“Working with Eric was a pleasure. We developed a good rapport and established a level of honesty and trust. I valued his counsel and recommendations. I find Eric to be very competent in a variety of disciplines. He is able to correctly diagnose organizational problems and suggest solutions that are on point. I found Eric to be a professional with the highest levels of honesty, integrity, and ethical behavior. I would not hesitate to engage his services again in the future.”
former Corporate Services Director,
Department of Planning and Development,
City of Seattle
(Kathy is now Director of Planning and Finance for Advocacy and Communications at World Vision.)
“I've worked closely with Eric on developing and presenting the Leadership Eastside community leadership program. He has that rare blend of extensive real-world experience along with a very strong background in theory and research. He moves easily between big picture strategy and the tactical details. Eric brings a superb ability to plan, execute and follow-through, both as a behind-the-scenes planner and as an upfront instructor and facilitator.”
founding board member,
It’s 3 pm at a daylong off-site meeting. You are feeling great about the progress the group has made over the last six hours. A new direction has been set, expectations are clearer, and people are feeling good about their work, their colleagues, and the entire enterprise. You’re “firing on all cylinders.”
Mission accomplished? No, not yet.
I have planned and facilitated countless retreats, and I have seen the same question come up again and again as the day wanes. That question is “What happens next?”
This is not the time to deliver an impromptu, mealy-mouthed answer. Your people will be looking to you for a clear, unequivocal sign that you are ready to follow-up and take on leadership in light of the offsite.
If the retreat has been a success, chances are you’ve agreed to some changes—big or small. It’s your job as the boss to hold people accountable for the next steps to make the change happen. Tell them how that will happen when you’re all back at the office.
My advice to clients is to prepare before the retreat what you’ll say the next steps will be. Anticipate what those might be as part of your retreat planning process. Sure, you can modify those next steps depending on how the day goes, but you’d better have something to work from.