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A Meeting at Sea Could Liven Up Dull Tasks

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Some find conducting business at a coffee shop a nice way to create a casual environment for a meeting. But if you’re looking for a more interesting twist on scenery, you could consider sailing the open seas on the newly introduced “sofa boat”.

Announced at the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show, the the sofa boat was quite an attraction. Besides its retractable sun canopy and comfortable sofa seat, the boat has joystick steering and runs on electricity. A second version, called the “B2B”, also contains a refrigerator and laptop docking stations. Some claim this design is “perfect for those extremely confidential business meetings out at sea.”

The article goes on to describe the boat further:

The electric boat, who was enjoying its maiden voyage at ADYS, is a 3.5m ‘floating fun platform’ – designed, developed and built in the UAE with a folding sun canopy covering the seating area, joystick steering, and a soft-foam bumper to allow easy maneuverability among other craft in crowded marinas.

‘I wanted to offer boats that were enjoyable to women and families – low noise, easy-to-handle craft that are perfect for quiet sundowners or a more glamorous arrival at a private yacht than in a tender,’ says Dr Martin Mai, Managing Director, Abra Marine, the boat’s designer and manufacturer.

‘The boat is completely powered by electricity and has 0% carbon-dioxide emissions. It can be charged via an electric socket and has batteries that give it 12 hours of continuous power. We also have a solar-powered version in development.’

The solar-powered version will run by the power generated by seven square metre solar panels that generate 1,000W peak electric energy, with the ability to run for up to 10-hours.

While all the things above are nice, you truly have to see it to believe it. Here’s a snapshot:

business consultants at sea
Copyright 2010 Marine Business News

It’s hard to imagine actually conducting a meeting on this boat. Despite the wondrous views it surely brings, the limited space alone—with virtually no exit once in motion—would perhaps leave participants anxious, if not claustrophobic. To even suggest it may make you feel more like a Bond villain ready to reveal his master scheme than someone trying to run a productive meeting. So why entertain the space as an option?

We have covered corporate productivity during long meetings and how people go to all lengths to jump-start a meeting with positive, exciting energy. This tactical approach can prove to be a great way to inspire employees. Yet, no matter how upbeat the atmosphere, there’s more to a productive meeting than comfortable seating and an enthusiastic presenter.


© Flickr user Cycletours Holidays

Worthwhile meetings require forethought. Meetings must have a solid purpose to justify taking time away from their work. Routine workplace gatherings should be about one of two objectives: brainstorming or decision-making. Announcements should not be made aloud, but transmitted through passive modes of communication such as email or memos. Inevitably, it’s the content in the agenda that makes all the difference between successful meetings and wasteful ones. Far too many meetings are a waste of time when there isn’t a real reason behind calling for it. It’s nice to get people together, but be sure that you have a clear purpose set in place beforehand. And that goes double if you’re going to take the time and resources to conduct a meeting at sea!

To learn more about conducting useful, productive meetings that actually leave stakeholders optimistic and lead to progress, contact our business process improvement consultants today. We may not be able to provide ocean views, but we can certainly assist in refreshing your typical meetings.

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