Saturday, November 29, 2008

Barnacle Offsite

One of the books I'm perpetually reading is 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, by Stephen Covey. I really love his perspective on focusing on what we want our families to be.  A strategy that Bill and I quickly and easily incorporated into our life is the idea of a regular check-in to make sure the family is headed in the right direction. Based on our best corporate training, we've dubbed these "Barnacle Offsites."

Today we left the kids with our beloved and amazing housemate to head downtown to a friend's office.  With 6 full hours of kid free time, we chugged through our agenda.  Our usual items include the state of the house, how each family member is doing, a conversation about finance/budget and upcoming projects.  

After our first couple of offsites, Bill and I came home with huge lifestyle changes - Bill quitting his corporate job, moving to a new neighborhood.  People in our household became a little nervous about the idea of these meetings. But having resolved some of the major issues with our lives, meetings are now smaller scale tactical conversations and long-term planning.

Last meeting we realized we could schedule the next event in advance, so only 3 months have passed since our last check-in (as opposed to the 9-12 months that slipped away between previous ones).  Amazingly, it was easy to review our progress as we could still interpret our notes.  Also with a specified date looming, we actually kept track of and completed many of our action items. 

We closed our meeting early today having worked through our agenda and identified next-actions. We scheduled a date for the next offsite and headed out to meet the bus.

1 comment:

Jenni said...

Is the "offsite" (by whatever name) a concept that's covered pretty well by Covey? I'm drawn to the idea, but not so much to his prose. I'm curious about how you develop your agenda and otherwise plan for your meetings.