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How can a retreat move you forward?

An executive retreat led by a skilled facilitator is a great way to break new ground.

It may sound like an oxymoron, but an executive retreat really can move your organization and people forward. And it’s not always about strictly business issues—an executive retreat can also be a valuable development tool for your executive team itself.

Business first? People first?
For your organization to function well and fulfill its purpose, the individuals who lead it must be able to do the same, while simultaneously inspiring and enabling those they lead to do the same. It’s a virtuous circle that starts at the top of the organization. An executive retreat is an investment in starting that circle strong.

It’s typical for an executive retreat to focus on business issues. Planning and budgeting for the coming year or the long term, kicking off a new venture, brainstorming new products and services, strategizing sales tactics, and similar topics are often on the agenda.

Meeting off-site is also the norm, giving execs the chance to break away from day-to-day routines, free themselves from distractions, and concentrate on the agenda at hand. Collaboration and getting the organization’s top people all working together toward a common goal is a key expectation.

What’s less typical, though, and a real opportunity, is for the executive team to take some time during this process to focus on itself.

Why is this so important? Consider that executives bear the weight of the organization’s success or failure. Now think of how particularly challenging that mandate has been over the last few years. Economic uncertainty. Supply chain pressures. Staff turnover. More time working remotely and less time together face-to-face.

Executive teams have had to manage all this disruption. Time spent collaboratively working on how they can be more effective as a team and as individuals is time much needed and well spent. How well your executive team understands one another, communicates, and works together directly affects their ability to guide the organization and its people.

It’s not the time to wing it. Skilled facilitation is key.
A potential problem with executive retreats is if they’re not actually collaborative. Say, for example, one exec, whether it’s the CEO, CFO, COO, or whomever, dominates the agenda or simply uses the time together to present “the” plan or solution. Or the team settles into its usual groove, which may not be ideal. Perhaps there’s friction. Or maybe complacency. Or disagreement about the organization’s direction. Or distraction and a lack of engagement or connection among the team.

A skilled facilitator can help avoid—or actively call out and help correct—these situations and other counterproductive group dynamics. Skilled facilitation also removes the burden of “running the meeting” so those present can really focus. The goal here is not only to plan or strategize or budget. It’s also to get the organization’s leaders on the same page about the organization’s goals, ensure each leader is accountable, and help them work better as a team and as individuals.

See the difference.
If this sounds like pie in the sky, or if you are ready to take a different approach to your next executive retreat, our team at Nally Ventures can help make it reality. Our solutions are tailored to your needs and what you want to accomplish. Here’s an overview of how we work with senior leadership teams to renew, realign, and refine their work so they and their organizations can thrive.

How can we help your leaders and business excel?