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The value of a corporate retreat

The value of a corporate retreat

Since Andrew and I took over Peter Blackshaw Real Estate in February, we’ve introduced a number of initiatives to engage our staff, inspire our franchisees and enhance our industry leadership. While the business had held annual franchisee gatherings locally, this year we expanded the scope of the meeting by taking the team to our inaugural Franchise Principals retreat in Indonesia.

We thought a few days away from the Canberra winter, on the island of Bali, would provide the corporate team and our franchise leaders with an opportunity for some blue sky thinking, strategic planning and team interaction.

In fact, corporate retreats can be a creative and efficient way to encourage the shared purpose and industry passion that a successful franchise network requires. After reflecting on the outcomes of our inaugural Franchise Principals retreat, I’ve realised the value of such a gathering – which certainly worked wonders for us.

Create shared experiences

In addition to providing a break from the office and all its distractions, we wanted to establish a new tradition that reinforced the value of being within a professional company that provided a strong, collegiate network. While each member of the Peter Blackshaw network is based in the same city, same industry and same business we don’t get regular opportunities to engage directly with those responsible for running each of the seven Canberra offices. Our trip to Bali provided a central venue where we could relax, forward plan and explore the great outdoors together as a team.

Shared experiences reinforce a shared purpose.

Enhance communication  

While our industry has benefited enormously from changes to information and communications technology over the last 20 years, as sales professionals we enjoy engaging with people face to face. A trip away from the office together provided many opportunities to explore those spontaneous conversations that you often don’t finish due to the distractions of a busy office. Direct communication, away from phone and email interruptions, also provided the chance to get to know each other better as friends and colleagues.

Direct communication utilises the interpersonal strengths of the team. 

Encourage collaboration

Our generous hosts at the W Bali (Seminyak) provided the perfect environment to take a relaxing break from a busy growth period, focus on the new financial year and get to know each other better over some great meals. As a result, there were many opportunities to exchange ideas, learn from each other and engage in creative problem solving.

Collaboration reinforces the strength of a corporate network.

Determine shared goals

As the purpose of the retreat was to discuss the overall corporate plan that supports each franchise office, it was rewarding to see how the relaxed atmosphere encouraged our franchisees to share ideas and opinions based on their own experiences and market insights. This cohesive atmosphere led to some great discussions that resulted in the introduction of new strategies and targets.  

Shared goals enhance a sense of belonging to a wider community.

As both a team member and the Managing Principal of Peter Blackshaw Corporation, I couldn’t be more excited for what the team has planned in the coming 12 months . . nor more proud of the people responsible for rolling it out! 

I’d also like to thank the W Hotel staff for their professionalism and hospitality during our stay. They provided an ideal venue for us to engage with each other and focus on our shared business objectives for the coming financial year.

Belinda Chamberlain is the Managing Principal of Peter Blackshaw Real Estate, considered Canberra’s premium agency. Established in 1988, Blackshaws has maintained a solid reputation across its seven offices for innovation and leadership in the ACT property market, negotiating Canberra’s first million-dollar property sale and pioneering a range of quality marketing techniques.
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