How can you get a fresh perspective and new ideas for your business with confidentiality assured?
The Answer: Join a Mastermind Group
This week I had the great pleasure and privilege to spend a day on the company of a diverse and stimulating group of business people led by Chris Ducker.
If you don’t know Chris, visit ChrisDucker.com and then go an subscribe to his podcast on iTunes. Chris is a successful entrepreneur, blogger and Podcaster and, I am sure, by this time next year, New York Times best selling author (no pressure, Chris!). Before we start, take a look at this short video in which Chris explains why he finds Mastermind Group so valuable.
I want to share with you my experience of the day and why I learned so much and am now hugely enthusiastic about Mastermind Groups. Here are Six Reasons YOU have to join a Mastermind.
1 The Rules
Lets start by understanding the rules of the Game. Chatham House rules to be precise. The content of the discussion is confidential and therefore you can be open and gain a fresh and honest perspective from the group.
While still photographs were fine for social media purposes, no recording and no videoing were permitted. Furthermore, if you think about forming a group, its is important not to include anyone who is competing in business with another member of the group.
Every Mastermind Group should have a clear objective. This needs to be agreed by all in advance so that they are clear about why they are attending. This can be broad or quite specific and may take the form of a theme for the day. In any event all participants must commit to the time and date and come willing to actively take part in the discussions. This of course can be quite light hearted at times
3 Everyone Gets a Go
Once any preliminary/house keeping issues are covered off, it is possible for the leader of the group to make a presentation on a subject of interest to the whole group. Each member of the group then has their turn to speak.
I would recommend allocating at least half an hour per person but 45 minutes is better if the agenda allows. Each person can be asked to contribute something from their own recent experience to help increase the knowledge of everyone present but then should be permitted to outline an issue or a business problem that he would like the group to consider and comment upon.
This latter part is where it becomes really interesting. Once the discussion of the issue starts, the energy and experiences of the group members are focused and the real value of the collective “mastermind” brought to bear. This is an amazingly proactive and creative process. Comments can be both positive and negative but never personal. Everyone is there to learn and this includes having the worts identified as well as smelling the roses!
4 Diversity is the Key
By being part of a group with a diverse background the views of the group are not just fresh but come from many perspectives. This facilitates real out of the box thinking and is one of the great strengths of exercise.
5. Open Discussion
Following individual discussions, I find it very effective to include in the schedule an open group discussion at the end. This enables “AOB” to be addressed and by this time the members of the group have got to know each other and have relaxed. This can be steered with a light hand by the Chairman but is a good opportunity to discuss issues which are identified through the day and then revisited.
6. Building Relationships
Mastermind groups can be one off events but, if they are to be of real value, groups should be formed for an initially agreed minimum time period so that relationships can strengthen, trust build and issues worked through over time.
There is nothing to stop members of the group meeting individually outside of this timetable if mutually beneficial.
So what’s in it for you?
A great chance to step back from you business, stop working in it and spend the day working in it. Remember it is not what you do or how you do it.
Ask yourself Why you do what you do and how can you do it better!
If you would like to know more about how Masterminds can help your business’s strategy and growth, give me call today.
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