Reinventing Team Retreats

Re-inventing Team Retreats

by Rainer von Leoprechting

I wrote this short article when preparing the Next-Stage.World Gathering 2016. We are doing it again! Join us in Rhodes in spring 24-28 April 2017 or fall 16-20 October 2017.
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People working in teams know: At some moment the need to be intensively together is so strong that you finally set a date and place, and get a facilitator to help review your strategies, your ways of working or dealing with conflicts. I have facilitated team and leaderstealretreathip retreats for many years. In my search for having the best impact, I have innovated or tested every imaginable form and process. I’ve used the full palette of participatory facilitation processes and designs. Yet I was left feeling that some further step was needed, while not knowing exactly what it was.

Now I know. Here I’m going to take that step, on an international scale, and you are invited to participate in it! I am calling together a hosting team of leading facilitators and practitioners of self-organization or self-management. The very event itself is a self-organized collaboration between three partner organizations, Enlivening Edge, pro-action learning, and Synergy!

Together, we are inviting teams — perhaps yours! —  from many companies to work on the issues they need to work on together in a very special re-invented co-learning community setting. Your team can attend this Gathering with other teams, around the challenges and joys of self-organizing, self-management–all at the same place–the beautiful emerald island of Rhodes in Greece–and at the same time–September 17-18 and 19-23, 2016!

A light facilitation at the opening of each day will allow everyone to share what’s important for them. Then the work (guided by suggested processes useful for reinventors) will commence, in concentrated, focused sessions. All teams work in parallel, yet they invite each other, and the overall facilitation encourages many opportunities to visit each others’ work. Collective intelligence joins the teams as they work. For example, an idea found to address the engagement issues within the staff of a company proves to be the best possible solution to energize a political party reform in Tunis. Thus ideas travel across teams, and questions asked in one corner are responded to in another.

If your team were to go alone on a regular retreat, the team would be alone with itself and the facilitator. Facilitation does bring a great advantage to team work; the facilitator offers a process, questions, and conflict resolution skills for the team. Facilitation can bring a fresh outside perspective that helps the team to see itself through the eyes of the facilitator/witness. At this Gathering, your team is not alone with itself and a facilitator. It is on retreat with other terms sparking synergy upon synergy! Then the beneficial advantages of facilitation more than double, with the presence of so many more co-energizers.

Typically teams work in a strategy-making mode, business-modeling mode, or change-planning mode. After the retreat, implementation begins–the results of which are often brought to a later retreat for review and next steps. In any of those modes, the input of other teams or stakeholders makes the plans more realistic and more corresponding to a real need.

At the Gathering of teams on Rhodes, by contrast, all of those resources are present immediately, as you are still at the drawing board. Critical input comes in so much earlier, so plans and solutions are not only more realistic and needed, they are more likely to be used successfully.

You are now invited to the first Gathering of this kind in Rhodes. Come with your team. Look for the next blog which will describe how this gathering will be engaging (for everyone’s learning and benefit) the full talents of consultants, mentors, and sole entrepreneurs. You can register for this Gathering here, or look for more information here,


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