Starbucks and Your Next Retreat
How to breathe new life into a tired staff or discover a whole new way of doing ministry.
Also of Interest
If you resonated with any of the reasons above, then you probably need a retreat separate from your normal, regularly-scheduled meetings. Here are six elements that will help make an out-of-box retreat successful.
1) Break from the Norm
In any given day, how many e-mails do you read, phone calls do you take, meetings do you attend, projects do you have to finish, and deadlines do you have to make? It can be overwhelming, can't it?
Retreats let your team focus—away from daily stresses and work tasks that can cloud your minds. Personally, I try to get away from the office once a month so I can focus on a topic or a task that might stoke my own creativity and teach me something new. I encourage my staff to do this occasionally. And, we need to do it together. While I sometimes wrestle with "loss of efficiency" of the day-to-day work that's being missed, I've come to acknowledge that we can't afford not to.
If this is a big worry or a retreat doesn't seem appropriate, most of these tips are flexible in the context of an out-of-the-box meeting—maybe it's scaling your "retreat" to a morning or an afternoon or even thinking about how to be creative in your regular meetings.
2) Infuse Surprise and Excitement
What would encourage your team and keep momentum and energy through the day? Music or other media? Visuals? Humor? Games? A small thank-you gift (everyone appreciates gifts!)? Good food and drink?
I've often used retreats to give my staff a book that has helped my own professional development. We've given small awards to acknowledge good work or have fun with each other. (For example: I recently received the highly coveted "Most Orderly Office" award—that probably tells you something about my personality.) Among the surprises at the aforementioned Starbucks' retreat was sending everyone throughout downtown Seattle to visit some of the city's successful homegrown retailers and report back the experiences and values that help define each of the stores.
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