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What Do Toddlers & Business Leaders Have in Common?

Sometimes, they just need a time-out.

Over the last several decades, business leaders have increasingly understood the importance of teamwork in sparking innovation, says Professor of Organizational Behavior Bill Kahn. But this new emphasis on collaboration has had an unintended consequence: we’re so busy running from team meeting to team meeting that we don’t have time to reflect on and learn from our experiences.

“In the future,” says Kahn, “the smart leaders will create places for themselves and others to simply pause—to take time out of time—and create moments of reflection and learning.”

Kahn calls these moments riposos (Italian for “moment’s rest”). He suggests taking these time-outs before, during, and after meetings, and then sharing the lessons learned during these reflective moments.

“The organizations that figure out how to weave riposos into the fabric of their cultures will know how to learn amidst their work,” he says. “Those that are unable to do so will be doomed to repeat mistakes.”