I don’t really like the word “retreat”.  It conjures up either literal images of armies retreating and being pushed back in defeat, or the more modern-day images of sitting in long meetings with flip charts posted throughout the walls.  I do, however, believe in the power of going off-site and changing the environment in order to do some strategic thinking or more intentional planning.

So we call our version of deep thinking “Cave Days” — as in going away to hide in a cave to escape the daily distractions.  I spent yesterday afternoon out of the office at such a Cave Day experience –clarifying the transitions and processes of new staff.  The informal environment allows people to be more focused and candid and, as a result, we were able to have discussions that could have never occurred sitting around a table in a meeting setting.  By dedicating a significant chunk of time to this topic, it signified the importance of it.  I hope it also heightened everyone’s commitment to achieving results and then implementing them.

I encourage you to think about the key things you need to discuss and commit to a Cave Day-type environment in which to process them.  Sometimes we need to alter our routine in an effort to alter our thinking — and changing when/where we broach the topic can have an immediate impact on that.

— beth triplett



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