The Great Company Meeting Conundrum: to hold an off-site retreat or host an in-house annual meeting. It’s a tale as old as time, really, and the decision often comes with staggeringly different results. You’re already aware of the benefits of holding a meeting in your office (budget friendly, familiar coffee maker, preferred corner at the board room table) but have you considered the outstanding benefits of taking your team to a fresh, new location for a few days of nothing but focus? Let us enlighten you how companies have, year after year, switched on a proverbial “light bulb” during a corporate retreat at Sugar Lake Lodge.
1. It’s not your typical meeting. There’s no right of wrong way to conduct a meeting or retreat because each company is unique in their own way (cue “you be you!” motivational speech). The goal should be, however, to change things up in order to avoid lackluster participation due to an uninspiring setting. Imagine taking your group up North, just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the city, to a pristine Northwoods-y setting where your team’s only focus is the task at hand. Recently, SFM – The Work Comp Experts sent 18 high-performing employees to a retreat at The Leaderhsip Lodge on Sugar Lake to develop a leadership development program with the main goal of cultivating leaders within the company. The group worked with Peter Bailey, President of The Prouty Project, to customize a program and experience that worked specifically for them. The group took part in a series of group challenges that incorporated creative thinking and strategic planning, and ultimately saw results before they were even back in the office. Read more about their experience here.
2. Spark creative thinking. Something special happens when you step out of the office and into scenic, calming territory. The New York Times recently published an article citing the positive benefits on the brain when outside in nature – which, just as we suspected, are virtually endless. Up here, your mind is free to think outside of the office walls and, essentially, turn off from the day-to-day distractions that hold us back from really going the extra mile. To supplement our surplus of brain-enhancing surroundings, we are proud to call ourselves one of the first Northern Minnesota resorts to boast 100 Mbps fibre internet. This means you will never be without access to high-speed web browsing or the ability to seamlessly stream videos throughout the property.
3. Complete customization (without the hassle). Work meetings at Sugar Lake Lodge are anything but “work.” We cater specifically to your group – big or small – whilst handling all logistics like transportation to and from the resort, all meals, breakout session set-up, lodging, activity planning and much more. We understand that there is no cookie-cutter meeting outline and that each company has different needs. We connect you with The Prouty Project or Meaningful Connections to plan and design a program suited for your company. Planning your meeting is more than developing an agenda – it’s a collaboration to learn about your company, team, and business challenges and designing a retreat based on your desired outcomes. Our specialty areas include:
- Strategic Planning
- Organizational Development
- Board and Team Development
- Leveraging LinkedIn
- Personal Branding
- Navigating the New World of Work
- Lifting Up Leadership
4. The perfect place to work hard and play hard. The key to a successful meeting is balance, and we are all about balancing your hard work with some much-needed down time. In the summertime, we proudly offer our 18-hole Championship Golf Course, Sugarbrooke, as way for your team to detach and connect with a little friendly office-wide rivalry. We are situated on the banks of Sugar Lake, a spring-fed, crystal clear lake perfect for sailing, fishing, or simply lounging on one of the several personal docks. We offer morning yoga and pilates classes catered to all levels, and we are amidst several miles of trails perfect for running, hiking, and biking. The winter isn’t so bad either (we’re Minnesotans so we’re tough, right?) and we make available everything from snowshoeing, snowmobile tours, and ice fishing to broom ball tournaments and roaring outdoor campfires.
5. Place really matters. Every year, The Prouty Project challenges themselves to develop an internal strategic planning retreat to improve team performance. How does one of the top business consulting groups conduct their own strategic planning session? “We believe strongly in the power of place, space and pace to unleash creativity, drive change and achieve outcomes,” said Sam Smith, vice president and senior consultant. “We use the same model for our team that we use with clients and every January our nine employees get away for three days.” To read the more about Prouty’s belief in the right place for strategic meetings, read more in our quarterly newsletter!