Retreat is the call that often causes board members and community residents to want to fade off into the background and stop making eye contact. What is the purpose of a retreat anyway?
Governing boards seldom have time to pause during their routine work for an in-depth examination of the organization, its environment or its future, or to make a realistic evaluation of the board's effectiveness. A retreat offers an opportunity to refocus on fundamentals, engage in thoughtful long-term planning, and reflect on mission, vision, and strategic goals.
Retreats strengthen trust and relationships among board members and between the board and staff. A retreat can pull together a divided board on an issue crucial to the future of the organization. A retreat can make a group of individuals into a working board.
Carefully planned retreats, usually held at least once a year, are a critical component in the ongoing process of building an effective board. The knowledge, spirit and common sense of direction that often emerge from a retreat benefit the board long after the sessions end.
A retreat is an investment in excellence.
If your board members dread retreats, strategic planning work sessions and training, there is probably good reason for it. Well-meaning but misguided retreats often look more like kindergarten boot camp than productive work sessions – and the results show it. Lupke & Associates will show your organization that it is possible to have fun and be productive without blindfolds and rope climbing.
All Diane Lupke & Associates consultants are skilled and experienced facilitators and trainers who have developed expertise in learning methods (such as integrated learning, creative thinking, and multiple intelligences) and are comfortable in the use of team-building techniques and facilitation tools. Facilitated discussions and training sessions may be part of weekend retreats, stand alone events, or ongoing training courses.
The Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership engaged Diane Lupke & Associates to conduct weekend and evening retreats and board training sessions for 13 Indianapolis-based Community Development Corporations. Each retreat enabled the organization to formulate mission and vision statements, set goals, devise strategies, and formulate action plans, including benchmarks to gauge progress and success. Many of the retreats also included training sessions in how to develop a more effective board, board roles and responsibilities, and fund raising.
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Working with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and contract administrator Price Waterhouse, Diane Lupke & Associates developed a series of training sessions held across the country for newly designated Empowerment Zones, Enterprise Communities, and Renewal Communities. These courses addressed such topics as marketing, entrepreneurship, strategic planning, workforce development, fund raising, empowerment, and understanding the neighborhood economy.
On a continuing basis Firm President Diane Lupke teaches the courses “Neighborhood Economic Development” for the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), and “Federal Tools” for the Economic Development Institute. Check the IEDC website for upcoming dates in your area.
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