Executive retreats, also known as “offsites”, are when a group of employees or senior managers are taken away from their office environment, most commonly for 1-3 days, in order to undergo “deep” and intensive processes that include strategy and team building (i.e. – annual sales kick-off events, quarterly reviews, a conference about corporate values, etc.).
And yet – in spite of their high cost and massive potential, retreats are frequently unproductive and end up as expensive missed opportunities. The questions I kept asking myself over the years were: What’s the winning formula for offsites? Is there a universal formula for producing a highly successful offsite – both in business and HR terms (as far as generating lasting impact and motivation among its participants?
The answer was a resounding YES.
In this paper I intend to share with you several principles for producing offsites in a way that ensures they yield tremendous value, exponentially higher than its cost.
These principles are:
- Having a clearly defined and relevant “Offsite ROI”.
- Leveraging the power of “Total Immersion”.
- Leveraging the power of a theme.
- Using witty and intriguing teasers in advance of the offsite.
- Conducting thorough and consistent follow-up.
- Building the agenda wisely.
When produced properly, offsites are among the most powerful formats I have come across. There is simply no substitute for extensive and intensive, in person, interaction, conducted away from the office’s location with its day to day operational distractions. Offsites are one of the best ways to get “out of the weeds” and really dive into high level strategic processes. This is especially true in today’s high paced world which leaves little to no time for lengthy thought processes and where you may not get to see, in person, the people you work with more than once or twice a year.
No matter what product or service my clients were selling, nor where they were located in the world, I found that 6 principles were necessary for producing a winning offsite.
In this series of posts, I will deep dive into each of these six principles one by one.