|SWOT Planning - Photo Britton|
1. What's the purpose? What's the purpose of the program? To start building connection amongst team members, to undertake some strategic planing or goal setting for the next year? To build skills in areas such as conflict resolution? To get to understand each other better? These areas are not exclusive to each other, however, you will want to be clear in your engagement of a facilitator what's the focus and what emphasis do you want to place?
2. What's the follow-up? Many great ideas are left at the retreat site. Build into your 2014 programming time to revisit and follow-up on your retreat learning, actions and commitments. When do you want to schedule a follow-up to continue the conversation?
3. What venue will be conducive to your event? Event venues can range from boardrooms, to specific retreat sites. What location will be conducive to your team? What is the environment you want to create? How easy will it be for participants to get to and from the venue? What transportation and other office arrangements need to be made so everyone can "leave" the office for the day?
4. What type of activities do you want to include? The range of activities offered in today's retreat programs can vary from ropes-courses to strategic planning. How active do your staff expect to be? What are the three or four main areas you'd like to include in a day long program? Looking back at the purpose of the program, where would you like to place the main emphasis?
For more tips and ideas for your retreat programming, you may want to read an article I wrote years ago entitled "Six Essential Design Principles for Your Corporate Retreat" here.
Wishing you a successful retreat process!
With best wishes,
Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching and From One to Many: Best Practices of Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Read more about our retreat and leadership programming
As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training