The past few days I have been at our Senior Team Retreat. We get away every fall and spend a few days planning for the following year. Last night I was unpacking my bag and realized that every time I take a trip I spend time unpacking my bag. The dirty clothes get put into the hamper for the wash, the toiletries go back under the cabinet (unless you have separate ones for travel like me!), clean clothes get put back up and the bag goes back in its place. You would never consider not unpacking your bag.

In the same way, you should spend time unpacking the ideas from the time you spent away. Each initial idea needs time for reflection, analysis and improvement. Whether you are at a conference or on a retreat, take time to unpack the ideas. Consider spending a significant amount of time asking tough questions about the decisions that were made, those that are in process and those for the future. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time.

  1. Mark S. on Wednesday 30, 2009


    I agree with unpacking the ideas and decisions, taking time for reflection, analysis, improvement, and asking tough questions. I also agree with the not doing that being a waste of time. However, I believe the biggest culprit for wasting time and effort comes in an area you didn’t mention. I have been to countless meetings where good ideas and plans are developed and people have gone away and put good effort into further development of the ideas and plans. But that was where it ended and all of the time and effort put into to it was wasted. Why? Because clear assignment of responsibility to carry out the plans and decisions were not made, clear objective measures to assess the progress were not developed or monitored, and the assigned person was not held accountable. The ideas, plans, and decisions have to be acted upon otherwise all of the time spent is wasted, other than the time spent together as a senior team hopefully being productive toward team growth. :o)

  2. Josh on Wednesday 30, 2009

    @ Mark S – great word. We always ask in our meetings, “Who is owning this?” Glad you added that!


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