I have been very fortunate this first quarter to have facilitated 2010 planning retreats for two agencies. One was in Miami Beach (South Beach) and the other in San Juan. One client was based in New York and the other in Massachusetts.
The retreats were great. Good business meetings and great bonding among the staffs.
Why did each firm choose to “get out of their offices” and head south? Several reasons: warmer weather, an opportunity to “reward” their staffs after a tough but successful 2009, but third, a chance to spend quality time on their business without the normal distractions of phone calls and emails. Ironically, both firms did have to work on major new business proposals but they were able to successfully do that without interrupting our meetings.
While most firms conduct their new year’s planning late 4th quarter or early 1st quarter, think about the value of mid-year management or staff retreats as well.
Here are some benefits to consider:
• The opportunity to critically assess the first half of the year and make changes as necessary
• The opportunity to recharge your business development or marketing efforts if they haven’t paid off like you hoped
• The opportunity to decide on staffing adjustments or new additions
• The opportunity to set new financial goals, including new stretch goals
• The opportunity to reward your people for their efforts
Not all agency retreats need be in a resort setting. But, they should be out of your office. Take a hotel room down the street; go to a nearby city, or convene at someone’s home.
Working on your business instead of just in your business is a critical leadership requirement. Tough on a daily basis unless you plan for it. Agency retreats are way to do just that.
So, as Nike says, just do it. It will be well worth the effort and cost.