There are many benefits of offsite meetings.
Here are a few of the more obvious ones. Offsite meetings:
- Build team.
- Give you a chance to work ON the business, rather than just IN it.
- Make people work better cross-functionally.
- Solve operational problems.
Benefits of offsite meetings: Team building
Team-building is no mystery. To build a team put them together and give them a task to do. Or a problem to solve. The best team-bonding events include a Significant Emotional Experience (SEE). This is why people who pull an all-nighter to get to a deadline feel a stronger bond with each other. War does it too.
Now you’re probably not going to mount an armed assault to get your team to work together more effectively. But you can still call in a team-building expert who can help you solve problems at the offsite. And you can give your team a significant emotional experience at the same time. They’ll bond AND they’ll solve problems better together.
Benefits of offsite meetings: Work ON the business, not just IN it
The E-Myth brought our attention to the idea of working ON the business, not just IN it. An offsite gives both you and your team the ability to step out of the day-to-day routine of business as usual.
You may well be metaphorically cutting down lots of trees, and your tree-cutting skills could be world-class. But are you cutting down trees in the right forest? Offsites help you answer that question.
As a side-note, this is one excellent reason to have an external facilitator. If you or one of your team is busy facilitating the offsite, then you can’t participate IN the activities of the offsite. When you facilitate yourself you reduce your problem-solving capabilities instead of maximizing them. That negates the point of the offsite to begin with.
Benefits of offsite meetings: Solve an operational problem
A major benefit of an offsite is to leverage that capacity to step out of the work-place. So you can think and address questions outside of that ‘business as usual’ box. This means you discover exactly in which forest should you be cutting down trees. And whether you are in that forest.
Benefits of offsite meetings: Work better cross-functionally
Now you know which problems you are trying to solve. So you can bring in cross-functional expertise to help solve them.
You don’t need a cast of thousands at your offsite meetings, as long as you have the right people there!