The Management Team Retreat… A Powerful Tool

It is incredibly important for a management team to “get away”… to refocus and recharge the spirit… an opportunity for renewal. Successful companies do this at least annually.

The retreat needs to create a special environment. Team members need to feel relaxed and be able to shed their “mantles” and become equal participants. The psychological stage then is set for tremendous accomplishment.

Don’t just think meeting room. Think meeting place. It can be a resort, an historic inn, a conference center or any setting that allows for time out and an atmosphere that promotes openness, camaraderie and a renewed sense of purpose.

The key to a successful retreat is a well thought-out agenda which should be a collaborative effort between the leader and the participants. Joint preparation and planning will enhance the “buy-in” and commitment to the results of the retreat.

These results need to take the form of an “Action Plan” and to answer the important question, who does what by when?

I urge you to use an experienced facilitator. A professional can take your retreat from just another meeting to a winning endeavor by bringing an objective perspective plus participatory methods to help groups focus and achieve specific results. When you use a facilitator, all in the group can focus on the issues. No one need worry about managing the meeting. No one gets to dominate, and no one can play wallflower. You create a positive environment… one of openness, one that assures the best thinking (and listening) from each participant.

Larry Smith employs a custom questionnaire in advance of your retreat. The questions embrace the topics/issues that are on your agenda. Responses by each participant are sent directly to Larry Smith. He builds a composite of all answers and removes authorship. This produces candid (sometimes provocative) data that serves as a stimulus for very rich discussion.

If you desire high performance and increased productivity from your management team, an off premise retreat is a vital tool and a sound investment.