Informal Sharing of Ideas


I have a secret for you. It is a way to get more ideas, more action accomplished, and better work for, and from your company. First, I have to tell you something I learned over 30 years ago.

When I was an airman, we would notice that the Chief Master Sgt. or the Master Sergeant would disappear for a couple hours around noon each day. They go to the gym to work out. In one Squadron the top three liked to go play golf one day a week in the afternoon. The joke amongst us airman was it must be nice to be in charge and able to take that much time off to go play.

When I became a master sergeant, I also worked with people usually through the lunch hour. And then I wanted to give an excellent example to the airman who worked for me. So I started to go to the gym during lunch, I would either do a 3-mile walk, or ride on the stationary bike or do other aerobics at the gym and sit in the sauna for a few minutes, take a shower and go back to work.

While in the sauna my Chief Master Sgt., and the units First Sgt. would show up from their work out. And they would sit there and discuss how the unit was doing. What was given airman grief, and how they could help change things to make the unit more efficient and a better place to work at.

I was actually amazed because over time I could see their ideas coming to fruition, and working for the betterment of everyone within the unit. I had always thought that to come up with ideas like this and put them into action there had to be meetings and conferences and a lot of time involved. Not so.

I learned that work could be done by playing golf for an afternoon with the right people. Being able to drop a comment into the right ear. Or, just being able to work with others in an informal atmosphere that fosters the sharing of good ideas.

My co-working office downtown held a parking lot party last night. Some of the members formed a band and played a bunch of songs. And they were pretty good. The coworkers brought their families, there were games for every age group, and everyone had fun. And through it all, I was able to meet new workers, and I saw those sparks of ideas being shared.

When I talk about the little things in life that we don’t think of as productive and yet are so vital, social interaction has to play high up on the list.

We hope you have a fantastic weekend, will talk to you again next week.

Author: Mike Balof

Mike Balof, MEd, develops intensive, interactive courses which have helped contract manufacturing and nonprofit institutions. He taught youth and adults seeking employment to better represent themselves, leading many of them to successful careers. Mike taught in corporate training, teaching adults and high school students to build computers, work as a team, and to identify and fix problems using a myriad of tools from Total Quality Management(TQM), to 8-D, to Six Sigma. Mike now turns his talents to helping fellow veterans reach their objectives and desires through continuous performance improvement. As we start to live in a post knowledge world, where a doubling of common knowledge shrinks from months to days, our essential skills will include how we interact with those around us. Mike believes there is hope for growth and opportunity for everyone. Everyone has the opportunity to retool and find the career they want. Mike strives to present students of all ages, abilities, and means with a full plate of options for learning.

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