June 21, 2012

Running a Productive Offsite

Running a Productive Offsite A couple OnlyOnce readers asked me to do a post on how I run senior team offsites.  It’s a great part of our management meeting routine at Return Path, and one that Patrick Lencioni talks about extensively in Death by Meeting (review, book) – a book worth reading if you care about this topic. My senior team has four offsites per year.  I love them.  They are, along with my Board meetings, my favorite times of the year at work.  Here’s my formula for these meetings: –          WHY:  There are a few purposes to our offsites.  One for us is that our senior team is geographically distributed across 4 geographies at the executive level and 6 or 7 at the broader management team level.  So for us, these are the only times of the year that we are actually in the same place.  But even if we were all in one place, we’d still do them.  The main purpose of the offsite is to pull up from the day-to-day and tackle strategic issues or things that just require more uninterrupted time.  The secondary purpose is to continue to build and develop the team, both personal relationships and […]


October 5, 2005

What a View, Part II

What a View, Part II In Part I, I talked about how Return Path’s 360 reviews have become a central part of our company’s human capital strategy over the past five years.  While most staff members’ reviews have been done for weeks or months now, I just finished up the final portion of my own review, which I think is worth sharing. I always include my Board in my own 360.  My process is as follows: 1. I send the Board all the raw (and summarized) data from the staff reviews of me, both quantitative and qualitative. 2. I send […]


June 9, 2005

What a View

What a View We’ve done 360-degree reviews for five years now at Return Path.  Rather than the traditional one-way, manager-written performance review, we instituted 360s to give us a “full view” of an employee’s performance.  Reviews are contributed by the person being reviewed (a self assessment), the person’s manager, any of the person’s subordinates, and a handful of peers or other people in the company who work with the person.  They’re done anonymously, and they’re used to craft employees’ development plans for the next 12 months. The results of 360 are a wonderful management tool.  Mine in particular have always […]