Structure Skeleton of your Corporate Retreat
To make a retreat work, it needs a structure to take the participants from ‘here’ to ‘there’.
One destination must be arrived at within the session itself as it charts a plan for the group. The second destination is the resulting ‘plan’, which must map a path for the group to arrive at a new, improved place at a certain time down the road.
The Common Structure
While every group and every retreat is different, it can build upon a common framework, just as every human body is different but hangs on a similar skeleton. That framework is more or less the following:
- Who are the participants and why are they there?
- What is each person’s goal for the session? What result will make you, as a participant, feel your time has been well spent?
- Where is the group now – its recent history, its achievements, and some of its recent failures?
- Where do you want to go? Have you a goal? If not, let’s fantasize together.
- What concerns and what obstacles lie before you?
- Considering those concerns and issues, how will we collectively get there?
- Lay out an Action Plan with tasks, dates and who is responsible for each task.
- Look beyond the short term to the following time frame (or following year).
- Determine budgets and cash flow as appropriate.
Proof of the Pudding
- Test the goals laid out at the beginning of the session. Have they been met? If not, let’s address them, one-by-one, till they are in line.
- Review the Action Lists to make sure they are practical.
- Identify the measures of success for the group that will tell us we have done the right job one year down the road.
After the Event
- Document the outcome of the session with a report within two weeks.
- For major events, meet once a month thereafter, for six months, to measure that the Plan is working as expected and is adjusted to fit new circumstances.
- If it is an annual Plan, besides the monthly meeting, meet, as a group, 6-months down the road to implement any corrective measures required.
- Plan for the following year’s retreat.