One of the first people who I ever worked for (Kelley Murphy, a partner at The Parthenon Group at the time) used to mandate something of his employees which I’ve rarely seen done since, though it significantly impacted me as I thought it was (and is) incredible valuable. He used to periodically ask everyone to take time to think. His team members would block off time during a critical juncture in a project or undertaking, and leave time for unstructured individual contemplation of the larger current work situation at hand. Requiring that people briefly pause from the action-oriented workday not only gave employees a brief respite from the pile of to-do’s, it more importantly provided an opportunity for everyone to take a step back to gain a broader (and fresh) perspective. It amazed me how many great ideas came out of doing “nothing,” as opposed to the normal workflow, or even structured brainstorming. In the frenetic pace that is startups (and venture capital), I suspect that if every so often everyone stopped (even if for an hour or two) to think, a lot of good would come of it.