By Sid Chadwick
“Be a yardstick of quality. Most people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”…………..Steve Jobs
Imagine meeting… about three times a year…with 8-to-12 Peers – to share, individually – “What each of you are accomplishing, struggling to accomplish, and stretching to make happen – in your organization.”
Summary Reports and Financials are exchanged…about a week in advance of the 3-Day Meeting by each Member organization - allowing all Members to be prepared to listen, ask questions, and make personal notes during each Members’ Check-in – for future reference – and personal follow-up.
Most Meetings usually occur near or at a Member’s Plant. Our Facilitator arranges (a) an orderly Agenda-draft (30+ days in advance), (b) an Opening Dinner-Reception, (c) excellent Hotel accommodations, (d) brief but satisfactory Continental Breakfasts and Lunches, (e) a Plant Tour of the Host Member’s Plant(s), (f) excellent Dinners – and (g) a brief entertainment and educational Program or two (sometimes involving key or new Suppliers) – all submitted for review at least 30 days in advance of the Meeting.
A Summary Report of Meeting content and follow-ups to expect – is provided - usually a week after the Meeting and may run 7-10 pages.
More recently, Members with Succession Senior Management (over half of current Members) – are inviting them - to attend with their CEO.
Note: This pattern of Succession Planning creates “low-risk” opportunities for “seasoning a talented Senior Manager”. Note: One CEO Member’s son has now been President for 7 years, with “Dad” still coming to his office – 3-4 days a week………Everyone knows, accepts…and respects…. the son as President.
These rare 3-Day CEO Group Discussions, that can go-on for 12 to 14 hours a day (including Dinners) – are invaluable for introducing critical “Running The Business Issues” to an owner’s next generation of owner(s).
Note: This opportunity to sustain and grow a company’s value well beyond the founder’s service - is not lost on our M & A specialists….!
The opinion voiced by multiple Members - is that every Member’s company’s performance – with no exceptions – is enhanced by their participation. If a company has a glaring weakness, that weakness tends not to remain hidden, but rather is “called out” – for the benefit of that CEO and his organization.
Question: Do we have one or more women CEOs…participating….? Yes, we do…!
I’ve been instructed to recruit another 2-4 Members – over the next 6 months.
Referrals are welcomed, including from Suppliers.
“I only need one good idea to bring back to my company, to make these Meetings worthwhile….Seldom do I only bring back only one good idea.”……Wanzie Collins, Founder and CEO, PANAPRINT, Macon, GA