After far too long without a vacation, I splurged last week on one of my mini-fantasies: an all-inclusive Caribbean beach extravaganza. I spent seven days and six nights at Club Med, Turks & Caicos, where every leisure activity was at my disposal. I could grab a catamaran literally ten steps outside my room and ride the trade winds over a gloriously luminous ocean. Or I could lounge poolside and admire the savage tans of my vacationing cohorts while sipping unlimited drinks of every variety. Along the way I learned snorkeling, scuba diving, and trapeze flying (!), and I enjoyed such delicacies as stuffed quail and frogs legs, not to mention the subtle sweetness of fresh goat milk on my breakfast cereal.
Very nice, you may say, but doesn't Connectedness stick to business? What does my fantasy week have to do with social network analysis, organizational development, or community building?
Good question. And perhaps the answer is nothing. But as I was enjoying the last few sweets of my final dinner Monday, I couldn't help anticipating my imminent return to work by doing a workflow analysis of Club Med, Turks & Caicos. My analysis was inspired by the club's amazing staff of "Gentils Organiseurs" (G.O's)---beautiful young people who live rather like guests except that instead of relaxing they are always putting on daily activities, lessons, expeditions, and nightly shows for the benefit of the rest of us. It stuck me that in their diligent efforts to provide us with unending options of entertainment, the G.O's were also keeping us from the fun of entertaining ourselves. Personally, I would have loved a chance to organize some activity for the benefit of my fellow guests. With a little bit of network perspective, Club Med could help me have even more fun, and take a bit of grunt work off the shoulders of the G.O's. Does anyone know of adult camp/ resorts that already employ this philosophy? I'd love to hear.