advice you can use — short and to the point — every Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

Thursday, January 12th, 2017 technology  research  practice

  • Practice

It’s a new year. Some of us have resolutions that keep us true to what we want to get out of it. Those of us who don’t are still fresh from the holidays and keen on making the most of it. It’s a great time to start planning a retreat for your law firm. Perfect timing, in fact, if you’d like it to take place in the summer or fall.

So, today’s tip?

If you want your next law firm retreat to count, give it a purpose that’s sure to make a mark.

Don’t waste your previous day away with your team on secondary objectives that you can easily address at the office. And don’t turn it into something it’s not. A retreat isn’t a strategic plan, business plan or marketing plan. It’s certainly not another training session or business meeting.

A retreat is a blank slate waiting for a solitary, relevant and moving purpose. If you can achieve that, you’ll be free to discuss, brainstorm, plan and map out real solutions that go beyond surface issues. Creativity will flow, rather than being constrained or scattered by an unrealistic or incoherent agenda.

Aside from giving the retreat energy and focus, your purpose will also make it memorable.

Why does that matter?

It’ll matter when you get back to the office and are faced with business as usual and your retreat rapidly fades into a distant memory. If the retreat makes a big impact on one specific and important topic, participants are more likely to show enthusiasm and commitment about rolling out the resulting action plan.

They may even drive the process.

Don’t worry if there isn’t one obvious purpose jumping out at you now. It’s only January. Take the time to properly explore this. Bring in a consultant for a fresh perspective and expertise in the subject matter. Consider the possibility of conducting private interviews, focus groups or a survey that will help you to delve deep into a specific issue or opportunity expected to make a real difference to the firm’s future.

Identifying a purpose for your retreat will be the single most important decision that you make about your retreat. Besides which, the process of choosing a winning purpose that deserves your attention, will add great value in and of itself.

For more tips on planning a law firm retreat, see the following previous posts on SlawTips:

Also, see Sandra Bekhor’s previous posts at Toronto Marketing Blog:

Sandra Bekhor, Toronto