Company Retreats

Business,Judy's Book by on July 17, 2007 at 11:20 pm

We just had our annual JB company retreat on Lopez Island. We left Seattle early Monday AM and returned midday Tuesday.

Company retreats are held in many different forms. Sometimes retreats hold day-long meetings, while others are purely social. Some encourage spouses, some don’t. Some retreats involve travel to exotic places, while others are held offsite nearby.

At Bain, we rented an entire wing at the Mt Washington Hotel and held elaborate parties for two nights. KC and the Sunshine Band played one night, but the second night featured the ‘Bain Band’, a group of consultants with musical talent played reworded pop songs. The long weekends typically involved a lot of drinking, dancing and socializing. The entire office returned refreshed with tighter relationships and always a bit of office gossip.

While clearly inappropriate for a startup, memorable retreats can certainly be had on much, much tighter budgets.

I’ve never seen a retreat that wasn’t worthwhile. I’ve seen plenty of retreat meetings that are worthless, but as long as the retreat involves an overnight and a social group of people they always build better teams.


  1. Neil — August 30, 2007 @ 6:31 pm

    I remember a Quova off site at a low-rent So. Lake Tahoe casino. (sorry. redundant) The road trip was the best part. I drove my Durango and I fed a modest amount of Budweiser to everyone else in the vehicle while trying to high jack the product roadmap. I can’t recall any real insight from the discussions (what a shock!) but, as you say, the relationships benefit.

  2. Dave Naffziger — September 4, 2007 @ 9:02 am

    Ah, a good reminder that not all retreats actually get business done…

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