Annual Business Planning Meeting? Forget the “Bored”Room – Go Wild!

Ten Ingredients to Spark Creative Business Thinking at Your Annual Leadership Retreats

It’s time for your End of Year Business Planning Session! In 3 days, you will lock the best minds of your organization into a Conference Center, in which you envision them developing an absolutely killer Business Plan. Bonus: Your team is back at the office on Monday – basking in the afterglow of renewed drive, vision and a sense of real teamwork. Yup, under your Inspired Leadership, your Business and/or Marketing Plan is nothing short of remarkable and you accomplished more in this three day off-site retreat than weeks of work by toiling cube rats.

Too good to be true? Maybe, unless this year you Go A Little Wild to stimulate creative thinking. Here are ten “Wild Ideas” for sparking fire and creative thought in corporate leadership retreats while staying within your budget.

  1. Take Them Outdoors
    Not only does playing in the outdoors produce more creative and playful children—It works especially well with Adults. Get your team out of the “Bored Room” and see the results physical environment plays on mental output.
  2. Stimulate All of Their Senses:
    From Wine Tasting Events, to Artistic Interpretation and Dance. I can recall rehearsing one Senior Banking Team to produce a Corporate Music Video that stunned and wowed front-line employees as the normally “Conservative Executive Team” Got Down, Dancing and in Perfect Rhythm to convey the corporate theme for the year.
  3. Let Them Have Recess:
    Interspersed with Brain-Power and the writing of your Business Plan, throw in physical activity breaks that demand and inspire teamwork and produce the critical Fun Factor—River Rafting, Road Rallys Scavenger Hunts and Survival Simulations are just a few of the activities we use at Costa Rica Learning Adventures and Retreats.
  4. You’re Fired
    Well not really, but do take a lesson from the Donald ….Give your Team Retreat Goals, Specific Tasks and throw in just a little bit of competition.
  5. Get a Theme:
    Themes Build Teams. Don’t forget to Merchandise and Brand your Retreat as you would a product. From this one retreat your company could achieve that breakthrough, new product marketing strategy and team synchronicity critical to your success.
  6. Show Them the Castle:
    When Walt Disney was building Disney, his instruction to the construction team was “Build The Castle First—The work teams need to see the castle – amidst the muck and chaos of construction. Be sure to kick off your Retreat by sharing your mission and Vision. Show them your Castle/Think Big.
  7. Follow The Hollywood Model for Building Excitement
    Are managers looking forward to this retreat after seeing your exciting trailer or dreading the very thought? Forget the Memo, Apply the Hollywood Marketing Model – build excitement for the retreat with inspired pre-event publicity.
  8. Hire a “Hit” Man/Woman
    You’re an Executive, Not an Event Planner or Facilitator. Calculate the salary of every staff member going to the retreat in addition to hotel/travel costs. Why would you jeopardize that investment by having your assistant or worse you …. handle the facilitation and event planning. Hire a professional that will assure your event is a Hit. You and your people don’t have time for this.
  9. Add some heart-racing Excitement:
    We tend to learn the most when outside of our comfort zone and when the senses are stimulated. Provide an experience for your team that will enable them to return home and say “You won’t believe what I did!!!” Of course you need to keep it safe and free from litigation which is why we refer you to point 8.
  10. The TISP Factor:
    Finally, Make each retreat participant and member of your team feel Trusted, Important, Special and Pleased. I once heard a certain hospitality diva say, when “You’re hosting a party, make sure everyone at the party feels like they were the most important guest” Apply that rule to your Team Retreat and you’re on your way to building a Winning and Loyal Work Team that not only sees the castle, but creates and achieves the Dream.