Yesterday was our IT Department 2nd annual off-site meeting. I decided not to call it a “retreat” because that term implies down time for spiritual nourishment. I do hope this meeting is spiritually nourishing, but that isn’t its primary purpose. We leave one help desk person behind to man the fort. The rest of us go away to spend a day together reflecting on the prior year and looking forward to the coming year.
I invite each person to bring something to share. It could be anything from a strategic technology to a prayer list, from a scripture to a cool web site. Bringing something is purely optional.
I go into the day with some ideas of things I would like to discuss, but I very intentionally do not have an agenda. In that sense it’s more like a roundtable than a structured business meeting.
Yesterday we began with a discussion of our vision for serving users, following the words and example of Jesus. It was an early alpha release of my talk coming up at MinistryTECH. I asked everyone in the team to share “if I were in charge for a day, I would …” We then had a time of individual prayer to reflect on the discussion and listen for a word from God. After a break we had a chance to share what we prayed about and what we heard. I then responded to the ideas offered.
Next we did a very informal survey to evaluate ourselves and our department. Each of us rated from 1-10 how we think we are doing in the areas of efficiency, work quality, reputation, infrastructure availability, servanthood, internal teamwork, external teamwork, annual goal achievement, and leadership. This was a nice exercise. It wasn’t anonymous. We openly discussed the ratings we each gave and why. This turned out to be really cool so I plan to repeat the same self evaluation at next year’s meeting and compare it to this year.
We finished by having technical discussions about three important projects for 2008: Sharepoint implementation, Arena implementation, and Internet Campus.
I highly recommend all church IT teams of more than a couple of people to do this at least annually. Good stuff.
Clif – Thanks for sharing the story. sounds like a fun and effective time.Andrew Conard