I recently completed a rewarding experience leading the strategic planning process for a highly regarded non-profit healthcare organization, culminating in a well-reviewed 4 hour virtual board retreat.  100% of board members said it was “Definitely True” or “Somewhat True” that they felt more connected with the other board members as a result of the retreat.  Other comments included:

“Even though it was virtual, I think the content was the best of the retreats we have had in the past 5 years.” – Board member

“I feel like I came away from the session with a stronger understanding of the issues facing the organization and a stronger commitment to some of the strategies being pursued to address those issues.” – Board member

Here are 5 elements from our overall approach that I think contributed to our successful virtual board retreat:

  1. CEO leadership. This CEO is a visionary leader.  I believe his preparation, role modeling, and belief in the process was critical.
  2. Team building. We incorporated an easy team building activity that got our participants talking and helped build connection. It was simple: we asked, “What is one thing that has helped you drive and maintain your own personal resilience?”
  3. Relevant facts. We shared the context the board needed so that they could effectively evaluate the plan.  This included the competitive landscape, current trends, and recent events.
  4. Ownership.  The leadership team (not me) presented the plan and fielded questions with passion and conviction.
  5. Great, concise content. The team built a simple but comprehensive plan – that fit on one page.

Have a question? Have an idea to share on effective board retreats? I’d love to hear it! Contact me at caroline.taich@kirtlandconsulting.com