The Secret to Successful Management Retreats

Retreats are a crucial part of your business strategy. Getting away from the office for a couple of days each year allows you to reflect on your big picture goals and clearly see what needs to be done. In an era where work is often done remotely, connecting face to face is powerful. And there’s something about short “sprints” that makes them more productive than an average workweek. Whether you’re launching a new product or planning your next year, a management retreat is an effective way to start.

But what is the secret to a successful retreat?


Informal team building Peter Drucker said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. When you face stress at the office it’s helpful to see your colleagues as human beings. Socializing together and encouraging personal connections will lead to a more effective team in the long run.

This might mean relaxing with a fireplace, wood-fired sauna, yoga classes, massage, or whirlpool. It might be something more adventurous, like kayak lessons, an introduction to dog sledding, or hiking, or a round of disc golf, or skiing nearby. Or it might just be sitting by the bonfire and having s’mores.

But as much as informal team building helps a group coalesce, it’s not the secret to a successful retreat.

Formal team building is where you take team building to the next level. Since the 1960s, scientists have been doing academic research on the effects that challenge courses have on companies. The research finds that this type of activity helps develop self-esteem, team cohesion, confidence, and concentration.

The Larsmont Center for Strategy and Team Development is the only Association for Challenge Course Technology certified course in northern Minnesota. Our leaders will design a program around your group’s needs—whether that’s developing trust, leadership skills, willingness to take risks, or anything else.

But formal team building is just one piece of the puzzle. For a really successful retreat, you need something more.


Food and drink are a must for a good get-together. Breaking bread together at a Hawaiian pig roast or north woods fish boil is great fun, and we also have a private chef’s table for a multi-course dining experience. We’ll put on an interactive cooking activity for your group or just let you enjoy cedar planked salmon or Swedish meatballs with lingonberries at the Ledge Rock Grille. But even though you can have cocktails from our full bar delivered straight to the pool, you haven’t quite found the secret yet.


Good facilities are a big deal. Years after the formal conversations have been forgotten, everyone remembers the view of the lake and the plush accommodations. We have a private meeting room with basic AV equipment and some of the most luxurious lodging on the north shore, with comfortable bedding, sleek hardwood and stone interiors, and amenities like fireplaces and whirlpool tubs.

Of course, you can have team building at a great resort without getting your management retreat goals accomplished. It helps, but the secret is something different.

Nature is a huge part of a north shore experience. It inspires creativity, deep thinking, and surprise connections. Our cottages are nestled in 40 acres of private woods with 1,300 feet of Lake Superior beachfront shoreline. We’re near snowmobile trails, hiking trails, biking trails, and ski trails, along with the waterfalls of Gooseberry Falls State Park.

As much as nature can help a management retreat along, though, it won’t make it successful on its own. So what’s the secret to a good retreat?


So what IS the secret to a successful management retreat?

It’s you! You’re the one who decides where your group will stay, what you’ll eat and drink, and what kind of scenery you’ll surround yourselves with. You are responsible for team building. And the way you approach this will make all the difference.

Let us help you build your team. We’ve handled dozens of retreats and have a designated group sales director who will put every detail together for you. Write to Jennifer at [email protected] or call her at 218-728-8060 extension 104. We’ll get back to you right away with more information on the perfect management retreat.