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Corner Office: Evan Marcus

by Editorial Staff--South Jersey Biz

Evan Marcus, Co-Founder, DillonMarcus Executive Retreats

Building the team mentality in your office can be difficult. But with a little help, you can be well on your way. We spoke to Evan Marcus, co-founder of DillonMarcus Executive Retreats, about how corporate retreats can help develop this attitude and why organizing one for your company might be more beneficial than you think.

The importance of corporate retreats: Corporate retreats are not only important, they are invaluable. Great leadership teams are the foundation of great organizations. And great leadership teams rarely happen organically—rather, they are the result of careful cultivation.

What makes a successful retreat: A great corporate retreat should have elements of visioning, business strategy, relationship-building and a shared experience where the team gets to practice working together. If you’ve planned five hours of PowerPoint presentations topped off by a round of golf or a spa appointment—you’ve missed the boat.

On retreat benefits for small and large companies: We consult with very large and very small organizations and they all have one thing in common: people. People work in large organizations; and people work in small organizations. That is both the good news and the bad news. Henry Ford once said, “Why is it that every time I hire a pair of hands, I get a whole person with them?” Retreats are a tool for revving up and tuning up the most important yet most overlooked component of your business—the people who make it run.

How corporate retreats have changed over the years: Retreats have become more purposeful and less extravagant. Leaders are looking for a return on their investment. They want to cultivate their collective talent and move their organizations forward in meaningful and purposeful ways. Oftentimes, the team-building pieces have “give-back” social responsibility elements built in.

On planning a memorable retreat: This answer is filled with such common sense that it is shocking how it is so not common practice: You ask for their opinion. The design of a retreat should take into account the needs and desires of those attending. Asking the attendees in advance creates an early sense of involvement and excitement and eliminates the “Us vs. Them” attitude that can sometimes surface when the retreat was created “for them” and not “by them.”

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 5, Issue 6 (June, 2015).
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