Migrating birds represent teamwork at its best.

Flying in a V-shaped formation conserves their energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of him, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. The birds take turns being in the front, falling back when they get tired. In this way, they can fly for a long time before they must stop for rest.

The V formation also makes it easy to keep track of every bird in the group. Flying in formation may assist with the communication and coordination within the group.

By working together, your firm – like a flock of birds – is greater than the sum of its parts.

A facilitated retreat or strategic planning session is an opportunity for your team to focus on common goals and determine:

  • Your leaders or champions
  • Your team members and the roles they will play
  • How you will be accountable to each other
  • The desired outcome of each initiative

Not sure you need a facilitator for your accounting firm’s retreat? Here are three reasons to hire one:

  1. Your team needs to get “unstuck.”
  2. You want to participate yourself.
  3. You need to address a difficult issue.

How can you choose the right facilitator? Consider:

  • Skill and experience in moderating or facilitating meetings.
  • Ability to design an effective, custom retreat format.
  • Sufficient knowledge of the accounting industry to understand the issues facing the firm.
  • Ability to balance all the competing interests of the event, with respect for group members individually and collectively.
  • Sensitivity to the group’s dynamics and the flexibility to adapt to changing situations, as necessary.
  • Ability to move the retreat forward in a productive manner.
  • A reputation for honesty and objectivity.

Download our complimentary Retreat Checklist.

Published articles regarding retreats and retreat facilitator for accounting firms:

March 30, 2021 – How to Plan Your Accounting Firm’s Virtual Retreat – Conducting annual retreats is commonplace for many CPA firms. With the pandemic, more firms may consider holding virtual retreats to protect the health and safety of their people, to include participants from multiple locations, or to save travel expenses. Here are a few ideas about how to plan for your firm’s virtual retreat.

February 16, 2021 – Critical Questions to Ask at Your Accounting Firm Retreat -There has never been a better time than 2021 to conduct a firm retreat. The pandemic has changed the way we work and given us challenges we never thought possible. It has also provided opportunities that deserve attention. Read this article for a list of questions to consider asking related to marketing, business development, and culture.

February 2021 – 5 Reasons to Conduct a Retreat in 2021 – Let 2021 be the year you help prepare your firm for the future by conducting a retreat. Whether in-person (following CDC guidelines, of course) or virtual, I’m confident it will be time well spent.

April 2014 – Crucial questions – Be sure to get answers to these at your next firm retreat – Retreats are an opportunity for CPA firm partners to gather and discuss firm issues and operations. Marketing and practice development may be the focus of theme of your next retreat. Read this article for four crucial questions to ask.

February 2008 – Planning and Follow Up are Key Elements of Successful Retreats – Many CPA firms conduct annual partner retreats because they can see measurable results from investing the time. Read this article for tips on planning and following up your next retreat.