Corporate retreats and strategic retreats provide an ideal setting for management teams to escape the daily hurly-burly of the workplace and concentrate on their critical issues. It’s an opportunity for them to have the discussions that build a collective, aligned point-of-view and go-forward plan. Our facilitators assemble a personalized agenda, meeting guide and visual aids to lead your team through its particular challenge.
We typically follow a seven-step facilitation approach:
- Initial Consultation – clearly defines your goals and explores appropriate approaches for achieving them.
- Proposal Preparation – explains each step of the process including any pre-work required to ensure the retreat doesn’t “get derailed”.
- Proposal Approval – including adjustments required to “level-set” expectations.
- Pre-work Completion – once you approve the proposal we complete the agreed upon pre-work.
- Retreat Facilitation – we conduct the retreat, record results of discussions & decisions, and establish an action plan with deadlines & accountabilities.
- Post-Retreat Documentation – we formally document the recorded results and action plan.
- Follow-Up – we meet with you to ensure all expectations have been satisfied and, optionally, follow up individual accountabilities.
Types of Corporate Retreat
Corporate retreats can be used to tackle a number of management subjects. The most popular subjects include:
- Vision Formulation (Visioning)
- Strategic Planning
- Operational Planning
- Policy Development
- Major Issue Resolution
- Succession Planning
- Priority Setting
- Performance Measures & Targets
Suggested Best Practices for Corporate Retreats
To make the most of the limited, expensive time offered by a Corporate Retreat, our facilitators stress the importance of:
Inviting the right people. It’s critical that you invite your management team and gather insight from staff with specific knowledge or implementation responsibility. Our facilitators will help you refine your list to avoid using your corporate retreat as a reward!
Choosing the right agenda. Keep your agenda focused, specific and achievable. There’s a limit to how much you can get done, and trying to do too much often results in achieving nothing at all. Our facilitators will encourage you to postpone any issues that don’t relate to the goals.
Being disciplined. Our facilitators bring a disciplined process to retreats. This prevents them from dissolving into a mass of incompatible, inappropriate activities. We won’t let your management team:
- Turn brainstorming into problem solving
- Produce equally weighted lists
- Make unfathomable or uninformed decisions
- Create action items without accountability
- Participate in an unbalanced way
- Take cryptic notes that make sense to no-one
Gathering insight before the meeting. It’s easy for people with strong, un-aired concerns, to derail a meeting. In some situations, when we anticipate issues that could become an inordinate waste of everyone’s time, it helps to interview the participants beforehand. The insights we gain let us set up the retreat for success with participants who feel their concerns have been integrated.
Incorporating accountability into action plans. To really be useful an action plan needs to describe the action, who’s doing it and when they’ll have it done by. Our facilitators ensure that all action items are assigned and schedules.
Preparing a comprehensive meeting report. Our comprehensive report reinforces the decisions made during the retreat and keeps track of the action items that the executive committed to.