Tee concepts of the ‘mastermind group’ and the ‘hot seat’ are far from new.
Napoleon Hill described the mastermind group principle as:
“The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony. No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind [the master mind].” The ‘hot seat’ is the way of giving individual members of the group particular focus.
A typical mastermind group is specifically organised as such by an experienced facilitator or facilitators who are recognised experts in whatever the group’s primary field is. Typically in business, this is about marketing and business building, development and growth. As a result they are often expensive and quite structured. Great if you can afford it.
But if you look at Hill’s definition, it doesn’t have to be that way.
The Farnham Hub
One of the business groups I belong to is the Farnham Hub, a group stared back in 2013 by Emma Selby. From the outset, the Hub was always designed to be something more than just another networking meeting. The format is to meet at 9am every Friday for breakfast and yes – networking.
But at 10am the decks are cleared and one of the VIP member’s or a special guest presenter delivers an hour’s presentation-cum-training on their area of expertise. I talked about the secrets of using LinkedIn to grow your business last Friday before the discussion that prompted this blog.
At around 11am we take a quick break, grab a drink and then reconvene to work together in smaller groups discussing how we might implement the day’s topic in our own businesses. We then finish with general discussions on challenges and ideas.
The presentations are all very informative and useful but, as with all knowledge, the value comes from the implementation. The working groups often result in specific action plans for people to go away and get things done in their businesses, and that’s where the real value lies. In effect these group discussions are mini-mastermind sessions and it was in discussing some of these topics along with a challenge of how we could do more to help each other through collaboration, that #HubHelp came about.
The plan is for Hub members to call out topics they need help with in their business by posting #HubHelp and a description of the challenge in our Facebook Group. Based on interaction and feedback from other members a topic will be tabled each week at the regular Hub session and the collective knowledge and experience of the typically 12-20 attendees will focus on resolving the problem.
To paraphrase Spock from Star Trek:
“The brains of the many, solve the needs of the few”
What has this got to do with you?
You may not be a member of The Farnham hub or its sister group The Guildford Hub (but if you live in the area I strongly advise you give the groups a try – the first meeting is free as well), but I bet you belong to one or more other networking groups. They will typically offer the opportunity for you to say what you do, for someone to give a short presentation, a chance to exchange referrals’ and maybe even have 5 minute 1:2:1’s.
But just think about what you have in the room. A diverse range of businesses all with varying degrees of experience, knowledge and contacts. Why not leverage the knowledge in the room with the mastermind concept to help each other solve problems?
A problem shared is often a problem solved. Why not create your own #NetworkHelp sessions in your networking group and harness the power of the collective.
To paraphrase Spock once again, “May your businesses live long and prosper”
Let me know if you decide to give this a try. I’d love to hear how you get on. If you want to come along to either the Farnham or Guildford hub here’s a link: http://businesshubs.org/