Why Retreats Are Essential to the Strategic Planning Process

You know strategic planning is an essential part of your business. You know that getting the whole team together to brainstorm and finalize the plan must happen. You know that finding the right place to do it is vital. Now you face a pivotal decision: where do you hold your strategic planning session?

You could do it at your office. It’s familiar, your team knows it well, and it’s obviously a place where your team can work. But is it really the place to hunker down and think about the future of your business?

You could hold the session at a local event center. It gets you out of the office. You have your own place, and it’s close and convenient for your team. But is it really conducive to out-of-the-box thinking?

Have you considered taking your leadership team to a retreat location? Getting out of the office, leaving town, and going to a remote location can be one of the most rewarding and effective ways to formulate the right type of strategic plan your business needs.

Why are strategic planning retreats so effective?

They Get You Out of “the Familiar Place”

Familiarity is the enemy of innovative thinking. The best thing a strategic planning retreat can do is get out of the office, the city, and the routine of your normal day. You won’t drive the same way to work. You won’t grab the same cup of coffee from the same place. You won’t break for lunch and eat the same food.

Going on a strategic planning retreat takes you away from the familiar place and provides an environment that enables out-of-the-box thinking, just what you need to create a strategic plan that is truly innovative. If you’ve ever felt like you (or your business) is in a rut, getting out of town is the best thing to do.

They Provide Isolation and Insulation

Retreats provide the level of isolation needed to hunker down and plan. They also insulate your team from the hustle and bustle of daily life, the chaos of city life, and the copious amounts of distraction that come from family, business, and day-to-day routines.

Getting away allows you to create a focused environment where only two things matter: your business and its future. It allows you to focus on your past, present, and future, putting you in the right state of mind to think critically and creatively.

If you choose an all-inclusive location for a retreat (like Sugar Lake Lodge), you’ll also eliminate the need to plan meals, activities, or anything else. You get to focus on your business; we handle everything else.

Getting Outside and into Nature

Research has shown that exposure to nature boosts productivity, increases memory and attention, and improves creativity problem solving skills. Can you think of anything else you need to create the right strategic plan? Getting outside is often precisely what you need to have a breakthrough, find your blue ocean strategy, and improve your business.

Whether you are trying to redefine your values, create new business goals, or find your next strategy for growth, getting outside and into the great outdoors is the key to success.

Simply driving up through the Minnesota Northwoods to a remote retreat location puts you in the right state of mind. There is nothing like being out in nature with your team; it truly is the best place to think clearly about where your business should go next.

Facilitators Help with the Process

What’s the best way to step away and take an objective look at your business? Have a third party do it for you. Facilitators bring an objective, outside view to your strategic planning process, often adding in new viewpoints and ideas to the business. But they aren’t there to tell you what to think, they are there to facilitate the process and inspire you to find out what’s most important to your business.

You know your business better than anyone; they are there to help guide you to the right answers. At Sugar Lake Lodge, we work with a team of industry-leading facilitators who have helped countless businesses create strategic plans. They can help you design and execute a highly custom retreat for your organization.

Not yet convinced? Have a quick consultation with our Director of Leadership Programming.


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