Peer advisory group members are not afraid to tell it how they see it and that’s something you should welcome.
The trouble with being the head of a company is people hardly ever give you the straight goods.
In a large business, you can have hundreds of people around but few willing to tell you the unvarnished truth. Everybody has an agenda, whether they’re selling something or angling for a promotion. They’re afraid to make the wrong impression because you’re the boss. So they tell you what they think you want to hear.
A Refuge from Half-Truths
Peer advisory groups are a refuge from this world of half-truths. There are probably 300 or 400 peer advisory organizations in the U.S., both large and very small. They attract lifelong learners who realize that when you’re running a successful business it can be hard to find somebody to talk to who will be real. The advantage of a peer advisory group is you interact with your equals.
According to a study published in MIT Sloan Management Review, industry peer groups combat myopia because members critique one another and challenge each another’s assumptions. “In the process, members can achieve greater clarity about why a given company is performing as it is,” says the study. More than 90 percent of members of an industry peer group reported their company performance benefitted from their membership, the study reported.
Marketing consultant Dianne Durkin, writing in BUSINESSNH Magazine, says CEO peer groups increase objectivity. “An employee or board member…has a personal stake in the outcome,” Durkin says. “Fellow CEOs from non-competing businesses do not. They can ask the hard questions and not be influenced by personal relationships or other issues within the organization. It’s an eye-opening experience for many CEOs when peers look at a specific challenge through a completely impartial lens.”
Members of a peer advisory group sit in the same chair as you but not in the same company, and they’re not afraid to speak their mind. If it’s well run, a peer advisory group is a place you can come that’s absolutely agenda free. You can come out from behind the mask.
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