Peer advisory groups can work through the issues related to implementation and follow-through, addressing problems and opportunities as they arise to help members effect change. Essentially, a peer advisory group acts as a reciprocal advisory board made up of top producers with skin in the game.
Here are five advantages to having a peer group.
1. In closely held businesses, the management team frequently view issues from the same vantage point. This tends to create blind spots and limit objectivity. Peer groups provide a way to overcome that problem.
2. CEOs and successors need a "sounding board" for their ideas. Have they missed anything, are there alternatives they haven’t considered or implementation issues they might have overlooked? Peer group discussions can provide feedback on ideas and provide greater insight and objectivity.
3. Peer groups can provide access to the collective membership’s network of contacts, sources of information, resources and expertise. Some of these groups have even served as the genesis for various business alliances.
4. Coordination of field trials, testing new technology and benchmarking marketing, production, compensation programs and financial information can multiply the availability and usefulness of information.
5. Assume that several producers decide they need training in some area of personnel management. The type of program and level of expertise they need might require one to three days, and bringing in a quality presenter might cost $3,000 to $5,000 a day in speaking fees, plus expenses. Assuming this type of program isn’t available through their state’s Extension service, the cost for one producer could be prohibitive; but, shared by five to 10 producers, it could be reasonable.
Interested in Joining a Peer Group?
Farm Journal’s Top Producer Executive Network™ (TPEN) is a strategic executive-level peer group program that provides producers with new, vital perspective from a brain trust of participants working together for the benefit of each operation. The program facilitates group teamwork to identify effective ways to solve today’s farming operation challenge, generates executable ideas and provides accountability expectations for each member. For more information, contact Lindsey Young firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-605-7138.