When Sladen Consulting was conceived almost 14 years ago my vision was to work from home within a radius of 50 miles. So much for my forward planning – I totally failed! For the last two years I have only worked in the UK for 5 days. I love international travel and I love the privilege and luck I have had to visit some amazing places. But there is nothing quite like working at home – my home country that is.
Imagine my delight when a friend and valued customer invited me to support a team meeting in the UK – I jumped at the chance and loved every minute as you can probably see from the selfie below.
Sladen Consulting love to have fun! This year’s Christmas retreat was spent in the amazing city of Prague. Our wonderful colleague and “goddess of all things complicated”, Anna, accompanied by her husband John, traveled with Julie and I to this medieval historic city. We had an action packed 2 days including a snowy city cycle tour, Christmas markets and shopping as well as copious quantities of their world famous pork knuckle, sausages and beer.
We wish you all a wonderful festive season and look forward to seeing you in 2019.
I am seriously blessed to be lucky enough to have found a career I love. One of the additional benefits is that, at times I find myself in some amazing locations.
Cape Cod, at Christmas, on the beach, is one such example. The most senior leaders of a global R&D organisation chose this venue to spark their creativity, inspire innovative thought and have conversations that would make the difference.
What could a team possibly do in deepest, darkest rural Italy? Of course there was only one thing – truffle hunting. Of course! When the idea was first discussed I was highly skeptical. I thought it would be a set up, an absolutely fake experience created for the corporate tourist. In reality, I was surprised and amazed.
We were met by a lovely Italian couple and their pet dog. Not only did they educate us in the “whys and wherefores” of truffles, but also on the rural aspects of Italian life that had gone on for centuries. We slowed down and were encouraged to notice our environment and not miss things such as the types of trees, where the water flowed from and the various insects and wildlife.
The walk was wonderful – up hill and down dale through the woods and I was amazed how the dog searched out and found our hidden treasure. We found 8 in total with a retail value of about 800 Euros – not bad for a countryside walk! So, this curious event, and unique team building experience had many lessons, not least “don’t jump to conclusions” but the main one for me was to be present, to slow down, and to notice the small things. I wonder what we miss by not doing this?