Board Retreats

How to build a better board

Board members spend less and less time together, but more and more is expected of them. The “feel good” boondoggle retreat is a thing of the past, and today these meetings are intended to provide opportunities for discussion, debate, and reflection – resulting in more productive board dynamics. But to be successful, board and committee retreats require insight and planning.

While retreats are often forums for discussing long-term strategies, they also provide a setting for a wide range of matters that do not fit neatly in the regular board or committee agendas. For example, the board and committee assessment process can tee up issues for discussion at the retreat, and the retreat’s more relaxed atmosphere provides an excellent opportunity to resolve these matters. Directors can focus on areas that could use more attention or development than they have been getting during the year, or where it exists, on areas of friction among directors, or between board and CEO.

When we facilitate retreats, we make sure it ends with real consensus, results, and action plans, whether the issues involve long-term strategies or the resolution of differences.  The retreat can go a long way to build a constructive board dynamic and to educate the board as a whole on matters of importance to the company.