A retreat should aim for a renewed sense of colleagueship, a volunteer engagement that survives the more routine board meetings of the year.
Board retreats are too often dull and routine, when they can offer potentially landmark opportunities for a school. Pause to think about the combined experience and commitment around a table or circle of school trustees. Don’t waste people’s time.
Success requires the chair or key trustees’ time, with the school Head and perhaps a facilitator planning both the event itself and beyond-the-event. Each trustee needs to know why the retreat is necessary, that it is not happening because it happens each year.
Each trustee should know what the expected outcome is:
- Does it solve a current problem?
- Does it serve to begin a new plan for the school?
- Does it set the year’s agenda for the board?
- How do the leaders of the board and school plan to follow up on the ideas and suggestions people make – the beyond-the-event?
Trustees must feel deeply engaged. Good retreats prefer problems without easy solution and solutions that fit budgets. The facilitators of a retreat should aim for a renewed sense of colleagueship, a volunteer engagement that survives the more routine board meetings of the year.
Our firm can provide one person to help plan and facilitate or two of us can lead the process. A short retreat is three hours long, a full retreat six. After that, better to take a hike.