Recently, when I was visiting the Bay Area, I had the very great pleasure of visiting LinkedIn’s campus and one of the very first things that struck me was the path stretching alongside. Coming from the East Coast, the wilderness was so different as to be breathtaking but what really floored me was hearing several employees over the course of my visit say to one another “shall we go walk this idea?” It struck me that this was an entirely different working culture one that including walking meetings, which was recently corroborated when I saw this LinkedIn intern’s recent post about how he got a walking meeting with LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner
That post referred back to an earlier post by Jeff Weiner
talking about why he prefers walking meetings. Again, as an East Coaster, I could not help but notice that this was posted in January, when if I were to suggest a walking meeting, I am not sure how many takers I would get. Don’t get me wrong, as a Canadian, I would be out there, just that I might be out there alone.
Which is fine too. I think that as an introvert, I need to remember to talk walks during the day more to regroup and recharge. I know that it certainly shifts my mood if I am having a stressful day.
But back to this idea of walking meetings. Apparently it is becoming something of a movement as evidenced by this TED talk on the subject by Nilofer Merchant
Inspired by LinkedIn, I started putting the idea into practice this semester. I found that it did indeed promote some out of the box – out of the box thinking! I found myself weathering some difficult conversations that I might not have risked having otherwise, but conversations that proved to be tremendously important for development and growth. Somehow without the office frame, the interaction becomes about the task of putting one step in front of the other, and bottom line: fresh air motivates fresh thinking, and I am going to try to do more of them in the new year.