For the July 23rd Leadership Wizard segments on AM800
Q: Aren’t these off site retreats just an excuse for management to play golf and party?
A: Well the answer is yes and no. The prime reason to do an off site retreat for the leaders in an organization is to get away from the day to day pressures of the office and look at the big picture. And yes, there will be time to let your hair down, get to know each other better and build a stronger team.
Q: What kinds of things do managers and executives focus on during an off site retreat?
A: When we have worked with groups, we have facilitated some strategic planning to help the leadership team crystallize a vision of the future. For some groups we conduct a workshop on coaching using a sports based simulation.
Q: What are some of the most interesting things you have seen?
A: One team building exercise we offer is called the Pit Crew Challenge where the group breaks into pit crews of 7 people. Then we bring in a real Nascar race car, impact wrenches and the Pit Crew Teams change all four tires under the clock. They then go into a classroom session and draw connections between what they are experiencing doing the Pit Crew and what they experience at work. It is one of those unforgettable learning experiences that keeps people talking about it for months and years afterwards.
Q: How do you suggest companies set up a really productive offsite meeting?
A: The first step is to decide on the purpose – what benefit can you get from taking the team away? And then you decide whether you want to strictly do it for fun or whether you want to incorporate a learning component. Then you decide whether you would bring in an external facilitator or try and do it yourself. An external facilitator brings in objectivity.
Q: What about location?
A: The location should support the objective of the meeting. It is best to go offsite even if all you do is rent a meeting room at a hotel or club. Then depending on your budget and any extra team building or activities you want to do, perhaps you can choose an attractive destination.
Q: Where can people get more information – visit LeadershipWizard.com and send me an email.