Getting Clarity About Purpose at a Business Retreat

From Paula Wilder, senior partner at WilderWeber Leadership Group, a VT KnowledgeWorks member company:

I always look forward to Spring with its promise of new growth and energy.  This is doubly so this year after the harsh winter conditions we have experienced in Virginia.  I am betting that business leaders are looking forward to renewed growth as well, as we recover from the harsh economic conditions of recent years. 

Leadership retreat tips from Paula WilderIt’s a good time to think about how to capitalize on the potential of new growing conditions in both  gardens and organizations!   In organizations, one great way to create focused momentum is to get away from daily routine in an open, casual, yet structured environment.  Well-planned business retreats can be ideal settings for focusing on what needs to be different to create success.

Over the years, I have learned a few things about how to get memorable, meaningful and substantive results so that a business RETREAT can more aptly be named a business ADVANCE.

CLEAR PURPOSE.  Yogi Berra said it best, “If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”  Having retreat leaders and participants get clarity about purpose is essential to retreat success.  What must happen to get your organization where it needs to go?  A new strategic framework?  Repositioning yourselves in the competitive marketplace?  A deep analysis of the business environment?  A renewed organizational culture?  A higher performing team?  Focused innovation?  The question to pose is, “What is at the core of what will help our business succeed – what needs to be different – in the next six months AND further into 2012 and beyond?"

What is your experience of great business retreats that have led to real advances for your organization?  If you have tips that you would like to share, email us at [email protected].  We will post your ideas on What's New.

This is the first in a series of three Retreat Tips from Paula Wilder.

Paula Wilder is an organizational effectiveness expert and senior partner at WilderWeber Leadership Group.  WilderWeber Group is a VT KnowledgeWorks member company in Blacksburg, Virginia.

You're invited to learn more about WilderWeber Leadership Group on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks.  This post originally appeared as Retreat in Order to Advance on Handshake 2.0. 


VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a self-sustaining not-for-profit subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual.  Its world headquarters is in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

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