Admiral Grace Hopper, the pioneering computer scientist, once said that the most dangerous phrase in the language is, “We’ve always done it this way.” When it comes to corporate offsites, her phrase applies splendidly.
Autumn is offsite season at many companies, as teams across organizations look to a new year. The classic offsite has time-honored elements. It’s a long, often multiday meeting, held away from work (unless it’s not—then it becomes the “on-site offsite”). An outside facilitator shows up, along with too much food. You might have a “team-building” component. Presto! Big discussions, renewed connections, and enthusiasm for the future. But let’s be honest: People are happy to be done with it, once it ends.