My mind was spinning with ideas when Dan told me that he was really interested in exploring the concept of balance with his team. I always look for inspiration in unusual places and am excited when I can also bring in talented local businesses or artists to create a unique experience for my clients. I design and facilitate retreats and meetings for organizational teams regularly, and this was my third year working with Dan’s team to design their annual leadership retreat. So, I had a good idea of what they would enjoy and what type of experiences their team would be able to get the most out of. This time I was able to inspire the team with a creative, yet result driven activity. 

That’s why I ended up giving Joanie Garcia a call. I met Joanie when she led a demonstration of aerial arts for the Flagstaff Leadership Program. I had seen Joanie’s group perform before the leadership demo. They are amazingly talented. Watching them spin in the air, gracefully float, and seeing the strength they have climbing the silks and hanging from hoops is awe-inspiring.  I thought of them as talented artists, but it was frankly quite intimidating. It wasn’t until I saw Joanie work with the Flagstaff Leadership Program participants in their casual work attire that I also realized how approachable they were. She took aerial from something I could only dream of doing, to something fun and relaxed that I really wanted to try. 

When I called Joanie I told her all about my client and asked for her ideas of how to bring aerial arts into the middle of a strategic planning retreat. Was I crazy? Did this make any sense? Joanie saw my vision and she added her own to it. We collaborated on learning objectives and the logistics required to pull it off, and Joanie was easy to work with. 

I was confident in the concept, but I was still nervous about how it would work in practice. The results surpassed my expectations! The employees were laughing and working together but also gaining new insights as they felt the experience of being in and out of balance. Great conversations came out of the exercises as they talked about the importance of taking risks in an atmosphere of safety and support. The team was energized and Dan loved it. I was relieved and hope to have an opportunity to work with Joanie and Momentum Aerial again.