Insight From Our Chinese New Year Field Trip
In order to live the theme of and prepare ourselves for our next Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence, I took the Office Dynamics International staff on a field trip. I did not tell them where we were going and the purpose of the trip until we got close to our destination.
The Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. This is highly recognized and celebrated in Las Vegas. The hotels on the famous Las Vegas Strip go all out and provide beautiful displays in honor of this celebrated event. I thought a trip to 3 prominent properties would spur our creativity and give our team time to bond outside of the office. This also provided us an opportunity to connect with our community.
The benefits of our field trip were:
- It stimulated our creativity which encouraged us to look at things differently when we got back to the office.
- There was a rich display of colors and visuals that stimulated our senses, especially our sight. We thought of how we might apply some of the ideas we saw to our conference, work and projects.
- We were outside our element. We were learning about another culture. Every day in the workplace we are challenged to “step outside our element.” This can feel disruptive and create stress. We can choose to look at our day like we did on our field trip, with curiosity and an open mind.
- We discussed ideas regarding what we experienced and how we would tie that into our 2014 executive and administrative assistant conference theme: Collaborate, Create, and Connect: Expand Your Influence.
- We felt like explorers, not knowing what was going to come around the next corner. While we were familiar with the hotels, we didn’t exactly know where the beautiful displays would be found. We actually went way out of our way at one location because we weren’t given specifics about the massive display being shared by 2 properties: The Palazzo and The Venetian. How many times does this happen at work? You really think you know where you are heading, but because pieces of information were missing, you went in the wrong direction. This was an ‘aha’ moment for us. We laughed when we found ourselves exactly where we started after walking for about 20 minutes!
- Red is often used in the Chinese culture. Red is a lucky color that represents good fortune, good luck, happiness and abundance. As many people know, I love the color red. Now, I know why—because of what it represents.
What can you learn from our field trip?
- Be an explorer. Mix up your routine. I know as a previous administrative assistant, certain tasks and projects become routine—almost boring when done often. It is up to you to add interest in creativity to your work.
- Take in new sights, cultures and opportunities. You don’t have to travel far to do this. This helps stimulate your creative thought and makes life a little more interesting. As an administrative or executive assistant, this will help you as you approach your day; manage multiple projects and tasks; manage your executive’s life; and quickly change gears to meet the current situation.
- You should try to schedule a short field trip for your department or administrative team. This should be a trip that has a real purpose. Experience is one of the best teachers. Then, when you get back to the office, talk about how that experience ties into your work.
- Encourage your executive to take your group on a field trip. Again, there has to be a real purpose and goal in mind.
- To help spur your own creativity, be with nature. I don’t mean walk around your neighborhood. Pick somewhere that isolates you a bit and puts you up close with nature. This will provide a feeling of calm. Often when we are in this state of mind, new ideas and thoughts arise. We often find answers to problems we have been working on for a long time.
- Collaboration and connecting with people are highly required skills in today’s business world. Think of some news ways or situations in which you can connect with others. It is critical that administrative assistants, executive assistants and all those in the profession develop collaboration skills. This is different than teamwork. We will be covering this at our 2014 Annual Conference for administrative Excellence.
Our Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence (for executive and administrative assistants) is going to be packed with great information and new experiences for attendees around the themes of: collaborate, create and connect. Be sure to take advantage of this great conference and invite your administrative and executive assistant friends!
P.S. For 2014 Chinese Year—this is the year of the horse—symbolizes prosperity and good luck! Wishing you the same. (see more pictures from our adventure below & on our Office Dynamics Facebook Page.)