List of retreat themes and objectives

By Jorge Gray,2014-04-24 16:30
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List of retreat themes and objectives

List of Possible Retreat Themes and Objectives

    This list is intended to help planners clarify the specific workshop objectives for their particular needs and group. It is organized as an illustrative “menu” of typical retreat objectives arranged by theme or retreat goal. Typically GHFP retreats have a mix of objectives from more than one theme. The approximate time required to achieve each objective is included in parentheses after each statement. Actual timing will depend on the size of the group. The term “unit” takes the place of “mission”, “office”, “division” or “team”.

    Each of the numbered sentences below completes a standard behavioral objective beginning with: By the end of the retreat the participants will have:

Staff Motivation, Inclusion and Orientation

    1. Gained clarity on the mission and mandate of the team. (approximately one ? day of delivery) 2. Understood the content and implications of new Agency policies/processes on the work of the unit.

    (approximately one ? day of delivery)

    3. Integrate new staff members into the group (1 - 2 hours of delivery via interactive exercises) 4. Reviewed roles and responsibilities for existing staff/team members and needs for additional/new

    personnel. (approximately one ? day of delivery)

    5. Learned ways to manage/cope effectively in a USAID context (USG program management systems

    and its particular „cultural‟ profile) which is in constant change. (approximately ? day of delivery)

    6. Identified issues and actions that will facilitate the smooth transition and integration of new staff in

    the next 6 months. (approximately ? day of delivery)

    7. Built camaraderie within the group and appreciated each others skills and contributions.

    (approximately one ? day of delivery)

Team-building: Understanding teams and teamwork

    8. Defined the characteristics of effective, high-performing teams and articulated a common

    understanding of the meaning of “teamwork” within the context of the unit. (Outcomes of this

    objective would include clarifying the distinction between work groups and teams, how decision-

    making and communication practices differentiate between teams and office (work groups) and

    consideration of varying decision-making styles may use teams (approximately 1 hour of delivery) 9. Determined why and when to use teams or not to use teams AND agreed on the characteristics of

    effective, high-performance teams. (approximately 1 hour of delivery)

    10. Understood how well functioning teams add value to their work through synergy (Outcome of a

    team-building simulation exercise. (approximately ? day on day one)

Team-building: Team behavior, communication and decision- making

    11. Completed a careful review of members‟ roles and responsibilities to identify gaps, desired and

    undesired overlaps. (Pre-retreat work: To this end participants will be tasked to prepare list of the

    roles and responsibilities prior to the retreat. The review of member responsibilities should include

    identification of areas where team members need specific support.) (approximately one ? day of


    12. Taken stock of what has worked well in terms of teamwork over the past year and captured those

    values and practices for continuity as staffing changes in next six months. (approximately one ?

    day of delivery)

    13. Structured processes for improved internal communication, including for team meetings, norms for

    decision making, and information sharing. (approximately ? day of delivery)

    14. Appreciated how members‟ perceptions of cultural factors affect the unit‟s workplace. (Exercises to

    explore the „cultural‟ similarities and differences at play within the unit‟s team dynamics.)

    (approximately one ? day of delivery)

    15. Understood and appreciated the advantages and challenges that culture and personal style

    preferences bring to team functioning: how these facilitate and complicate group communication,

    morale and decision-making. Possible use of the Myers Brigg Type Indicator or Apter Motivation

    Style Profile to expand members‟ understanding of personal style preferences and their impact on

    team communication and functioning. (approximately ? day of delivery)

    GHFP Organizational Development 1

    June 2008

List of Possible Retreat Themes and Objectives

16. Acquired insight into one‟s own emotional intelligence and its importance in maintaining productive

    working relationships. (approximately ? day of delivery)

    17. Assessed as a group how well each the office/team has handled external and internal

    communications and decision-making (two critical factors in high performing teams). (approximately

    ? day of delivery)

    18. Learned means to manage and maintain effective collaboration with entities external to the unit.

    (approximately ? day of delivery)

Strategy Development and Action-Planning

    19. Gained clarity on the mission and mandate of the team. (approximately one ? day of delivery) 20. Come to agreement around a shared strategic vision for the unit as well as a framework for

    medium-term plan for implementing it. (approximately ? day of delivery)

    21. Planned specific actions for improving the implementation of the unit‟s portfolio or project.

    (approximately ? day of delivery)

    22. Addressed immediate work issues/concerns such as work priorities. (approximately ? day of


    23. Agreed on an overall strategy and approach to how the staff/team interacts with critical

    stakeholders. (approximately ? day of delivery)

    24. Explored a transition to the new strategic or operational plan or operating budget. (approximately ?

    to ? day of delivery)

Improved Unit Management processes.

    25. Identified and prioritized actions for improving Mission productivity. (approximately ? day of


    26. Identified unit work “bonuses and bottlenecks” (what‟s working well / what needs to be improved,

    either from the personal or unit perspective), prioritize bottlenecks and developed strategies to

    mitigate them. (approximately ? day of delivery)

    27. Developed recommendations for improvements in current work processes. (approximately ? day

    of delivery)

    28. Worked through a calendar of joint work activities and deadlines to improve coordination.

    (approximately ? day of delivery)


    ; Based on your understanding of your group‟s needs, use a process of elimination of objectives on

    the list above to identify 2 to 5 priority objectives.

    ; The number of objectives that you can adequately address in a retreat workshop is a function of

    the objective, the size of the group and the duration of the workshop. A rushed retreat agenda

    sets you up unsatisfactory results.

    ; One way to identify priority objectives is to ask “At the end of the retreat, what would success look

    like?” and answer the question in terms of changed knowledge and behavior in my group. GHFP Organizational Development 2

    June 2008

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