Updated: Oct 26, 2020
One of the best “Secret” weapons that some of our most successful clients utilize is the Peer Advisory Group concept. If you aren’t familiar with the terminology, it is basically an organized group of CEO’s, Business Owners and other key leaders working together to help solve critical business issues and gain insight pulling from the collective experience of the group.
These Peer Groups come in all shapes and sizes and there are several organizations that provide a framework and leadership for organizing and driving the most value from the concept.
The recognized leader in the space is Vistage with over 23,000 members worldwide across 20 countries and more than 60 years in business. There are several other organizations that exist as well, many of which have sprouted up in recent years. In addition to the organized, paid membership solutions many business leaders have taken on the concept and built their own groups with similar goals in mind.
If you are not sure how a Peer Advisory Group could help you strategically with your business, here are some things to consider.
According to an article from Forbes, the Five Superpowers of Peer Groups are:
Formal Structure and Facilitation
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
Confidentiality is key as it allows the group members to dive deep into the specific business challenges and issues they face without concern. This is a fundamental piece of any solid Peer Advisory Group. Without a high level of confidentiality, you won’t be able to get into the depth of issue processing that can be so beneficial.
Gathering Feedback from peers is another powerful element of the Peer Advisory Group concept. In their book, The Power of Peers, authors Leo Bottary and Leon Shapiro, share that participation in peer groups helps leaders optimize their professional development time and cash investment.
Drawing on the collective expertise of the group can be the catalyst for some great development, growth and innovation. As many Peer Advisory Groups are between 10 and 20 members strong, that is a whole lot of group experience and expertise to benefit from.
The primary reason that the organized, paid membership groups are so popular is the added layer of formal structure and facilitation. A strong Chair, Moderator or Group Leader makes all the difference.
Our advice is to take that into account when looking at joining a Peer Advisory Group. The value the members will derive from the experience is very closely tied to the effectiveness of the Group Chair.
Last but probably one of the most valuable dynamics of the Peer Advisory Group concept is Accountability. Surrounding yourself with other successful leaders and putting yourself in the position of accountability to the group can be a very powerful thing in overcoming obstacles and ultimately achieving your goals.
If you haven’t already, do some research into the different options and consider adding this to your overall strategy. It can be a powerful asset no matter if you are a CEO of a large enterprise, a small business owner or even a solo entrepreneur.