Monthly Archives: August 2017

August 2017 Newsletter – How to Properly Retreat in Your Business

How to Properly Retreat in Your Business

Recently I was watching a TV Documentary on the United States Revolutionary War, and it discussed the fact that in a key battle the Colonists retreated from the initial fight, which in turn allowed them to re-group, attack again and win a key victory. Retreats can be part of an overall strategy that can lead to triumph. Just as great military leaders know how to properly use retreats, so can business and organization leaders.

I feel very strongly business owners and leaders need periodic planning retreat times for three reasons.

First, you need time to evaluate what is happening in your business, both at the macro and micro levels. This includes taking time to gauge how you are doing in achieving your goals and objectives, including evaluating how you are doing financially.

Second, you need these “tree” type evaluations to open your mind to big picture and “forest” type questions like “What is the Vision for my business?”, “Is my current Strategy appropriate?” and “What is the direction for my business?”

Third, these questions lead to global questions like, “What is the dream for my business?” “Where do I want to take my business?” “How can I improve my customer’s experience?” Clearly, these questions and many other questions like them should be considered. To reflect on these topics requires specific time spent away from your work location in contemplation of these issues and topics.

Planning Retreats

Leaders of larger companies realize that they need formal time for them and their “management team” to specifically work on planning for their business. However, if you have a Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GAsmaller business you may be wondering if you really need this type of time for evaluating, assessing, and planning.

I have found that periodic planning retreat away from your business location is extremely important for both smaller and larger companies. The two things you want to accomplish in these retreats are:

  • Contemplate specifics related to your business. For instance, consider market factors, customer status, and your employee situation. Evaluate how your business is doing now and what should be done in the future in these areas.
  • Consider issues driven by what you want to do with your life–personal goals, what is important to you, what brings you pleasure and enjoyment, succession planning, your financial situation, etc. This requires the consideration of what you want to do with your life and how your business fits into your overall desires and plan for your life.

Group Business Management Team Retreats

Businesses are a team effort and if your business is of any size, you are going to require a team of people to achieve the Vision for your business – therefore getting your entire team on the same page and working together is paramount. This requires your management team to meet periodically for group retreats. Areas of focus during the retreats should include:

  • Consideration of market factors
  • The conditions of your customer universe
  • Marketing and sales results
  • Operations
  • Financial results
  • Issues involving your employee situation

The principal things that take place during these meetings are

  • An assessment of the current state of your business
  • Evaluation of various possible courses of action
  • Deciding on a go-forward game plan

Two additional things should take place during group business management retreats that do not necessarily take place during your individual planning retreats, which are:

  1. A celebration of the successes of your business since the previous group business management retreat. This is a key activity since one of your chief responsibilities as the leader is to rally and encourage your employees, and that starts with your management team!
  2. Plan some fun and relaxation time into each retreat. This may be a game of golf, a trip to an amusement park, a massage therapist coming in, or an upscale, relaxed dinner. Keep in mind that you should do things to make the event something that everyone looks forward to as compared to dreading the next grueling, 10-hour-days, stressful planning “retreat.”

Retreat Location

Small Business PlanningHaving had the benefit of peering inside many companies I feel a main ingredient of having a successful and rewarding group planning retreat is the meeting should take place away from your work location.

Whenever comprehensive planning sessions take place at your regular work location three problems occur:

  • The participants have a difficult time disconnecting from the urgent work that is just waiting for them on the other side of the wall
  • Interruptions occur because employees break into the meeting with “things that just could not wait”, which in turn causes the entire planning process to be less than optimal
  • The participants, for some mysterious reason, end up being limited in their thinking and they wind up not thinking “outside of the box”

Meeting Frequency

I recommend that twice a year, generally for two or three days, you as an owner and other key persons who are ultimately going to determine the destiny of your business go away for a group planning retreat. If you have a larger business it may take longer than two or three days and while having your individual planning retreat over a weekend may personally work well for you, your management team may consider it an incursion into their personal time so these planning events should take place during the normal work week.

Retreat Agenda

I recommend about a month before the planning retreat, the preparation of a detailed agenda. You want to do this beforehand to make sure you have not missed any items on the agenda and to mentally plan for issues and discussions that most likely will occur. When all the above ingredients are combined, you will obtain a refreshed, re-focused and re-energized management team that will in turn achieve the goals for your organization.

If you need assistance with properly using planning retreats to recharge you and your management team for realizing greater revenue and profits, please contact us using the below information so we can show you to “retreat” to move forward.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve their goals by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic, innovation, business planning and growth Structure of Success™, Innovation Academy™ and FastTrak Innovation Program™ methodologies. Using the components in these methodologies, each month we examine an aspect of how to transform your business or organization into a true 21st Century operation.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220