Have you heard of the Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James? It’s a network of ancient pilgrim routes across Europe to the tomb of St. James in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. People walk for a month or more from the Pyrenees in France through Spain’s northern Basque country almost to the Atlantic Ocean. They carry a little passport with them, and as they check into the albergues, or hostels, in each city, they earn a stamp. Martin Sheen starred in a movie about it called The Way.
I believe there’s much to be gained from foreign travel, and you don’t have to walk a month across Europe to reap the benefits. Just getting outside of your comfort zone and distancing yourself from the people, places, and things that are familiar can help you grow as a person. You learn new things. You gain perspective.
This type of journey is a great metaphor for what we do here at Solarity. Many times the concepts we practice in organizations and teach in our training classes can feel foreign to people at first, like a really strong cup of European coffee or an unfamiliar blend of spices. But those concepts, once you understand them, can expand your understanding and capabilities in the same way that Kleiner Brauner, foie gras, or haggis expand your palate.
You’ll come away from the experience with a greater awareness of how live a more rich, diverse, and satisfying life. You expand your capacity for adjusting to and taking advantage of change…just like the work we do enables our clients to move through uncertainty and change successfully!
So, grab your metaphorical passport and indulge me, if you will, as I guide you on a lighthearted journey through the lands we inhabit daily here at Solarity.
Oh, and feel free to read my words in the foreign accent of your choice.
Our first trek will head up into the mountains to visit the visionary folk of Strategy Development. They live among the solitary peaks because it is only from these heights that they can see far enough ahead. It is said they will point you in the right direction to reach your goals, if you ask them to. Be warned: they will hold you accountable for anything you agree to. You may also meet the practitioners of Portfolio and Program Management, who are able to allocate limited resources for the greater good of their residents.
Where to stay: there are many comfy ashrams with great views. Shows to watch: Patrick Lencioni and Steven Covey book readings. Don’t Miss: Resource allocation at dawn based on that day’s priorities.
The next stop on our tour would have to be the bustling, high-tech sector of Project Management. Unlike a sleepy village full of people with wine glasses in their hands, this is a place where Things. Get. Done. The people here are efficient, organized, and know how to develop a clear plan. The trains run on time in this city. You’ll have few complaints about accommodations because schedules, assignments and documentation are all managed to a T. Effective communications mean problems are swiftly identified and dealt with. Where to stay: any of the super high tech skyrises. Shows to watch: The Perfect Meeting and How To Replicate It. Don’t Miss: the regular fireworks shows celebrating all the milestones reached.
Our next stop is the complex underground metropolis of Business Analysis. Here, the people will beat you in a game of Scrabble in their third language. They love solving puzzles. They are wayfinders. Their ability to take complex systems and simplify them has allowed them to easily navigate the complexities of their subterranean world and create an economy where waste is reduced and everything is clean and streamlined. Places to stay: one of the “tiny home”-esque underground villas. Shows to watch: Evita (available in 8 languages). Don’t Miss: The catacombs tour, but only with a guide.
Days Four through Seven
You are going to love the next stop– the friendly village of Organizational Change Management. These folks live to make you comfortable and capable. They understand that if you aren’t fully committed to and prepared for a task, you will likely fail. Feet hurt? They’ll order up a massage. Need a climbing rope or crampons? They’ll go out of their way to make sure you are fully outfitted for your next excursion. They are in it for the long haul, too. However long it takes to get you ready to climb that mountain, dive that ocean or overcome that fear of spelunking, the people on this stop are here for you. Where to stay: someone will just take you into their home. Shows to watch: How Can We Help You? (runs hourly). Don’t Miss: The free therapy sessions.
Our last stop will be the military base of Enterprise Risk Management. You will get a chance to meet the people who assess threats and opportunities for all the lands you just visited. Whereas the people in each individual land might be biased by their own needs, the leaders here understand what matters most for the wellbeing of the entire continent. Where to stay: civilian housing. Shows to watch: Miss Cybersecurity. Don’t Miss: Walking through the metal detectors; they won’t like that.
Not ready to go home yet? You may enjoy spending some time visiting the nearby towns of our partners in Human Resources and Financial Consulting!
Lastly, if you aren’t able to “travel” yourself, we offer an exchange program where qualified Solarity representatives can bring these concepts to you on your own turf.
Thanks for booking with us!
About the Authors
Bud Ratliff founded Solarity in 2003, and has twenty plus years of experience in the industry. An experienced consultant and trainer with a degree in education, he has delivered Enterprise Project Management consulting locally, nationally, and internationally in diverse organization ranging from healthcare, technology, pharma, military, government, and higher education. Bud has extensive experience in working with Commonwealth agencies, including working on large systems upgrades for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS).
He is a graduate of Leadership Central Kentucky and Leadership Lexington, and was elected Distinguished Leader for 2004. Bud helped found the local IIBA Bluegrass Chapter and served as its Vice President of Administration and Finance. Bud is a former President of the local PMI® chapter, and has served in many other various volunteer roles, including as a leader in his church and the community of Midway.
Christy Swift has been a writer and correspondent in the United States and Canada for over 10 years. With a degree in English and technical writing, she has a knack for making complicated subject matter digestible and even tasty. Christy regularly conducts research into the latest trends in project management to provide the Solarity Group with engaging content for its website and e-newsletters.
Our mission is to help people, organizations, and communities THRIVE! Our broad range of experience and knowledge in a range of different industries allows us to customize our approach to fit the situation. We work in total partnership with our clients to understand their business needs and the current environment, and then match the right amount of process to meet the culture and the project.