from the office environment.
*Some famous fans of the walking meeting: Aristotle, Plato, Goethe, Charles Darwin & Dickens, Beethoven, Steve Jobs, Barack Obama (with Angela Merkel above), Mark Zuckerberg.