Last week I attended my first corporate retreat. While I’ve enjoyed attending many conferences throughout my career, I never found them a suitable opportunity for building relationships or enhancing teams.
When Belinda and Andrew invited me to this year’s Franchise Principals retreat my expectations were high – and I wasn’t disappointed. Now that I’m an experienced corporate retreat participant, I can provide my Top Five Benefits.
1. FRESH PERSPECTIVE
Getting out of town meant a departure, both physically and mentally, from the daily grind of work pressure & family commitments. I could focus and enjoy the moment without any distractions.
2. GENUINE ENGAGEMENT
A small retreat of limited participants provided many authentic moments to get to know everyone, particularly Belinda. Prior to this trip I had met her a few times in a business capacity, but Bali was a chance to discuss life beyond work and share insights into the trials of juggling family and career. We also bonded over the challenges of guiding our teenage daughters!
3. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
In terms of understanding the company’s shared strategy and long-term goals, it was the most productive Principals gathering I’ve attended since joining Peter Blackshaw. The whole vibe of the retreat was upbeat, engaging and collaborative. It was obvious that everyone’s onboard with the future direction proposed by our corporate team. Immediately after that meeting, I felt excited by the strength of our unity, believing that together we can lead our industry in Canberra.
4. SHARED PROBLEM SOLVING
One of the great advantages in working together outside the office is to think together outside the box . . or more like there is no box! It was interesting to reflect on our shared challenges and collaborate on the best way to tackle these. I’ve completely changed the way I think about the simple things that make a huge difference to the experiences we provide our clients with.
5. UNEXPECTED INSIGHTS
Daily interactions with my colleagues also revealed two surprising discoveries. Firstly, how closely aligned my personal values are to those of my professional network. Secondly, how many of the Franchise Principals wear multiple hats at work. Sometimes, in the day-to-day of running a franchise business, you can forget about the wider network that you belong to. I came back to Canberra with a stronger appreciation of my role within the Peter Blackshaw family.
The entire retreat provided a great reminder of why I became a Peter Blackhaw Franchise Principal. Overall, the 2019/2020 forward planning focus has kicked me into high gear and I’m confident that our network will meet, if not exceed our shared goals.
Esther Sebbens, Principal of Peter Blackshaw Belconnen