If you're planning a company retreat, don't make the mistake of scheduling meetings from dawn todusk in a misguided attempt to justify the expense of the time away from the office. You'll get just as much accomplished, and maybe more, if you letpeople have free time at the beach or on the golf course. "When people get together, they always wind up talking about the things they have incommon," says one former Fortune 500 exec. "What your people have in common is your company, and that's what they're going to discuss, even if they'replaying cards. They'll talk about what they're working on."

Besides, you're not going to win points by taking people someplace nice and keeping them cooped up in meetings all day. Better to have focused sessions inthe morning and leave the afternoons free. You'll not only have a more successful retreat, but you may win some goodwill as well.