I recently re-tweeted an interesting short article based on management guru Peter Drucker. The more I thought about it, though, the material is worth far more than a simple re-tweet.

When I led a for-profit business and came across stimulating written materials, we would occasionally take one day for a mini-retreat to dig into the topics discussed to see what we could learn from them and apply in our shop. Sometimes we included board members, sometimes just the leadership team. Point is, there are some terrific thought-provoking articles written frequently that, you as an executive director, board member, or board president could use to bring into your organization some fresh, status-quo challenging, thinking.

In terms of process, we would ask everyone to read and study the article through a filter of our own organization in advance. I’d ask a small sub-set of the participants to develop stimulating questions and challenges about our firm, based on the reading material. This was a great way to develop future leaders, get top and mid-level leaders to work together, and discover new ways to look at our business.

Out of our discussions, we would usually develop 2-3 short term cross-functional projects for additional investigation. Often, these resulted in improvements in how we did businesses. We would never have discovered these better ideas without the brainstorming session. They we quite valuable. And the participants found them stimulating and realized how we valued their ideas.

The article I mention above can be found here and I suggest you use it with your team and a few board members to springboard internal brainstorming to see what you can learn from it and apply to increase your organization’s impact.

If you’d like to hear more about how we ran these sessions, call me and let’s talk…