- Written by Michael Angier
I facilitated a great company retreat last week. It’s something I really enjoy. And I’m pretty good at doing them, too. I find them to be fun, interesting and I get to see some of the results right away. I don’t mean to boast, but all my clients have said it was worth far more than the time and money invested.
Retreats are one of the best ways I know to work on your business instead of just in it. Maybe they should be called “Advances.” They create a perspective that’s virtually impossible to achieve while you’re in the midst of the workplace.
Every company or department—big or small—should do a retreat at least once a year—maybe twice. Stepping back, reflecting on where you’ve been, asking probing questions and establishing priorities on where and how to move forward in this type of an environment cannot be duplicated.
It’s important that you get away to a place that’s separate from your normal work environment. And it should be at least a day—or two half-days—as was the one I did recently.You don’t need a facilitator to hold your retreat, but it’s highly recommended. Having an unbiased facilitator creates a very different dynamic than having one of the owners or managers lead the process. Participants are more open and will usually contribute much more.
For that event, we met at a beach house and we talked about what was working in the business, what wasn’t working and where they thought they wanted to go from there. Each participant was asked what they wanted and what they expected from the company.
We then did a thorough SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) for their company. The second day, we reviewed our previous discussions and shared the highlights and top takeaways. We then determined what their three most important goals were and made a long list of potential projects that would help achieve those goals. From that we selected five of the most critical projects to focus on over the next six months.
We identified some issues that need further investigation, and we left with a clear game plan on how to move forward with confidence and cooperation.
These owners were thrilled with the results and they committed to doing it again next year. All participants stated that the clarity they received in the process was sure to make for a much more effective team, a more profitable company and a more enjoyable work environment.
How about you?
Have you gotten away from it all and delved deep into your business and where you want to take it? Do you have regular brainstorming sessions? Have you done a SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)? Are you clear on your top three goals and the most critical projects that support the accomplishment of those goals?
If you’re interested in finding out more about retreats, coaching or having a make-over done with you on your business, I'm willing to do a no-cost breakthrough coaching call (worth more than $500) for a small number of business owners. This is a one-on-one phone call (or Skype) where I'll ask you a number of questions and offer specific ideas and advice on how you can take your business to a whole new level. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
NOTE: Due to time restrictions, this offer may be withdrawn without notice.