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Most people live their life as reaction to events that happen around them, and very few create events and define how they will live their Lives...

ideas group blog

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

When I talk in my development workshops about the necessity of physical activity to boost your mental and physical health, the first objection that people come up with is “TIME”. The majority of my participants will come up with one of the following arguments:

With a full time job and kids at home, it is merely impossible to exercise” or “I wish I could but as you know with all the pressure that I have I can’t” or “ I want to start exercise but I need to sort out some stuff before that”. 

Even though I know that for some people it might be harder than others, all of the above are excuses that can be handled with proper time management and organization.

So instead of fighting it, I have decided to find 3 simple ways to help people increase their physical fitness while at the office.


1- Replace your office chair by a swiss ball (gym/yoga ball):

According to Spineuniverse “sitting on a stability ball can improve stability and balance because doing so is said to constantly engage the core abdominal muscles. Stronger ab muscles protect the lower back and promote better posture, and can be the result of using the stability ball.”

How to do it: To get used to it, the first time you sit on the ball don’t sit for more than 20 minutes as your bottom and back will tend to hurt especially if are not used to it or if you have weak core muscles. Every day increase the time  you sit on the ball till you spend at least half of your office sitting time on it. I know some people who have permanently replaced their office chairs with swiss balls.

2- Get yourself a pedometer:

Pedometers are inexpensive simple devices that will count your daily steps. Now there is even a free app “Stepometer” on iTunes and Google Play. With a Pedometer you will tend to increase your daily motion during office hours. One of my clients created a competition to see who of their employees totals more steps. 

How to do it: Climb stairs instead of the elevator, park your car a little bit further (not on a rainy day), walk to the photocopier and/or make your own tea/coffee so you tend to move more during the day. Depending on your dress code, try to have comfortable shoes (even formal shoes can have a soft sole and thick inner paddings). 


3- Stretch often:

Stretching is an excellent way to prevent injury and maintain your muscles in excellent condition. In addition stretching helps you have better circulation and blood flow to your muscles, improve posture, prevents pain and injury, relaxes you and improves your range of motion

How to do it: Employ the 20-20 rules, advises Alan Hedge, Ph.D., a professor of ergonomics at Cornell University. Every 20 minutes, stand for 20 seconds and stretch or shake things out. “Just 20 seconds away from your computer screen reduces fatigue and increases blood circulation,” says Hedge. Now you’ll have the power to sit up straight. And every 2 hours try the stretching exercises that are given on airplanes; remember you sit on your office chair far more than you sit on an airplane seat.


Those three simple changes in your lifestyle can create wonders in your health and fitness and it doesn’t take a lot of effort, so make it a habit.


Camil el Khoury

Posted By Ideas Group at
05:58 - AM
Monday, October 18, 2010


Camil El Khoury's article in Hospitality News Middle East magazine on "Hiring for new concepts ideas"

In the early stages of a new concept a question that may come to mind is: where can we find the right talent? Camil El Khoury, Chief Vision Officer, Ideas group, suggests some essential questions to ask before hiring.

Finding the right people and placing those people in the right place in the organization is a challenge that every service industry faces, it is more of a stretch in the very fast changing hospitality industry. 

Should we hire internally or externally?
The first thing an existing company should do, is audit its internal strengths and see what positions can be promoted from within. The essential questions to ask are: Do we have the internal resources to fill the position and can they be trained to take on these responsibilities? Is he/she up to the job? Is he or she capable of being innovative?

Hiring from within is extremely healthy as the newly promoted has a full understanding of the company’s culture. It also encourages loyalty and motivates others.
Hiring from outside has also its shares of benefits, as the new hire will come with fresh and innovative ideas and by that, avoids what we call “management myopia”.
Are our hiring methods efficient enough?
According to a recent study by the CIPD (Chartered institute of Personnel and Development), “most of the employee turnover problems occur before the employee is even hired. Having a “one size fits all” interview format will kill the chances of hiring the right candidate in the right position. Interviews should differ according to the job and position. One of the best things to do in hospitality is to interview experientially.
Do we have the right innovation infrastructure?
According to world renown expert on radical innovation Rowan Gibson: “Most companies claim they want to encourage creativity, risk taking and rule breaking, but what you invariably find is that their management infrastructure and corporate culture actually inhibit these things.” New concepts require very high innovation standards, so before starting the concept enable a right innovation infrastructure.

Do we have clear career paths and succession planning?
Hiring the right candidate is not the end of the road, but just the beginning. What we have noticed is that companies are loosing great talents merely because of a lack of career planning and promotion. Move them around, make them responsible, lay foundations for succession, as this will save you a lot on the long run.

Camil El Khoury 


Posted By Ideas Group at
02:38 - PM
HR | ideas groupideas group is a global learning and human capital development firm specialized in leadership, team development and learning business process outsourcing BPO. We help our clients become high performance organizations and foster a sustainable growth.