Do you dread company offsites?

Projectors that don’t work…
Someone dialled in for six hours from the other side of the planet…
That nagging question, “why are we here again?”…

Company offsite meetings are intended to be a forced break from the daily grind to get the right group of people together to make accelerated progress on a key topic. At their best, offsite meetings energise your group while rapidly advancing the collective around strategy, training or alignment on recent business performance. They should be an ideal way to improve employee engagement.

Too often, however, offsite meetings devolve into a disconnected set of updates of recycled slides that aimlessly wanders toward an unknown, undefined conclusion. Just consider how many of you have been subjected to the no-laptop, no-cell-phone rule. If these meetings were valuable, would you really need a nanny forcing you to pay attention?

There is an important reckoning needed for corporate offsites. We, as a community, have got to get better at finding mechanisms to develop individual and team talent. Since 2011, the 1,000+ executives we survey each year state that finding and developing talent is getting exponentially more difficult.

Graph illustrating whether survey respondents believe finding and developing talent is getting easier or harder.

These offsite forums should be an ideal way to develop talent by sharing information and providing key opportunities to practice soft skills related to executive presence, presentation skills and general leadership. We will take on solving this offsite challenge at our upcoming Fast Forward Supply Chain Capability conference, which is focused exclusively on how to foster and improve talent development.

To prepare, we’re looking for your guidance on how to make offsite meetings more effective. Take this quick 5-minute survey and we will send you the results along with a list of recommendations on how you can improve offsites at your company.


Have a great offsite horror story? Feel like you have the offsite challenge cracked? Contact me directly at [email protected] with your thoughts.


Author Matt Davis

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