Me on a trip to the NYSE

How Field Trips Create Meaningful Personal Disruption

I am sure everyone will agree that field trips were one of the best things in school.

It was a chance to get out of your routine, connect with friends and learn something new. Yes, it did get you out of schoolwork that day but as an adult, you probably remember more about those trips than the daily routines of school.

Do you still take field trips? Do you disrupt your routines? It may be masked as a customer visit, conference or just working someplace other than your office. What is important is that you create some routine for getting out of your routine!

In a world that is comfortable with linearity and predictable processes, it is essential that you create these moments of disruption. For yourself….for your team…for your organization.

The realities of business (and life in general) demand routines to create predictable results. The challenge for leaders of change and innovation is to create meaningful disruption in routines to stimulate creative thinking, unique connections and meaningful thought.

I recently had a trip with a great group of business leaders to the New York Stock Exchange. Despite a packed schedule I tried to make sure I learned something new, reflected on my purpose and looked for changes I could implement in my work. I also made great effort to be in the moment (as you could see in the photo above) as letting your guard down…even just a little…can lead to fresh perspectives and deeper connections with those around you.

The event is less important than the intent. Purposely being in the moment and out of your routine is what matters. Absorb your environment. Reconnect with your purpose. Learn something new. Have deep conversations with those around you. Reflect on your insights…and make a commitment to take action and incorporate those actions into your routines.

Positive disruption is important at a personal level and an organizational level. Take those “field trips”…be purposeful and in the moment…and get out of your own way as you grow yourself and everyone around you.


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Innovation, brand, and corporate strategist with more than 25 years of experience in corporate, entrepreneurial, and civic roles. @disruptorstudio @atlchamber