The Importance of Strategic Planning Retreats
It is often said that the long-term success of a business depends largely upon the ‘forward thinking’ of its owners and managers. Unfortunately, many of these leaders claim to be too busy to devote the necessary time required to look objectively at their business.
We don’t often have the opportunity to sit back and reflect unless we stop the routine. This is where Strategic Planning Retreats can help. This type of retreat involves taking time, in a safe and quiet place, to reflect, discuss, plan, set goals, and commit to future results. Giving yourself and others an opportunity to understand the current situation is valuable. Learning about important issues and the strategies for addressing these issues has the potential to create opportunities and mitigate risk.
Successful leaders and managers have learned that working away from the normal place of business can produce valuable results. A Strategic Planning Retreat provides a unique opportunity to address both ongoing and new issues that arise throughout the business year and how they will affect the business’ future.
The process involves creating concise statements of a business’s vision, mission, values, goals, and strategies. It also involves reinforcing the values that guide people’s behaviour. Developing and reminding your team of the business’ strategic intention helps everyone focus, make decisions, plan for current operations, and handle critical issues.
A Strategic Planning Retreat is also a forum for nurturing teamwork. Successful owners and managers have learned the extra value that a team of people can generate for the business. Retreats create synergy, excitement, and a sense of optimism amongst the people attending them. These positive feelings can become infectious throughout the organization.
At Lipton, we often deal with clients on the financial side, but our in-depth knowledge of their business and its personnel allows us to help in so many other ways. We have the knowledge and the perspective to see things objectively and assist in facilitating and leading your Strategic Planning Retreat. This allows all parties to focus on the discussion instead of the retreat’s timetable and process.
Recognizing the importance of Strategic Planning Retreats, we at Lipton recently held our own two day retreat. Led by an outside facilitator, the Partners met to discuss the Firm’s vision for the future. We reviewed our current strategies and updated them to ensure we can continue serving our clients to the best of our abilities.
It also gave us time to focus on strategies to continue improving our proactive thinking, professional standards and perhaps most importantly, continuing our overall objective of being our clients’ “Most Trusted Advisor.”
We considered our retreat to be a great success and we continue to ‘follow it up’ in order to ensure that our strategies and related action steps are fully monitored to their completion.
If you are interested in having Lipton organize a retreat for your firm, please contact your relationship partner. We will be happy to assist you.
Jeff Nightingale is the Senior Tax Partner and a Managing Partner at Lipton LLP, Chartered Accountants. Jeff has written a number of publications and speaks to a variety of professional and business groups, including the Canadian Tax Foundation, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario and The Law Scociety of Upper Canada. He has also completed the CICA In-Depth Tax Course as well as other advanced taxation courses and is a member of the Canadian Tax Foundation and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.