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

 

 

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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