Are you the kind of person who likes to get away? Get away from big city noise and traffic and crowded sidewalks? Get away from a series of appointments and emails and the pressures of a normal workday?
Would you really like to do more planning and evaluating, but never seem to find the time? Mostly, because there are interruptions: people and phones and emails and the running dialog of stuff to do going on in your head all the time. And a half hour here and there wouldn’t cut it even if you found it in your schedule, because it’s not enough time to focus and get your brain wrapped around the planning and evaluating you want to do.
And even if you made the time and forced yourself to focus, you’d be talking to yourself. You know what you know. You don’t know what you don’t know. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to offer a different perspective, offer feedback, show another path – maybe an easier path to the same objective. Wouldn’t it be nice just to relax, lay your cards out on the table and see what new answers you can come up with?
How about your team? Do you have people who are influential in your business, whether partners, high level employees, virtual assistants, key clients, whose opinions you value, but you never seem to have a long conversation to get the benefits of their input? And if they had a voice in helping to create or enhance your company’s strategies, wouldn’t they be more motivated to help accomplish them?
These are the main reasons business owners schedule retreats:
- getting away to a relaxed setting
- evaluation and planning, a chance to stop and determine strategy
- a day or two devoted to nothing else but focusing on the issue at hand
- bringing together input from pivotal players to make the evaluation and planning meaningful and doable
- helping the participants get to know each other in different ways and enhance communication
- involving a facilitator/coach/consultant who can offer objective feedback, make sure all participants get heard, keep the discussion focused, offer alternative strategies, and steer the group toward an actionable plan
There are lots of ways to structure a retreat. Including some fun activities in between sessions is usually a great idea. Incorporating rest and individual refection time enhances the experience. Time can be scheduled for breaking into pairs to come up with specific solutions or scenarios, as well as debrief time with the whole group. Facilitated interactive activities allow people to have experiences which drive home learning.
If this sounds good, we can help you plan your retreat. Have you been on a business retreat? Please tell us a high point and a low point of your retreat so we can all learn what to include and what to avoid.