How to Self-Facilitate an Offsite Retreat

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

You facilitated an offsite for a firm where I used to work. We made a lot of progress and identified some good next steps. I joined a new firm about 14 months ago and we are talking about having an offsite. The partners want to do it internally. I have suggested using an outside facilitator because I saw the benefit first hand.

If we do an offsite on our own, can you share any tips about how to make it most effective? Over my career I have been to a number of these where we have fun but nothing happens next, and other times when we talked about many things but didn’t do anything. We are all very busy and I’m not looking forward to spending a day or more without a benefit to me and the firm. Thanks for any ideas or direction you can offer.


Dear T.F.,

I’m glad you had a positive experience with your prior firm. Facilitation and running offsites for client firms is one of the most fun and fulfilling things I do. But, yes, you can run an effective one on your own. Here are some ideas to make it an enjoyable and beneficial experience: