Last week, the team I support had our quarterly offsite. I’ve been running team offsites more and more frequently over the past few years, and have finally been able to nail down an approach that consistently feels like an essential, effective use of time.
My rules for effective offsites are:
- 从信任和安全开始。A good offsite starts with a group of folks who trust each other and feel safe bringing literal and intellectual honesty into the room. If you’re not bringing that team into the room, an offsite is a great way to start building it, but it does mean that you will probably not get to much else. I’m not particularly fond of thejourney lines exercise但是，它做了很好的事情：不凝聚的球队必须学会把更多的人带入房间，而不仅仅是他们作为“一些团队的领导者”的身份，这是一个脆弱的身份，可能是抵抗变化和反思的脆性身份。如果您的团队尚未凝视并建立这种信任，那么将其更多的身份纳入房间是开始的必要场所。一个相关的，令人沮丧的事实是，当你改变团队成员时，你会丢失一部分建立的信任，并且必须重建它。
- 是什么,只有我们可以讨论在吗is moment?This is an idea that I learned in amb’sEmergent Strategy, and encourages us to think about the structure of the day as a secondary concern, intended to facilitate the day’s reflection and learning. If the conversation is heading in a good direction then keep going with it, even if it means you won’t get to other planned elements of the day. Conversely, if a session isn’t leading to learning, then rework it or move on. This particular group of folks will rarely get the opportunity to grow together, don’t waste it on protocol.
- 你通过反思学习. Many teamsget so busythat they try to outwork challenges rather than adapt to them, which leads to burnout. Use offsites to create a space for reflection, which is where the learning happens. Just as an offsite is a pause for reflection in your quarter or year, you can create reflection sections within your offsite itself. Give folks ten to thirty minutes to reflect in isolation and then coming back to share and discuss together (for smaller teams) or in groups of five to six (if the offsite is over ten folks).
- Have afew key pointsand repeat them frequently. Folks can only remember so many things from spending a day together, so you really have to focus your day and your message. This most recent offsite focused on what we’ll need to do to support the continued growth of our business, products, organization and underlying infrastructure over the next three years’ growth.
- Get other voices into the room.Get folks from outside of the team into the room to share their perspective. Teams are always at their best when they have someone else they want to impress just a little bit, and the outside perspective will help break the subtle equilibrium that a team develops as it works together. The “fireside chat” format is quite good for this, and I’ve also had success in inviting folks to attend the whole day, especially folks from different functions that partner closely with the team.
- Breakfast & arrival(1 hour)
- 办理登机手续和主题(0.5 hours but always takes 1 hour) – each person shares where they are personally and something they’d like to get out of the day.
- Reflection exercise(1 hour) – an exercise that inspires reflection. This could be a “start/stop/continue” exercise, asking folks to consider how their current approach will scale for the next year, etc. The most important output is learning, not some kind of deliverable.
- Work exercise(1 hour) – an exercise that creates an output, for example working on your team visions.
- 午餐(1 hour)
- Themes redux(15 minutes) – repeat the themes that you started the day with for the expanded group.
- Reflection exercise(1 hour) – do another reflection exercise.
- Work exercise(1 hour) – do another work exercise.
- Fireside chat(1 hour) – bring in a user or peer and interview them, focusing on leaning into the day’s themes when possible.
- **结束**（15分钟但需要30） - 重申一天的主题并参考您在一天中学到的一些东西。
- Dinner(2 hours) – have a dinner somewhere else.
Remember, you’re there to have the conversation that only that group can have, so it’s fine to miss some of the exercises (this is why reflection exercises are always before the work exercises, it’s much better to miss the work exercises).