Are you thinking of planning some time away for your academic team to focus on strategic goal planning that aligns with the vision, mission and philosophy of your organisation?
If you want to create some space for learning conversations, discussions and debate sans interruptions and distractions, then Joshua Kim’s 5 tips for Academic Retreats on the Inside Higher Ed’s website is worth a read. Kim says that “work retreats can be incredibly valuable in creating a space where colleagues can re-align the work of the group. Where priorities can be evaluated and re-set. Where projects can be created as well as eliminated.” His top 5 tips for planning an academic retreat are to:
1. Get off campus. Getting away from your usual daily grind and institutional setting is liberating, breaks down barriers, and facilitates relationship building.
2. Enforce an ‘off-line’ policy. No smart phones, no internet, no social media, no contact with the outside for the duration of the retreat. Kim says “You will be amazed at the clarity of thinking when everyone is focused on a single discussion. Having our attention split and fragmented is exhausting. A retreat without connectivity can be invigorating.”
3. Create a tight and relevant agenda. No long, boring agenda’s. Keeping it tight means having only two or three big goals. Allow for open-ended, vibrant discussion within the framework of a well planned schedule.
4. Stick to the agenda. Waffling off topic, or having to endure others who consistently waffle off-topic is time wasting and pointless. Kim says that “With enough preparation and discipline, (and sometimes even with the help of outside facilitator), it is possible to stick to the agenda and have a productive and inclusive retreat experience.”
5. Make the retreat about the future. Maintain a future focus. Keep looking ahead. Inspire others to look to the future. Share a vision of the future and invite all team members to create and contribute to a shared vision.
Plan your next retreat at www.teachersretreat.co.nz