As I write this column, we are completing final preparations for our fall planning session and I am preparing to get away to the meeting in Ottawa for a few days. The stress of travel and preparations for coverage with my sons, my dog and ensuring I can stay on schedule for my job are almost overwhelming.
This past month I have struggled to stay on top of work, home life and children with hockey season starting. In the middle of it, I have been dealing with email issues where for periods of time I can’t send or receive.
Where did all of the stress come from? It is the same as in past years with the exception of having a dog now. The biggest thing I have noticed is the change of pace from the relaxing summer days to the quickened pace that my clients and contacts have taken on with fall and winter getting ever so closer.
The fall planning session is an annual event I have participated in since 2007, the last two years with the event planned for October I was unable to attend in person since the conflicts with home life and my son’s hockey schedules made it impossible to attend meetings Sunday through to Wednesday. This year we were proactive in scheduling ahead of my hockey season and with the majority of staff and contractors based in Ottawa the earlier schedule does not seem to have impacted our overall production schedule.
The intent of fall planning session is a review of the past year, while exploring ideas to improve business processes, provide more value to our clients and find ways to increase revenues and new ways to generate business. A long list of action items will come from the brainstorming and sharing of information. The key will be follow up with each in a timely manner and ensure new ideas are put to the test.
Earlier, we would have a high-priced consultant come in and run the meeting; however after several years we were able to adapt the model and manage it in house. At the meeting everyone is treated like an equal and tasks and responsibilities are assigned to all regardless if they are the CEO or person who does drop offs of the publications at client’s locations.
I look forward with sharing the ideas and new strategies that come from this meeting in the next few months.
Does your company hold annual meetings or retreats for team building and brainstorming for your success? If so share what you do and the positive things that have come from the meetings by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (905) 228-1151.
Chase is the director of marketing and client relations for the Construction News and Report Group as well as associate publisher for the GTA Construction Report, Ontario Construction Report and the Canadian Design & Construction Report.
He serves on the Niagara Construction Association’s (NCA) board of directors and is the NCA young leaders committee chair.