Executive Team Retreats

Leading in today’s world is not easy. Disruption that used to be a rare event is happening, or on the near horizon, in nearly every industry.

Regulators are finding a renewed sense of confidence, driven by a growing belief that the free market cannot be trusted to operate in an unrestricted and responsible way.

Customers have ever more choice, and digital technologies are affecting (or will affect) nearly every marketing, sales and operational process. We are also seeing leaders continue to derail. Without the knowledge and skills to navigate these complexities, or the humility to accept that they do not have the answers, is it any wonder that an increasing number of executives are perceived to be insufficiently equipped to lead in today’s world? All these factors are creating an increased sense of anxiety that things cannot continue as they are, that companies and their leaders need to understand the purpose of what they do and how their operations and decisions align with this purpose. Yet, in the midst of these challenges, there are still amazing opportunities for profitable growth and innovation, and for companies to create positive impact through their work.

Therefore, our Executive Team Retreats focus on the following questions:

  • What does a detailed picture of success look like in 3-5 years?
  • What opportunities do companies need to grasp?
  • What are the major risks to this success?
  • What major decisions need to be made and activities undertaken in order to get to the desired destination?
  • What leadership skills and behaviours will be required?
  • What does the action plan look like for the next 3 months, and for the following year?

The Retreat process will start with semi-structured interviews with all of the attendees before the event itself. These interviews will focus on the questions above. The answers will be used to build a complex and rich picture of where the client company has come from, where it is today and what its future should look like. In addition, 8-10 strategic challenges will be identified and used in a questionnaire completed by all the attendees.

The Retreat will begin with a short presentation of the important data from these preliminary exercises (plus any other existing content that is relevant). We will then spend time in small groups clarifying the nature of the challenge that they are facing. This will take us up to the evening of the first day.

Day two will begin with a session in which we focus on the individual leadership challenges faced by each member of the senior leadership team.

We will use our Leadership Edge Tool. This Tool begins with each person identifying: (1) the external challenges (customers, shareholders, regulations, suppliers, competitors, etc.); (2) performance challenges; (3) financial objectives (growth, profitability); (4) leadership development objectives (my strengths and development areas); (5) activity objectives – to include the interdependencies with other members of the senior leadership team (what I need to get done and how I need to change the way in which I spend my time); and (6) my values and our purpose.

We will then use the following questions to stress test all the individual attendees’ ‘Leadership Edge’ work to see if they collectively deliver the ‘picture of success’ that is required:

1. When we look at our history and the strategic challenges that we are facing, what is the purpose on which we should be focusing?

2. What are the collective performance challenges that we face and what is my role/the role of my function in supporting the delivery of these objectives?

3. What additional financial and non-financial objectives should we put in place to ensure that we can measure and deliver the performance challenges?

4. Where are we working together well? What more is required?

5. If we all deliver on our objectives, will we deliver on its overall performance objectives? If yes, how do we ensure that we rigorously review and measure these and, if no, then what is missing?

6. What behaviours do you think are important as leaders? Is there a gap between how we need to behave and how we actually behave?

This should take us well into the morning of Day 3, when, before we leave, we will have created an action plan for the following three months to ensure that what has been discussed and agreed upon is brought to fruition.

Retreats 2 and 3 will follow a similar format, and be based on the implementation successes and changes identified in the 100-day plans.