How to have great off-site planning retreats

I was recently facilitating a City’s annual offsite retreat including the City Council and the entire leadership staff.

At the end of the retreat we went around the room and asked each person for “main takeaways” and one of the best comments I’ve ever heard came from a Councilwoman who had been on the Council many years ago and was now back on.

She said…

“I’ve never felt like I was a part of the team, like we really worked together to create something, but I now feel like we have a common focus and we did it together.  I’m really excited.”

More than laying out strategies, goals and tactics, retreats are a prime place to build trust and teamwork.   At InnerComm we work with you to choose from over 15 different trust and team exercises to complete, within the traditional planning process, that help the team grow, learn, adapt, think, reflect and appreciate each other.

If we can get that right, the goals and execution will come right along.

The work you do in local government boils down to two things:

  • Having success in our projects and goals and
  • Having success in building people.

We get things done through people and when we exclusively focus on the job at hand, we sometimes overlook the greatest asset we have – our team.

InnerComm’s retreat facilitation is:

  • Highly customizable by you, so we accomplish your biggest goal
  • Fast-paced and energetic
  • Developed for high collaboration and interaction
  • We listen for what’s not being said and push team members to face hard issues
  • Organized and efficient but flexible in case something important comes up
  • Include a very action oriented Customized Post Retreat Report
  • Include on-line polling and results
  • ….are not cookie-cutter and boring

If you want to bring your staff team and Council team together and accomplish some great planning, let us know.  We’d love to help.  Email Bill Stark at or call 678-833-4310.