A retreat for the board of directors is an opportunity for top management to share ideas. It is the time to get together and chart the course of the company. To make it successful, the participants must not be exposed to the same rigidity of a corporate setting. But there are still guidelines to follow and below are most of them.
1. Have a theme for the retreat
A theme is important as it will give an idea what the focus of the retreat will be. It should be something positive and paints a good outlook for the future.
2. Get the commitment of the board members to attend
The retreat will not be successful if the key officers are not complete. Therefore the organizing committee must see to it that all the members of the board will attend. Sometimes finding a common date where they can all be together in the same place is difficult because board members are known to be always busy.
3. Set the agenda for the retreat
The agenda for the retreat must be set and programmed to make the retreat a fluid one. Each of the board of directors must give a report about the position they are handling and it includes achievements as well as problems encountered. The minutes of the meeting are taken down just like in ordinary meetings. Plans and programs as well as possible training plans can be discussed during the sessions.
4. Hand out retreat materials
The board members must have an idea what will be taken up during the retreat. Giving them the materials they need could help them prepare.
5. The retreat must be out of town
The venue for the retreat must be out of town or a place that is far away from the office. This will ensure that no distractions will happen while the retreat is going on. Some facilitators even require that the communications devices are left in the room when the retreat starts.
6. The accommodation must be fully arranged
Each of the board of directors must be fully accommodated and looked after. The accommodation could be in a hotel, resort, or convention center. It must not be far from the venue of the retreat and if possible should be in the same building.
7. Choose a great facilitator
There must be a facilitator and he/she should be an expert in conducting a retreat for board of directors. Some companies engage the services of a professional group to facilitate the retreat. But there are also companies that prefer to assign a facilitator from within owing to the nature of the discussions which must be confined only within them.
8. Enjoy and have fun
Just like seminars and team building activities, there can also be games and problem solving activities during the retreat. The aim is foster camaraderie between board members and to strengthen the relationship between them. The activities can be both fun and informative depending on how the facilitator will conduct the retreat.
9. Make it a once a year activity
Aside from the fact that board retreats are productive, it is also a means for the leaders of the organization to unwind and play. Making it a once a year activity should make them anticipate the event and prepare for it.
10. Validate accomplishments
The succeeding retreat must be an opportunity to validate the results of the last one. the directors must report on their accomplishments and this must be part of the agenda.
When the board of directors meet in a retreat, expect the sessions to be productive. They are the ones who chart the path of the company so they need also to be refreshed and energized through a retreat.