Offsite meetings can be great for team building and alignment, but often those benefits vanish when everyone returns to their day-to-day work. To make sure your next offsite has a lasting impact, define the specific goals you hope to achieve and how you will measure them. (Try completing this statement: “I’d be really happy if, by the end of the offsite, we…”) Whatever you decide, let the goals influence who gets invited. If the purpose of your offsite is to have a discussion about fiscal year objectives, for example, a large meeting will be less effective. Be sure to write out an agenda. A good rule of thumb is to spend 45 minutes to two hours on each topic — and double-check that the agenda supports your goals. During the meeting, push people to think strategically about the bigger picture and tackle issues that daily operations haven’t been able to resolve. Then schedule check-ins to keep everyone accountable and on track once the offsite is over.

Adapted from “6 Tips for Running Offsites That Aren’t a Waste of Time,” by Melissa Raffoni

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