Best Practices: Planning an Executive Team Retreat
Some of the best practices for structuring an effective one-day executive team retreat includes setting achievable goals, planning appropriate activities, allocating sufficient budget and time, etc.
6 STRATEGIES FOR STRUCTURING AN EFFECTIVE ONE-DAY LEADERSHIP RETREAT
1. Assess concerns, needs, and desired outcomes
- Effectiveness: Assessing concerns, needs, and desired outcomes enables the leadership to structure the knowledge and learning to be passed on to other participants
2. Set clear and achievable goals
- Effectiveness: Prioritizing learning goals and objectives enable leadership to set appropriate milestones to ensure coverage of the most important topics
3. Deciding activities, content, and programs
- Effectiveness: Deciding activities, content, and programs according to the desired outcome is important to ensure the effectiveness of the retreat
4. Make logistical and budget arrangements and assign responsibilities
- Effectiveness: Retreat planners need to make appropriate logistical and budget arrangements to ensure that the retreat would produce the best discussions and bring the group closer. In addition, assigning responsibilities to individuals would ensure that everyone has a stake in the success of the retreat, thereby, resulting in overall participation
5. Allocate ample time and planning
- Effectiveness: Setting a basic agenda would ensure that the retreat feels organized and covers a substantial amount of material
6. Plan a follow-up or evaluation
- Effectiveness: Retreat planners need to follow-up or evaluate with the participants in order to check the effectiveness of the retreat and make necessary changes next time to avoid shortcomings
Example — Agenda 1
- Opening activity/icebreaker
- Group activities
- Unstructured time for thinking
- Group interaction and discussions
- Evaluation and assessment
Example — Agenda 2
- Introductions, if needed
- Jeffersonian-style Discussion
- Connect to Purpose
- Action Planning
Five Tips for an Effective Team Retreat
- Involve the whole team.
- Hire a knowledgeable speaker.
- Take the retreat offsite.
- Have a round table discussion to gather team feedback.
- Plan fun activities for your staff to participate in.
YOUR RESEARCH TEAM APPLIED THE FOLLOWING STRATEGY:
We commenced our research by looking for studies and reports on tips/strategies/methods for structuring an effective one-day retreat for an executive team in public relations firms. However, no such study or report was found published by any leading consulting firms including but not limited to BCG, Mckinsey, and A.T. Kearney among others. Although we were able to discover articles published by the International Institute of Management and Harvard Business Review, they provided generic information on planning an effective team retreat. Nonetheless, they did not provide any information specific to leadership or executive teams in public relations firms.
Subsequently, we started to search for data provided by retreat planning and leadership consulting firms on tips/strategies/methods for structuring an effective one-day retreat for an executive team in public relations firms. We came across articles published by Net Impact and Lead Positively that provided tips and strategies for planning successful leadership retreats along with two sample agendas. However, none of the examples were specific to public relations firms.
As our last resort, we examined media sources on the said subject. The idea here was to find articles, blogs or press releases published by leaders in public relations firms. Although we were able to find articles published on Entrepreneur and Inc. that provide tips for planning a successful team retreat, no article could be found that specifically focused on retreats for executive teams in public relations firms. Since we were unable to trace sufficient data points, triangulation was not possible.
One of the probable reasons for the unavailability of the information is that the tips/strategies/methods and agendas for structuring an effective one-day retreat are the same for all companies including public relations firms.