The first Encore Incubator group concluded last month. It was a great learning experiment. A small group of people met every other week with the common goal of creating time and space to think about the next stage of their lives through a combination of guided work and group support. Individually, the participants had very different goals, or in some cases, no real goal, but simply an intention to explore. Some people were navigating late-career changes or adjustments, and others were trying to take a moment away from their busy work lives to identify and articulate what is important to them now, especially as they looked ahead towards retirement or the next stage of life. (When was the last time you took stock of your life and thought about how to bring about more satisfaction and fulfilment in your life?)
For some, this exploration process unearthed some fresh old ideas, those shelved long ago -- like a long-lost dream to travel or to pursue a creative activity -- all things that lead to self-renewal and rejuvenation. Others started developing ideas for a project or endeavor that they would like to pursue in the future. I hope that each will now continue the important work of planning and bringing their ideas to fruition.
According to the self-assessments, it's clear that each participant benefited from the flow of new ideas and energy and ideas that rose from the group.
Most interesting to me was that each participant made movements in a "positive" direction (based on their individual needs) on the pre- and post- self-assessments. That's encouraging based on a three-month session. A group session over a longer period of time with slightly more structured support may better facilitate change over time, but I think this initial group demonstrated that tangible outcomes resulted even after three months. (I decided to bring the formal meetings of this group to an end at this time in order to explore different formats.) This process has shown that this kind of guided conversations can help to spawn new ideas and unexpected positive outcomes for participants and help people be more intentional about how they think about the future.
My greatest thanks to those who participated in the inaugural group. I learned a lot from the opportunity you gave me run this group.
Thoughts for creating success in the second half of life.