Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Dinner time anyone?

There can be no more civilized country in the world to hold a conference or a big event than France! I’m currently setting up a conference on the lovely Cote d’Azur in Nice, right down in the south, where the sea and skies are blue and the days are sunny and bright! But the weather is not only the reason for my positive vibes.........

France is the only place in the world, in my experience, which puts paid to the pre-event, all-night setup frenzy that characterizes most conference venues in the world. Come 8pm, the building closes and work ceases. Just in time for a relaxed and delicious French dinner, punctuated only by the loud and important tones of foreigners on their mobile phones, ensuring that their authority continues to be felt remotely as they do business in distant time zones over the dessert course.

Now workaholics among us may think this is a terrible loss of productivity. But let’s remember the old adage: “Work expands to fit the time available for it”. By making it possible to continue working through the night.... lo and behold, it is necessary to work through the night (and with a fair amount of stress, panic and sleeplessness that simply isn’t recovered until the conference is over).

Think about it. Are there areas in your working life where your work expands simply because it can? Do you really and honestly believe that you achieve better outcomes and results because of those long hours?

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