I suspect our retreat started out like most good ideas do. Someone says out loud we should do a team building activity and it is born.
However, I am the first to admit, despite my fears and trepidation of not being in control, the time together as a team was an amazing experience. In fact, from the draft outline back in March to the check out from the conference center at Higgins Lake, I can say every waking hour I witnessed positive things happening to our group. In short, we became a better team.
While the ingredients to our retreat may seem trivial to an outside observer, none of them could have been omitted or replaced in the recipe towards shaping the team. Below is how it went down if you are curious.
- Three months in advance a decision is made by our CEO Doug Smith to have such a meeting and everyone begins to schedule him or herself to attend.
- Each person took a DISC personality evaluation and company survey to let them know more about themselves, their teammates, and our organization.
- In advance all of us also read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni, so we would all have the same reference points for discussions.
- Our trusted advisor and good friend David Lawrence, who helped us navigate through some pretty important topics for a group that has grown from 2-15 people in less than four years, moderated the meeting. In other words, he helped us with the heavy lifting.
- Finally, and I believe another factor to our success, was that we all stayed together at the same venue during the two day meeting. The location was just far enough from “normal life” to allow us focused attention and casual enough to allow us to connect on many levels.
I can say that the level of preparation, participation, and actions following the retreat exceeded my expectations. I will try and paraphrase a statement mentioned near the end of the team building. We are poised for great things. We will Synergize! This leads me to my closing thought; just wait to see what that means for our customers!