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Enel Green Power Walks on Fire!

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Walk on fire. Surely that is impossible.

Right?

What if we looked beyond the predetermined notions of what is and is not possible?

This mindset is exactly what the executives of Enel Green Power challenged themselves to as the sun set and the fires roared on Friday night.

Having no idea of the feats they were about to put themselves through, these 17 participants walked outside to see hundreds of logs burning on a sandy terrain in between the corner of the hotel and some palm trees.

Standing a few feet away from the flaming walkway, beads of sweat dripped from the executives foreheads.  Caused by the flames or perhaps some jittery nerves, one thing was certain, it was heating up.

As excited as the team was by the proposition of walking on fire, doubts surfaced when it came time to walk.

“You’re supposed to walk on that?”

“Has anyone burned themselves?”

“What’s the trick?”

Yes you walk on it, ironically only our CEO has burned himself, and the trick lies completely within you.

It takes certain conviction.  When it comes time to take that first step into the ambers of the fire it is because you have committed in that moment to that step.  And with the commitment of the first step comes the necessity of a second.  And a third, and a fourth, and before you realize you are on the other side of 10 yards of burning ambers.

So what is all this about? Walking across some flames for a badge of glory, a feat of excitement, or a killer new profile picture on Facebook?

Not entirely.  A fire walk calls for the recognition of certain strengths and a commitment to call on them to breakthrough to a new level of personal potential.

Whether it is a commitment take on the uncertain launch of a platform for a new product integration or committing to being a better spouse, the symbolism behind that first step into the fire is profound.

It is the realization of a new possibility and the ability to make it happen all rolled up into the distance it takes to convert a first down.  That is if you replaced the sweet smell of freshly cut grass with burning wood and ambers.

For this team of fire walkers of Enel Green Power, their walk is behind them.  And what lies in front of them is the commitment to their conviction.  For the ripple effects of forward steps are the ones that can and will shift the trajectory of results.

California Pizza Kitchen Inspires Action on Sailing Adventure

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Executives of the California Pizza Kitchen are creating positive change within their organization taking the time to invest in their most important asset, their people.  Keeping this in the forefront of their mind, they were challenged to learn, communicate, and constantly adapt to a changing environment as they sailed through Newport harbor.

When you examine the characteristics of a successful organizations, the ability to challenge the status quo always surfaces.  In sailing, like in an organization, what is working now will not be the best strategy to use in the future.  In fact, attaching yourself to one strategy will undoubtedly take the wind out of your sails, pardon the pun.

These executives experienced a profound business process when examining changing wind patterns or water currents.  That by recognizing, communicating, and then taking action as one unit, they were able to move forward no matter what conditions were present.

In order to get to places you have never been you must think and act in ways you have never before.  For these executives, only a handful with sailing experience, they were challenged to learn skills in sailing.

Once you have a fundamental grasp of skills and talents you must constantly adapt and change with the environment.  You may have the most talented person at tacking the sail to the starboard side, but if you do this when the wind is blowing the opposite direction, no matter how good you may be at tacking, you will not go anywhere.

By the end of the day each these executives were pointing out ripples in the water, flags blowing in different directions, and changing wind patterns within the sails.  These are called indicators, and if you can effectively identify these you will have a significant advantage over anyone on the water.

Capturing their performance here as a direct translation to the success of California Pizza Kitchen, they were reminded to ask themselves the question, “What are the indicators within my work?”

Just as that person talented at tacking the sail will fail without any direction, an employee equally skilled at his job is doomed to the same fate if no one pays attention to the indicators of the environment.

California Pizza Kitchen left this adventure with the realization that change is inevitable, but if you use it to leverage your ability to thrive, then you will be unstoppable.

Extreme Executive Retreat

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By James Carter

Tim Hume of CNN interviewed Founder and CEO, James Carter, about the extreme nature of our executive retreats and why they are essential for some executive teams:

A short article can never capture everything that is important but Tim does a great job of highlighting the role these retreats have in the ‘Executive Retreat’ realm.

There are many other articles out there that emphasize the value of extreme retreats but they are not to be selected randomly.  Like every other format for retreats, the structure must support the overall goals and outcomes.  Or you just end up having a great time – not a bad thing, but you are losing the value of an executive retreat.

The most valuable time you can spend is having a firm understanding of where you are now – A, and where you want to be – B.  While this is simplistic, it is not necessarily easy.  It may require  great deal of courage to face the current situation!

And once you know A, understanding B is the next step – where do you want to be?  What do you want from your executive team?  Generalities DO NOT work here.  What are specific behaviors you want members of the executive team showing.  If you answer with something like ‘collaborating’, you are not digging deeply enough and keep going.  What will more collaboration do for the organization?

In addition, what are the goals the team must hit?  What are those ‘B’s’?

With those answers in mind, you select the format and structure for an executive retreat.  And perhaps something extreme is in order!

Read more about the A to B strategy.

Read the article here!