Not every offsite needs to generate world-changing innovations. Many focus on aligning, communicating, coordinating or celebrating. When you do seek breakthroughs, leverage an environment that disrupts and connects, a meaningful and rewarding shared purpose guiding attendees and your program towards deeper connections and practical actions.

1. Create an environment that disrupts attendees’ routines and engenders connections.

2. Center on a meaningful and rewarding shared purpose.

3. Organize the people, program and flow in line with that purpose.

4. Actively drive deeper connections.

5. Impel actions that are both impactful and practical and follow through to ensure they happen and measure success.

Yarrow Kraner and his partners do this in their HATCH experiences. We earlier applied their principles to curating relationships to accelerate onboarding. We can do the same for breakthroughs to “HATCH a better world.”

The steps flow from five brave questions across behaviors, relationships, attitudes, values and the environment. From the outside-in:

Environment (Where To Play?)

1. Create an environment that disrupts attendees’ routines and engenders connections.

Yarrow sets the stage with unfamiliar places and communal living like Kalu Yala in the Panamanian jungle. No cell phone and limited Internet connectivity, sleeping in tents and eating all meals together are disruptions that open people to the possibility of new connections and ideas.

Values (What Matters and Why?)

2. Center on a meaningful and rewarding shared purpose.

Yarrow strives to HATCH a better world with an inclusive, open, supportive, loving, collaborative group at the intersection of creativity, technology and design thinking marked by listening and caring about each other and following through on what people say they’re going to do.

Attitude (How To Win?)

3. Organize the people, program and flow in line with that purpose.

The choices you make here will be different for different types of off sites with different objectives. Yarrow pushes the edges on curating, creativity and cross-pollination in line with HATCH’s world-changing mission.

People: Yarrow agonizes over the cross-pollination of the right mix and balance of diverse people including storytellers and story amplifiers ready, willing and able to receive and offer help, baring their souls, sharing their own vulnerabilities and compassionately engaging with others at a deep, personal level.

Program: Yarrow designs programs to spark creativity. This requires the right mix and balance of pre-reading/pre-work, talks (to share ideas), exercises (to build skills and frameworks), activities (to build camaraderie and refresh), prototype work sessions (to create impact), music (to drive feelings), drinks and meals (for nourishment and socialization), and free time. (Though not enough free time for those that value sleep in any way.)

Flow: Then Yarrow curates the actual program flow by

• Preparing well in advance, deliberating over the agenda and lining up the people and materials he needs to make it work.

• Zooming in and out between small group/large group setting, sitting/standing, receiving/giving continuously striving to refresh peoples’ perspectives and energy.

• Continually monitoring and adjusting along the way, caring much more about results than process.

Relationships (How To Connect?)

Actively drive deeper connections.

Yarrow prompts, provokes and enables these:

• Prompting with explicit invitations and modeling vulnerability/openness and compassion and giving. The modeling starts with him and then spreads through alums in attendance, ultimately branching out to new participants.

• Provoking with exercises like: Intentions (in which individuals share their expectations), Ask/Offer (in which people state what they need and what they can offer), Superhero (requiring people to think about core strengths and weaknesses in the third person) and 360-degree mentorship.

• Enabling by removing distractions, weeding out posturing, judging and inflated egos, and providing time to listen, learn, savor.

Behaviors (What Impact?)

Impel actions that are both impactful and practical and follow through to ensure they happen and measure success.

Part I is refusing to let the experience end without clarity around who is going to do what, by when, with what resources to move from idea to the impact stage.

Part II is following up after the experience to encourage, support, monitor and measure success.

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