San Francisco

Last month I flew to San Francisco for a week of meetings. My new colleagues at Silverside were coming across for a conference the week of February 20, so we split the distance and met half way. We held three days of planning meetings for 2017 and then did the conference thing; me for one day, and the others for the full three days.

Some comments about San Francisco and the time there:

1. Mixed Remote and In-Person Meetings. While we can sometimes get everyone in the same physical room for a meeting, it’s more usual in organisational life to have some people together and some not present. That was true for our three days of meetings in San Francisco too. We made good use of the collaboration and communication tools available to us to bridge the geographical divide, including a Surface Hub at Silverside HQ in Rotterdam, a couple of Surface Pro 4’s in San Francisco, and Skype for Business. We had some teething problems over the days, mostly due to poor WiFi in the hotel, but on the whole it did actually work. And regardless of the technology issues, it was good to renew relationships with the Silverside colleagues I had met before, and to begin that process with those I had not.

2. Regus Was Fantastic. On the first day we needed a good meeting room just for a day, and after looking at the options, we booked an office at Regus Mid-Market. Good clean facilities, quiet working environment, good network speeds, etc. Highly recommended.

3. Swimming Pool. The hotel didn’t have a swimming pool, but Active Sports Club Union Square was a 10-minute walk up the road. If you’ve read any of my books, you might have seen the line in my bio that says “Michael enjoys running and cycling, and swimming any time he can find a pool.” The closest pool to where I live in New Zealand is a 30-minute drive, so with a pool 10-minutes walk away in San Francisco, I made good use of it. I went six of the seven days I was in town, swam 585 lengths, or just over 13km. That was just fantastic for dealing with jet lag, getting good exercise, and doing something out of the ordinary while away from home. Of course, swimming that much is what the swimming super stars do every single day. The facilities at Active Sports Club Union Square were top rate, and I’ll be back whenever I’m in town.

4. Heart Rate. In January I purchased a FitBit Charge 2, with the heart rate monitor built it. So I’d worn it in New Zealand for 2-3 weeks before leaving for the United States, and knew what my general stats were. What I found most interesting was that being away from home and in SF saw an immediate increase of 15% in my resting heart rate. I slept as best I could. I exercised 6 out of 7 days – slightly more than at home. But I ate different food, was away from home, and the ambient noise in downtime SF was significantly higher than at home – all through the day and night. It took 14 days after getting back home for my resting heart to return to its pre-trip level. I plan to monitor this on future trips; it was quite a surprise for me.

Net-net: a good trip, with some positive outcomes and a strong plan for 2017.

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