My last blog, “7 Reasons Change and Development Programs Fail“, concluded that a senior leadership team retreat lays the foundation for successful change and development initiatives. This is often the intact senior leadership team heading up a department, division, or the entire organization. Depending on the retreat objectives and length, one or sometimes two, levels of managers reporting to the senior leadership team may be included for all or parts of the retreat. Frontline supervisors or staff may even be included for smaller organizations for introductory foundation building.
A surgeon once observed that he could teach most people how to perform a simple operation in just a few hours. What takes years of training and experience is knowing what to do when something goes wrong or even recognizing the warning signs of potential problems and how to avoid them.
In running hundreds of retreats over the past three decades we’ve found that identifying the retreat’s 3 to 4 key objectives is a critical starting point. Effective retreats are also customized to an organization’s culture, team dynamics, development needs, strategic issues, and priorities. An experienced retreat facilitator can keep the team focused and on track.
Here’s a list of the most common retreat objectives and outcomes:
- Leverage team and organizational strengths
- Pull together major change efforts and development initiatives under an integrated implementation plan
- Leadership team building and development
- Assess organizational and leadership effectiveness and build a strong and well supported plan for change and development
- Develop a strong buy-in and agreement on leadership behaviors needed for leadership/organization development
- Action learning (versus theoretical education) on the key elements of team and organization leadership
- Better understanding and leadership of the interconnected elements to building a high performing organization
- Significant and sustained culture change
- Integrate succession planning, talent development, and performance management with organizational strategy actively led by the leadership team
- Re-energize and refocus the leadership team so they can mobilize the organization
- Build broad and cascading change coalitions and robust infrastructure for strong and sustained follow through
In today’s crazy busy world is your leadership team getting offsite for a few days at least once a year for vital R & R (review, refocus, and re-energize)? What are your 3 to 4 retreat objectives and outcomes?
This summer I reviewed our retreat approaches and updated our configuration options and descriptions. Go to Leadership Team Retreats to learn more.