July 13, 2022

Designing a Quarterly Retreat

Last week, on Thursday & Friday, our team held our own quarterly leadership retreat.

It's a practice we've kept for nearly three years straight. Sometimes we meet in person. Sometimes we meet virtually (this one was virtual). And it's one of the most important things we do to keep our team learning from our own experiences, and growing together. It's also a testing-ground for how we help teams around the globe design and facilitate their team retreats.

This one felt special...

We’ve become so much better at having challenging conversations and working efficiently. It's clear that over time, these practices have not only made us more efficient, but have created greater safety and tools for handling challenging moments and conflict. In other words, we're able to do more work, better, and with greater care for one another. It’s awesome to see and experience.

In an effort to inspire your own retreats, here’s a look at our agenda. Note: For everything below, we designed an entire, custom map in Miro as our virtual brainstorming and reflection space.

Our Schedule

Thursday late morning:
+ Invite the team to “take yourself out to breakfast” — sponsored by Ei of course. This was meant to be solo time to reflect on a specific set of prompts. These prompts were designed to be introspective about our culture and our wellbeing, not just our work.

+ Regroup for a facilitated share out of our reflections and celebrations.

Thursday afternoon:
+ Review individual and team quarterly goals. Did we accomplish what we said we would? We also do a weekly 60-min goals check-in, so nothing is a huge surprise here. This share-out is designed to be more rigorous.

+ Revisit our vision, mission, and values and assess where we're on or off track. From what we've shared so far, which activities align? Which ones don't?

+ Review who we're reaching, how we're reaching them, and the impact we're making. Celebrate success stories. And take note of ways our programs can be improved.

Friday Morning:
+ Innovation Opportunities: Review the challenges we're solving and the people who are facing those challenges. Then break down the business into three main parts: Programs, Marketing, Operations. Based on our recent experiences and what we’re hearing, we look for ways to make the business better.

Friday Afternoon:
+ Goal Setting: Cluster the most important activities into specific goals we aim to complete in the coming quarter. These need to ladder up to our vision, align with our values, and remain clear & tangible.

+ Play! Throughout our time together, we pepper in activities that get us laughing and knowing one another better. Especially at the end of the retreat.

How about you?

Have you designed a retreat lately? If so, what worked?

Keep creating these spaces for yourself and your team. You’ll never regret the investment of time and energy.

PS: If you need help designing a retreat, you can reach out to our team. Happy to help when & where we can.

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