The Potential of Peer Groups
As we head into the 4th of July to celebrate America’s Independence, I’m reminded of the potential and the power that comes from unity and fellowship. Nearly two and a half centuries ago, representatives from the Thirteen Colonies signed the Declaration of Independence and declared that the Continental Congress was and would forever be completely independent from the monarch of Britain – a collective first step toward forming the United States of America.
I mention this bit of American history because it relates to the mentality of peer groups, which I’ve become heavily involved in and passionate about. The Thirteen Colonies were self-governing, yet had very similar political, constitutional and legal systems. They began collaborating with one another instead of with Britain directly, which cultivated a sense of shared identity and collaboration to achieve success.
Peer groups offer an experienced based forum for exchanging ideas and experiences. I not only belong to a formal CEO peer group, which meets a few times a year, but also have an informal group of peers I meet with regularly. Members have no involvement in each other’s businesses so there is a level of openness when discussing the challenges we all face – from increasing revenue to hiring talent. There is a level of comfortability and candidness when discussing insecurities and concerns, which can be difficult to do for the first time internally.
Peer groups are also invaluable when it comes to the growth of employees because peer-to-peer learning taps into the skills that already exist within an organization and allows employees to share their expertise to help each other learn. These groups also create a safe space without the presence fo hierarchy and feeling judged, and helps employees feel empowered to act as leaders. InRhythm is an organization built on the foundation of continuous learning and growth and InRhythmU was created to do just that.
Throughout history, people have been leveraging each other to learn, grow and make changes to improve. What experiences have you had with peer groups? Share your thoughts with @GetInRhythm or on the InRhythmU blog.
Thanks and Keep Growing,
What We’re Reading Around the Web
Why Every Entrepreneur Needs a Peer Advisory Group
(3 min. read)
“We’ve learned how that sense of isolation can lead to depression and anxiety, chipping away at one’s health and wellness. As a young entrepreneur, I felt that I was alone in facing the challenges in making a dream become a reality. I had nowhere to go to share my struggles, to exchange ideas, to learn from the mistakes of those who had gone before me.”
How to Help Your Employees Learn From Each Other
(6 min. read)
Harvard Business Review
“Peer-to-peer learning is also uniquely well suited to the way we learn. People gain new skills best in any situation that includes all four stages of what we call the “Learning Loop”: gain knowledge; practice by applying that knowledge; get feedback; and reflect on what has been learned. Peer-to-peer learning encompasses all of these.”
10 Reasons to Join a CEO Peer Group
(4 min. read)
“The beauty of joining a peer group is that by listening to your peers, you will see them dealing with problems and opportunities that your business has yet to encounter. It’s like looking into the future.”
How a Peer Group Transformed my Life and my Business
(4 min. read)
“Sharing my personal doubts and fears—and finding others who could share their life lessons—opened my eyes to how much I could learn from those on the road ahead of me and enabled me to face my challenges head-on.”