A common topic of conversation in the peer group workshops I conduct is that CEOs and business leaders contend they don’t always find it easy to think of a subject or issue to raise with their peers during their monthly meeting. Among the five factors or five conditions necessary to a high performing peer group is fostering valuable interaction. The problem is, you can’t have valuable interaction if you don’t have anything to interact about.
Most members see the time they spend with their peer group as when they work on their business, rather than in their business. These meetings are designed to be spent tackling the larger strategic issues that don’t often their get their due during the course of a hectic work week. That being the case, if you don’t have a pressing business issue or opportunity to raise with your group, then work on your business by calling upon your list of what if?… questions (the list you should start today)!
It’s a basic crisis communication planning tool. You simply identify the crises that could shut down or severely disrupt your business, prioritize them by the amount of damage they could cause and the likelihood they could occur, and plan a strategy for how you would handle them. What if a natural disaster destroyed your headquarters? What if your right hand person left the company without warning? What if a new competitor entered your industry sector with a disruptive technology that threatened your very existence as an organization? Your what if?… questions could be framed as opportunities as well. For example, what if your biggest competitor when out of business?
Next time you’re stuck for an issue to discuss with your peer group, grab your list of what if?… questions and pick one. Your question will likely apply to everyone, and because of it, you’ll get the whole group started on developing the kind of comprehensive strategies that could save you, your fellow members, and their respective companies someday!