Power of Peer Groups: 5 Changes to Expect

posted by Lori Berry on Monday, January 23, 2017 in Unified Communications and IT Blog

Peer groups have the power to change lives, to grow businesses and to drive results. Those are the good peer groups, and the ones I have been a part of over the past eight years.

HTG Peer Groups are something you just have to experience to really understand. In lieu of that, here are the five things you will experience if you join a good peer group:

Accountability

Accountability is one of the best motivators to get things done. There is nothing worse than standing in front of your peers and letting them know you didn’t get one of your goals accomplished. Conversely, it is an amazing feeling having your peers cheer you on to get things done, and celebrate those successes with you.  

“Vision without execution is hallucination.”

Thomas Edison

Time

You are going to invest a lot of time. Your business deserves that investment in time. The time you’ve invested up to this point is probably one of the reasons you’ve achieved success. But at some point, you have to stop working harder, and start working smarter. The executives who join a peer group understand that their business has matured to the point where you can’t use only brute force to grow.

Joining a peer group will also return time to you. Time you may have spent trying to figure out a problem, or research a business tool. You’ll gain the benefit of everybody else’s experience.

"Is there ROI? Absolutely! HTG gave me the confidence to change my business model. We now have a much more valuable company if we were to sell it.”

Brad Kowerchuk, President of Bralin Technology Solutions

Perspective & Clarity

You will gain perspective and clarity. We are each shaped by our experiences, and your peers will come at a problem from a different angle. It is amazing how quickly a team of executives can help you solve a problem you’ve been banging your head against the wall trying to figure out.

Gaining perspective is oftentimes the same reason we read blogs and listen to podcasts.  Peer groups, like HTG put you in the room with those smart people and help you gain feedback from the right perspective to gain clarity on the important aspects of your business.

Pete Sorensen of HTG Peer Groups uses this comic as an example of what perspective can really mean.

Benchmarking

If you can't measure it, you can't improve it. 

- Peter Drucker

If you have ever wondered how well you stack up against similar companies, peer groups are for you. Who is getting the highest margins, best EBIDTA or overall valuation could help you to uncover what the key drivers to each business’ successes are. In turn, executives can identify ways they can help drive profitability and growth back into their companies.

Trust & Friendship

The best part about peer groups is it’s not just about business. We’ve heard of HTG members who come to their peer group with problems they’re struggling with at home with their families, or about their own health. Your peers can also serve as a board of directors for your business in lieu of a formal board.

When you combine the elements above, it feels a little like you can do anything. Just like a New Year’s resolutions, those feelings can fade very quickly. Meeting with your peer group regularly keeps that fire burning, and when you feel like giving up or slacking off your peers are there to lean on and keep you motivated. 

GreatAmerica recently launched HTG peer groups for Unified Communications companies, and we talked to the facilitator of one of those groups about his thoughts on what companies who attend will get. 

 

Click here if you want more information on whether these peer groups are right for you.

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About The Author

Lori K. Berry is the Director of Strategic Technology for the Communications and Data Group at GreatAmerica Financial Services. She began her career in the IT channel  as an account manager for an MSP in Cedar Rapids, IA in 2003 before joining GreatAmerica in 2009. Lori has represented GreatAmerica at industry events, putting most of her focus on Life-Cycle FinancingTM, a strategy that combines financing solutions with IT business objectives. Lori also develops integration between GreatAmerica client portal tools and client software applications.  Lori earned her B.A. degree in MIS (Management Information Systems) from the University of Northern Iowa as well as a certificate in International Business. Email: lberry@greatamerica.com

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