A New Spot to Think

Walking into Thinkspot for the first time, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. We were on a scouting mission for a team outing. We had arranged a few team building activities in the past; sometimes independently and other times from pre-planned offerings. As a team we had cooked together in a restaurant kitchen, and then served and shared the meal. We had thrown catered parties, with dish prep instruction in a home setting. We'd checked into hotels for dinner and wine tastings and a spa treatment, thrown potlucks and even a fondue party. Maybe we think better with our mouths full?

Thinkspot was a departure for us. A more planned approach to a team outing, with an eye to the future and our plans and goals for 2012.

More and more in a challenging business world, it seems we need to regroup and reestablish goals to continue striving toward them. It's all too easy to become bogged down in daily tasks to keep the future looking bright.

So, we find ourselves in downtown Burlington meeting with Debra Pickfield of Thinkspot to explore her space and plan a day of team building for WEST of the City.

Thinkspot is essentially a space that can be whatever you need it to be. It's warm and inviting, without any of the typical trappings of an office environment. Housed in one of those charming older buildings on Locust Street, that would have once been a family home, Thinkspot feels like sitting down in a friend's living room for tea. And, that's the point.

“Space makes a difference to the way that you approach a problem. By creating a home-like environment and comfortable setting, Thinkspot allows you to escape from corporate tunnel vision. Institutional settings mean institutional thinking; creative problem solving requires getting out of that stale setting, “ says Pickfield.

We were approaching a major milestone at WEST. And as we planned with Pickfield in September, we had our minds and imaginations thinking ahead to 2012 and the tenth anniversary of publishing the magazine.

The anniversary, of course, meant planning a celebration. But more than that to those of us in editorial and design at the magazine, it meant a time to reconsider art and esthetics. We wanted to make sure we were continuing to evolve and stay fresh. And we had plans for new projects for the new year.

That's where Thinkspot came in. We wanted a chance to get away from our desks, and our usual modes of communication to plan our next steps.

Pickfield planned a morning session for us that combined some lessons on collaboration, along with deeper consideration of our goals and purpose. Our session was led by one of Pickfield's consultants: Angela Kontgen. Kontgen is a firecracker of energy and drive. Watching her get excited about what we were doing, left one with no other choice than to dive in along with her.

So there we sat ““ as loud and opinionated as ever ““ but in a new environment with a guide in Kontgen; essentially giving us permission to view our challenges with new eyes.

For more information about Thinkspot visit thinkspotburlington.com