Too often in the workplace the day-to-day pressures of producing work and meeting deadlines prevent people from focusing on the big picture. This causes problems in the long run because dealing exclusively with the paperwork on the desk is not the way to move an organization forward. Boards, management teams, and work units on all levels can benefit from time away from the work environment to take a step back and refocus. Facilitated retreats allow such refocusing to take place.
The facilitator works with the leadership team and, often, with all of the participants in advance of a retreat to determine the needs of the team and its goals for the retreat. While sometimes there is a more strategic component (see Facilitation of Strategic Planning Efforts), often the goals of the facilitated retreat are simply to enhance the effectiveness of the team or board and to enable them to look beyond the minutiae of the daily grind to plan for a more satisfying future. The presence of the outside facilitator allows everyone in the work unit or on the board to participate fully and injects an element of objectivity into the process that can be very valuable.