Tuesday, August 25, 2020

FAQs: 7 Most Common Questions About Peer Roundtables Answered

CEO advisory groups and/or peer roundtables are often a lifeline for small and mid-sized business owners who want to quickly grow their business or avoid a common pitfall. For many, hearing from seasoned advisors and trusted peers who have “been there, done that” gives them the strategic and emotional edge they need, and helps them to get over that “lonely at the top” feeling that most business owners have.

So, how do CEO peer roundtables work? How often do they meet and for how long? Here are answers to the most common questions.

1) HOW MANY ARE IN A PEER ROUNDTABLE GROUP?

Roundtable peer groups typically have 8 to 10 people. This allows enough time for each member to meaningfully participate in all elements of the meeting.

2) WHAT’S THE MAKEUP OF EACH ROUNDTABLE? WILL MY COMPETITOR BE THERE? 

The most effective CEO peer roundtable groups are a safe environment built on trust and confidentiality. Therefore they do not include competitors, business partners, relatives, clients, or investors. This helps to build camaraderie and trust among the members who are invested in each other’s success.

3) HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET INTO A PERMANENT ROUNDTABLE?

VA Council of CEOs Members are immediately eligible for “ad hoc” or one-time CEO roundtable sessions as they are offered. Permanent roundtable/forum placements typically take anywhere from one to six months. Once a permanent roundtable option is available, a new member is given the opportunity to clear the group to rule out any business or personal conflicts.

 

4) HOW OFTEN DO CEO PEER GROUPS MEET AND HOW LONG ARE THE MEETINGS?

Roundtable meetings typically occur once a month. Meetings follow a strict protocol and structure and usually last between 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Some organizations, like VA Council of CEOs, train each new member on meeting protocol before he/she is formally placed in a group.

 

5) DO I HAVE TO ATTEND EVERY MEETING? (CAN MY SECOND IN COMMAND GO INSTEAD?)

VA Council of CEOs expect members to attend every meeting of their roundtable.  This commitment builds camaraderie and trust among the members who are invested in each other’s success. The CEO is the member and it is an intensely personal engagement. Second in commands or “fill in” employees are not permitted for this reason.

 

6) WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENS IN A ROUNDTABLE MEETING? HOW DO THE MEETINGS WORK?

In general, the roundtable experience is about addressing the CEO as a whole person. The information that is shared in the meeting is confidential. VACEOs roundtable meetings strictly follow the Gestalt Language protocol where no advice is given. Meetings are highly-structured, timed, and only experiences are shared.

There are two parts to each VACEOs roundtable meeting. Each member gives a general update at the beginning of the meeting. The updates can range from: “I’m thinking about hiring a new CFO,” OR “I’m facing an issue with my health.” Then, the group takes a deep dive into one or two of the members’ challenges.

7) IS THE ROUNDTABLE EXPERIENCE REALLY VALUABLE?

It’s widely believed that YES, business owners highly value their peer group, in fact, they often express that it gives them the ability to rise above the day to day grind and work on their business instead of in it.

Roundtables are valuable because members can lean on each other to overcome challenges like: 

  • Developing a long term incentive compensation plan to retain top talent,
  • Crafting an exit plan, 
  • Working through issues with a family member or spouse,
  • Helping achieve double-digit growth year after year, and other issues.

 

Related article:

Why CEOs Value Peer Roundtables

 

 

Posted by Staff at 2:07 pm
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