Whether your peer advisory group meets in the same location each month or you rotate your meeting locations by allowing different members of the group to host, let’s face it, the environment is pretty similar. You have a conference room, an oval table, some AV equipment, a few flip charts and, if your lucky, your host has provided some food and beverages. Hardly much variety though. Not much to inspire members of the group to see the world as larger than themselves, ask the really hard questions, or consider the likelihood that the challenges they face are relatively small in the scheme of things. There’s nothing quite like the majesty of the outdoors, or in my case recently, the Elk Mountains in Colorado, for that extra inspiration.
A few days ago, a group of us hiked the 10.2 mile trail along West Maroon Pass from Crested Butte to Aspen. The drive to Aspen from Crested Butte takes a good 2 1/2 to 3 hours, yet you can walk it in five hours if you’re willing to take the direct route over a 12,000+ foot ridge. It’s hard not to make that trip without seeing the world, and the brief time we have here, just a little bit differently. It offers a perspective you can’t get in any conference room no matter how impressive it may be. The photo of the Maroon Bells was taken at the end of our hike from the Aspen side. It was just one of the many visual rewards we received during the journey. Just one of many reminders of how important it is to get out once in a while – really get out. Try taking your group out of the conference room, at least once year, to a place that doesn’t have four walls and an oval table. You’ll be glad you did and so will your group!