Dear Blog – Postcard from a woodland retreat

Time for our annual retreat!

We are sharing our idyllic woodland retreat with ~2,500 other guests.

Yet as I sit here penning this postcard there is not a single person in sight. I’m surrounded by Silver Birch and Sitka Spruce and the trail-ways through the forest are eerily quiet. I can see dozens of cabins but no cars and no people. Later I will discover that the resort is only ~ half full. Also that the modern architecture of the ‘centres’, that blend so well with the woodland, houses mostly franchises with successful track-records of transferring cash from people’s hard-won income into a transient experience of retail satisfaction.

We are having a fun time and I don’t want to start on a critique of the resort or the underlying business model. This is, after all,

a postcard:

“The weather has been kind so far. The accommodation is pretty good. The facilities suit at least 60% of our group. There is plenty to do and lots we don’t have to do. Wish you were here to see it all. Back on Friday.”

But I am staggered that that so many people have also made the same considered decision as we have – to be here this week. Do you ever wonder about that? If we start from scratch:

  • Shall we go away this year? – Yes
  • When shall we go? – 5 September
  • Where shall we go, U.K. or Overseas? – UK
  • OK but where and for what type of holiday? – A much more complex decision with multiple dimensions!

So, while it is obvious that we are seldom alone on a holiday (others have had the same idea too) I do find it curious that so many people have chosen the same solution at the end of their decision-making process. Thousands of businesses rely on humans making the same decision when it comes to buying stuff – otherwise there would be no markets. But when we make decisions how often do we stop and think about the large number of people who have also had the same inspiration, made the same decision and are taking the same action?

If we did think about that – what would we do differently to improve our business performance?

I hope the sun is shining at work and the train strikes did not happen.

Back soon

Nigel

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