An online Division Retreat August 18-19, 2020 provided tools and space for strategic planning and a sense of community in a virtual setting. Aditi Chakravarty from Berkeley Lab’s HR division helped organize and facilitate the first virtual retreat in this COVID 19 pandemic era “next normal” work environment.
In two half-day sessions, a diverse variety of ATAP employees and leaders explored the themes of Developing our Strategy (Day 1) and Articulating our Story (Day 2) with the help of a professional facilitator. Exercises and discussions included
• Team building
• Thriving in the “new normal” of COVID-19
• Exploring and re-enforcing the Lab’s stewardship culture and IDEA Initiative
• Introducing the concept of “adaptive leadership” and the framework of SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) to drive reflection and conversations about program vision and strategy
We were initially skeptical about having a retreat via Zoom, but Aditi and her team made it work as a highly engaging and interactive event. The key now is to follow up and establish routines of learning and development. Resources from the Learning & Organizational Development group in Berkeley Lab’s Human Resources Division help support this.