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Retreats with Hilary Rowland

Have you ever been on a retreat? Hilary Rowland provides residential retreats. Did you see her recent LinkedIn post? She states, “Are You Contemplating a Strategy Away Day? Don’t!”. These away days are awful. They are crammed full of PowerPoint presentations. Then someone tries desperately to herd people in one direction. A written plan is then agreed upon. Which, of course, no one looks at again.

Residential Retreats, Hilary Rowland, The Next 100 Days Podcast

What Was That Moment When The Penny Dropped About Retreats?

Hilary ran CEO retreats over a number of years. She thought they need to put more ‘content’ or value into the first afternoon, rather than allowing FREE time. The CEOs resented it. Because they knew they were going to have that time to think. How often is that available for people?

Previous to her current business, Next Chapter Retreats Hilary was a Chair of Vistage. As part of the package, executives got from Vistage, there was a 2-day annual retreat.

Retreat Secret Sauce?

Graham asked whether there was a secret sauce to retreats? Hilary said yes, people learn much more in small groups.

Hilary’s philosophy is to give attendees as much time as they need. They do offer structured activities. These activities get people to reflect. Or, people are asked questions that they haven’t thought about for a long time.

They use the Japanese concept of “ikigai“, which means “a reason for being”. This helps people connect to their PURPOSE. What they are good at, what they love and what matters to them.

Who Attends Retreats?

At Vistage, it was nearly all men. But, with Next Chapter Retreats, Hilary finds there is no difference one way or another.

Why Do People Attend?

How Should Graham’s Charity Spend Time on Their Away Day?

So much is lost when you only talk to each other on a screen. Company culture is destroyed bit by bit. Retreats offer space and time. If the CEO management team are not connected, how can they motivate their staff?


Hilary Discourages Emails and Phone Calls on Her Retreats

It is part of the contract she has with people. Attendees are delighted and relieved not to have to take calls and emails. It is possible to do this. Graham referenced the podcast with Marcey Rader, Episode 301. Marcey talks about doing away with notifications. That’s because your precious time is hijacked by someone else’s agenda.

Hilary has experienced religious retreats. She says the whole idea about purpose is religious. Hilary goes to the Scottish Island of Iona, which is a deeply spiritual place.

Not surprisingly, Hilary gets plenty of very positive testimonials, like these that were featured on her website:

Next Chapter Retreats, Testimonials, The Next 100 Days Podcast

It’s fun at the Retreat!

Meantime, at Hilary’s retreats, there is loads of good food and red wine. The social side of going away is very important. Amongst other things, they play games. Like, 2 truths one lie.

Here’s one for Graham

  • Firstly, Graham once lost 5 stones in weight in 5 months.
  • Secondly, he played the drums in a bar on Bourbon Street, New Orleans.
  • Thirdly, Graham once scored against a team of ex Leeds United footballers.

One of those is a lie. Two are truths. You decide!!

Hilary gives The Next 100 Days Podcast a Testimonial


Get in touch with The Next 100 Days hosts…

Graham Arrowsmith

Graham Arrowsmith, Finely Fettled, Marketing Consultancy, The Next 100 Days Podcast

Finely Fettled helps out financial advisers, investment brokers and care homes to market to affluent and high net worth customers. Meet Professionals – This is Graham’s business focused on providing lead generation systems for financial advisory companies.

Contact Graham:
LinkedIn: Visit Graham’s LinkedIn Profile
Twitter: Visit Graham’s Twitter Page
Email:  Email Graham Direct

Kevin Appleby

Kevin Appleby, The Next 100 Days Podcast

Kevin is a Chartered Accountant who has worked as a management consultant for a number of years specialising in finance transformation and implementing business change. Currently, he is COO of GrowCFO. GrowCFO is Where Finance Leaders Grow Together. Becoming a successful CFO requires commitment and dedication towards delivering your full potential. GrowCFO provides both a community and CPD accredited training designed to grow the next generation of finance leaders. You can find Kevin on linkedin and at