10 tips for running great offsites

Ten tips for running great off sites

When running an offsite, it is critical to making it count; to ensure it is designed and run to maximise your return on time spent.

1. Clarity

Clarity on

  • Objectives – Why?
  • Participants – Who?
  • Inputs – How?
  • Timing to maximise return – When?
  • Desired outcomes – What?

2. Leadership

  • Own the objectives of the offsite
  • Demonstrate commitment
  • Sustain connection to outcomes and attendees

3. Preparation

Invest appropriate time in

  • Positioning / Framing / Scoping the Opportunity (the offsite presents)
  • Themes / Analysis /work (to be done in advance.)
  • Engagement (early) / ‘Governance’ (share responsibility & accountability to make it successful!)

4. Design

Design an appropriate agenda. i.e. formulate the right mix and sequence of topics and activities to achieve objectives. Consider matters including

  • Outcomes sought
  • Organisational /team dynamics and Participants’ profiles
  • Impact & originality
  • Economics / Venues /Logistics

5. Relevance

Examine all aspects of offsite through the prism of relevance. Persist in asking

  • What objective does this support (not just of the offsite, but for our business imperatives)?
  • What is to be collectively learned and what are the implications?
  • So what?

6. Communication

Ensure appropriate investment in people, time and resources to produce clear, compelling communication

  • Before
  • During
  • After your offsite

7. Adaptability

  • Remain flexible during the conduct of your offsite. Great value and collaborative ideas can and do emerge during the course of an offsite that are not ‘scripted’ or ‘according to the plan’.
  • Retain the discipline of the overall outcomes and the spirit of agenda, while being adaptive and receptive to the unexpected value that presents itself.

8. Alignment. Action. Acceleration

Great off sites present unique opportunities to galvanise teams to

  • Align
  • Act
  • Accelerate

to higher performance.

Keep this front of mind at all times.

Clear action plans with allocated owners and times for delivery are critical offsite outputs to ensure accountability and execution.

9. Maintaining momentum

Reap the benefits your great offsite produces by

  • Immediate communication of what happened, and its continuing relevance
  • Embarking on the key business and supporting engagement activities to emerge from the offsite (e.g. strategy engagement; collaborative activities critical to the business; cultural programmes; capability enhancements; requisite change management etc.)
  • Maintain reporting of progress on the material execution of those vital activities

10. Facilitation

  • Harness the power of your great Offsites to propel performance and productivity
  • Retain experienced facilitators and independent advisers to work with you and your people to
    • derive the maximum value out of resources and time your organisation invests in the offsite, and
    • to extract the most out of what is produced.

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