How To Run A Strategy Retreat For Your Organization

It didn’t take long for the celebratory election smiles to fade to confusion and fear as we realized we didn’t know what we would do for the next 12 months.

Six people, including myself, were elected into leadership positions in our local National Speaker’s Association chapter. We accepted our new task of running the chapter for the next 12 months. 

I decided a good first step would be to chat individually with each e-board member to understand what they wanted to do for the year. After a few days of conversation, I concluded we didn’t have a conclusion! Everyone had different ideas about what they wanted to happen for the year. There was no alignment, no vision, and no plan.

We quickly realized that to be an effective executive board for the chapter for the year; we needed to have a clear vision and a plan for how to achieve it.

Hosting A Strategy Retreat Is The Best Way To Get A Group Of Leaders All Aligned and Clear On The 4 Ws:

1) Who are we? 

2) What are we going to do? 

3) Who is going to do it? 

4) When are we going to do it?  

Who are we?

During this section of the strategy retreat, you’ll better understand what your team stands for, what values you share, and what your group’s bigger purpose is. Through this process, you’ll also have the option to create By-Laws, a Constitution, and a Code of Conduct if you don’t already have something in place. You’ll use all this knowledge to guide your decision-making and prioritize initiatives that align with your team’s identity. 

What are we going to do? 

Once you’ve established your team’s identity, the next step is to define your objectives and set measurable goals for the year. These goals should be ambitious but realistic and align with your team’s vision. Use this opportunity to brainstorm ideas and identify initiatives to help you achieve your goals. It’s important to prioritize your initiatives based on their impact and feasibility.

Who is going to do it? 

At this point in the retreat, you’ll have an extensive list of things you want to do, but the reality is that you probably won’t be able to do everything. “Most people overestimate what they can do in a year, and they underestimate what they can do in two or three decades.” – Tony Robbins. We’ll use this section to identify the team member(s) who will be responsible for each initiative. Make sure that you’re leveraging your team members’ strengths and creating opportunities for growth and development. This is also an excellent time to establish communication protocols and ensure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities. Remember, teamwork is critical to achieving your goals, so make sure that everyone is on board and working together towards a common objective.

When are we going to do it?  

Now that we’ve identified the team’s initiatives and attached ownership to each item, it’s time to create a timeline that outlines when each initiative will be implemented. Consider the dependencies between initiatives and make sure that you’re allocating resources and time effectively. We’ll use this section to break down each project into smaller tasks that we commit to over a certain period of time. By looking at our calendars, we’ll know which weeks coming up will be more/less busy for us so that we can effectively plan each initiative.

Hosting a strategy retreat may seem daunting, but it’s a crucial step toward achieving your goals as a team. By planning and strategizing, you’ll set yourselves up for success and create a shared vision that everyone can get behind. Remember, leadership isn’t about doing everything yourself but guiding your team toward a common goal. 

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share, in detail, the process for each of these questions so that you can use it to plan your next strategy retreat for your e-board. 

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