Using a Retreat Center to Grow Collaboration - MIT Endicott House

retreat centerHow can your organization leverage its human resources to achieve results that benefit everyone? Successful collaboration can be elusive, but holds great potential. Here are a few ways to foster healthy collaboration throughout your organization.

Unified leadership

Your organization’s tone is set by its leadership. If managers and department heads give in to internal competition, focus and energy is wasted on politics and kingdom-building.

One way to reset your organization’s tone is through a leadership retreat with a focus on building a collaborative executive team. When everyone is reminded of the organization’s goals and core purpose, then department heads must also begin to evaluate how their own department fits into the organization’s overall vision.

Unified focus

Mission statements tend to be general and abstract- they are meant to define the playing field. The real trick is to call the plays that everyone buys into and gives focus to daily activities. Focusing means letting go of personal agendas, which can prove difficult.

During difficult conversations and intense brainstorming sessions, it is important to provide enough clean air and green space to take the edge off. One benefit of using a retreat to encourage collaboration is the ability for colleagues to see one another in work and recreation mode. What can’t be hashed out in a conference room might find resolution on a landscaped trail or shady porch.

Focusing competition

Unified leadership and a clear, unified goal are major steps toward healthy collaboration. Managers must then develop a concrete plan that reinforces continued interdependence and knowledge sharing. Find out what motivates people to work together and what stops it.

Working toward a clear outcome channels competitive behavior in the right direction. Rather than competing against one another, your organization’s departments can focus on competing in the marketplace and making use of department strengths in collaborative ways.

Take team building home from the retreat center

By clarifying organizational goals and the means through which success is measured, managers can develop cross-functional teams or task forces to complete projects.

While some retreats focus on team-building events, be sure to transition to keeping team effectiveness at a new level when you’re back in the office. A retreat that focuses on practical solutions will have lasting impact when participants return to the building.

Creating a culture of collaboration can take some time. Don’t expect it all to happen overnight, but make your start with a special conference or retreat. Contact the Endicott House for details on how we help organizations like yours set aside the time to become high-performing, collaborative enterprises!

Thinking about a getaway for your group, department, or entire staff? Find out more on our Boston area business retreats page.