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July 08, 2014 Blog 2 min read

For more than a decade, the firm has had a sabbatical program that requires all partners to take a mandatory four consecutive weeks’ leave every seven years. Although we have a generous paid-time-off policy at the firm, some partners use it more than others; the sabbatical program requires all partners to disconnect completely so that we may return refreshed and reenergized. Also, it’s an opportunity for our staff and others to further develop by taking on additional client roles and responsibilities. Done correctly, it’s a win-win for everyone: clients, staff, and the partner on sabbatical.

Feedback from clients has always been positive. Instead of, “Wait a minute—you mean I won’t be able to reach you for a month?” the response is more like, “Wow. That’s really cool. I wish we did that.”

And it is really cool. On July 9, I will begin my four-week sabbatical, my second as a partner and my first as a managing partner. The first time around, we went to Italy for three weeks with our entire family. It was the trip of a lifetime. Having those three solid weeks where it was “just us” was priceless.

This time around, we’re sticking closer to home. We’re fortunate to have a cottage in Northern Michigan, and it’s one of the prettiest, most peaceful places. I’m looking forward to the quiet and some time with my family.

Although I’ll be gone for a month, I’ve invited Jim Proppe, Plante Moran’s group managing partner in charge of industries, and Sue Perlin, partner-in-charge of our Women in Leadership initiative to write guest blogs while I’m gone, so you have those to look forward to. In addition, don’t forget:

  1. Our fourth annual innovation survey is in process. This year, we’re asking the question, “Can company culture hamper innovation?” We encourage you to take the survey. Respondents will receive our report in late September, and we’re donating $5 for every completed survey to Camp Innovation.
  2. Very soon, our second issue of Engage, Plante Moran’s magazine, will be e-mailed out to clients (hard copies should appear shortly thereafter). Be sure to check it out at engage.plantemoran.com. From 3-D printing and what companies can learn from improvisational comedy to international lessons learned the hard way and what organizations really need to do to prepare for healthcare reform by 2015, this issue’s got something for everyone. (And if you don’t currently receive Engage, be sure to sign up for it at subscribe.plantemoran.com.)

That does it for me. Enjoy the month, and I’ll be back in August. Here’s to the rejuvenating power of the sabbatical.

What about you? Does your organization have a sabbatical benefit? What would you do with four consecutive weeks off?