Do you have a big idea that is swirling in your head and you just can’t pull it together? Have you sat looking at your screen trying to work on the big idea and things just do not synthesize? Perhaps, try taking a walk and watch your creativity soar. I had an idea incubating but it just was not coming together. A friend who knows that I do my best thinking when walking said…”Why don’t you take your big idea for a walk in the redwoods?”
Each day for a week, I took my idea on a different trail through redwoods. In sun, mist, rain, I gave my idea time to incubate. The first day I just walked and waited to clear my head and get clear on my goal. I let the redwoods center my mind around my big idea. Then, the ideas started to come together. Each bend in the trail and each grove of redwoods inspired me with creative clarity.
My big idea is to take teams on walks in redwood forests to discover their strengths and to learn how to develop a strengths based culture in their organization. My big idea needed time in the trees for the leadership metaphors of the redwoods to turn into professional development outcomes.
Imagine taking your team for a hike in the redwoods to discover ways to apply their collective strengths to specific goals. What’s possible?
Stanford has done multiple studies on how creativity increases when a person is walking. The research found that when people are walking, they gain a fresh perspective and become more innovative. Imagine walking with a colleague, a small group or your team in the redwoods and gaining fresh perspective on each other and your collective work.
I took my big idea for a walk in the redwoods to incubate, grow, and synthesize. I’m ready to finalize my materials for the walk, articulate outcomes, and start looking for clients.
What big idea could you take for a walk? Where would you take your walk?
Try walking with a notebook to start. Pick a place where you can focus on your idea. Jot down your notes as you walk. Turn your phone off so you are not distracted. Give your big idea the space it needs to incubate.
Here are some questions to ask yourself while walking…
- What would success look like for this project?
- What are the outcomes that are uniquely different than other projects?
- What examples from the landscape can help me illustrate my idea?
- Who might I partner with to help me develop this idea more?
Over the last month my idea was stuck because I kept throwing up roadblocks. I kept stopping my ideas by worrying about things like: logistics, insurance, transportation, food, safety, and physical endurance of participants. I decided to leave those roadblocks in the office for awhile. If a roadblock popped up, I jotted it down and released it for another day. Not dismissing it just putting it on hold.
I needed creative thinking and walking time not logistic solving, roadblock thinking.
At the end of the week, I’m better able to articulate my idea, I walked in beautiful places, and I feel energized to bring others to the redwood forest.
Where could you take your big idea on a walk? Let me know where you decide to walk and what becomes clearer because of your time spent walking and innovating.