Executives Peer-to-peer Groups And Their Benefits: Asia Pacific
At peer groups, you meet with leaders who match your level of management to utilize one another experience and convert knowledge to business value in everyday business life.
You learn, share and apply your knowledge in a professional peer group, and inspire each other with new perspectives, whatever the industry.
Members of a peer group are likely to influence other’s behavior and beliefs. They discuss, comment on and help other members of the group make their business better.
Peer-to-peer groups are a great way to get inexpensive and quality advice. Peer-to-peer groups can be intensely bonding and can provide solutions to long-standing business problems that you might be trying to overcome. At TheNewHandshake, the leaders come together to support each other’s professional development.
Do you ever think of selling your company one day?
Even if you don't believe you would ever sell your business, brand consistency, promise, experience and image are vital to the success of your company. I've heard it many times from small business owners that they can't make a significant investment in branding because of lack of funds. I've also heard entrepreneurs say that they don't see the point; it's not like they're a global company like Nike. Still, others believe that by creating a distinct brand strategy, promise and experience, it may limit opportunities to make money from a broader audience.
If you're an entrepreneur that thinks that way, I ask you to reconsider. The branding of your company, even if you've been in operation for a week, is vital to your success.
Early Days of McDonald's
Have you ever seen McDonald's with a purple logo or anything other the golden arches? When you walk into a McDonald's anywhere in the world, you know what you're getting, and if you patronize those restaurants, that is precisely the reason why you do it.
Ray Kroc, who was a 54-year-old salesman and still looking for an opportunity that would inspire him came to learn about the restaurant of Dick and Mac McDonald who had developed a process for the food that delivered it to the customer within 30 seconds. This was a huge deal and the beginning of the fast food industry. However, when they just started working together, they were missing a broader vision and brand strategy.
Early McDonald's Mistake
It was Kroc who envisioned the opportunity to create a food company that was wholly American. In partnership with the McDonald brothers, he started operating out of the Midwest and the brothers in California. At first, Kroc created a franchise model to expand the company and grow it to scale quickly across the U.S., but he made a mistake--it lacked the high-quality and overall consistency regarding the entire operation and systems that the McDonald brothers had developed in California.
Once Kroc and the McDonald brothers were able to bring control and consistency on the whole of the operation, from the brand promise, experience, image, to the services, activities, and services, it was only then that the McDonald restaurants started to develop. What Kroc ultimately brought to the McDonald's picture is that consistent strategy across all of the franchises. That is why you have never seen a McDonald brand image be anything other than the golden arches. With McDonald's, what you see is what you get.
When the entire operation of McDonald's was consistent across the board, and a customer in California received the same service and experience as another customer in the Midwest, it was only then that the McDonald's brand started to get traction.
Benefits of Brand Consistency
When your business is consistent with the brand promise, experience and image of your company, in its entirety, your target audience and customers understand:
- They are going to benefit from your business because they know--clearly--the value that your company offers them through your products and services.
- Your customers will know what to expect from a brand that is consistent; it's not a guessing game, which will mean they will put their money down because they understand the offering.
- Customers, especially in the digital age with social media sharing and comments, will be able to communicate your brand (it's promise, experience, and image) because you are consistent in presenting yourself.
- When customers understand your brand promise, image and experience, they are willing to pay for the value of what your products or services offer them.
Two kinds of peer-to-peer groups are: moderated group, where the members moderate meetings themselves, and facilitated groups, where a trained facilitator runs the meetings.
There are organizations who help put together these groups with a very formalized structure.
While putting together a peer-to-peer group, the important steps are:
- Confidentiality. Trust is likely the most important thing the group must have. Everything that happens in the group must stay in the group.
- Keep the group membership small. It’s important that everyone in the group has time to speak.
- Mandatory meeting attendance. Commitment to the group is one of the keys for group’s success. Meet face-to-face. Meet atleast four times a year; better is to meet once a month.
- Agenda. Time is important and make sure its well spent.
- Frank and honest discussion. You need to be honest and ask open-ended questions. No personal attacks in group. Peer-to-peer groups help you find your own answers.
- Limit Advice. Give advice only when asked. First, learn to listen. Peer-to-peer groups need to understand an issue before anyone starts to give advice.
- Different people. Have people from different industries in your group, and you’ll get different points of views. Respect others.
- Learning plan. Members must create a learning plan. A good plan sets performance goals.
Peer learning groups in TheNewHandshake accelerate growth for leaders and managers. Peer-to-peer coaching in groups is a powerful approach to leadership development. Peer groups provide a more formalized outlet for learning from the experiences of peers.
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Start with trust – work to create trust within the peer relationships. Curate membership – create a group with shared core values and an environment for growth. Work on relationships.
Peer groups are a fast track to better management. In a peer group everything gets shared and everyone is accountable to each other. Be sure to have an open mind as you enter a peer group. Set some goals on what you want to get out of the experience.
TheNewHandshake is more than just a Business network