Ideas: Give One, Get Ten

Monday, September 21 2015

“Have you ever thought of…”

“You don’t have to do it that way. What we did was…”

“Wow, I never thought of it like that.”

Whether it’s dealing with younger generation employees who don’t know how to work; older generation employees who don’t want to work; or finding the right assessment tools to help select better employees; once you get business owners to share ideas, it’s hard to get them to stop. That’s the value of getting entrepreneurs together in a confidential setting so they can speak candidly about issues important to them.

Many business owners are lonely. They can’t talk about real issues with their employees, their family, or even their employed friends. It’s not safe to talk with employees; and, family and friends don’t care about how hard it is for you. They think you have it made.

So when we bring together business owners who can open up without any negative consequences, they appreciate and understand each other’s joys and sorrows. Heads nod in empathy. One idea sparks another. They listen intently to each other. They make notes. They look for gems that will help them solve their own issues or find a new opportunity they hadn’t considered previously.

They don’t just ‘cry together in their beer’. They may complain a little, but they are looking for ideas and solutions, not sympathy. They learn from the valuable experience of others. They understand that it’s less expensive to learn from other’s mistakes than from your own.

In our Business Transition Coach Forum™ we run a tight meeting in which ideas are shared freely. While we focus on a topic that is designed to improve their business today, the end game is getting the owner and the business prepared for transition. So goals are set, tough decisions are measured against those goals, ways of getting there are debated and everyone shares their ideas in a spirit of camaraderie and good will.

The benefits of sharing ideas are numerous. They hear ideas that will save them money; make them money; reduce employee problems; increase productivity; keep their options open for the future, save time, take more vacations, and just feel better – more in control.

Sharing with a group of business owners is a gratifying experience. I’ve had the good fortune to participate in a number of peer-to-peer groups and I always come away with valuable ideas. If you have an opportunity to join one that you feel comfortable with, take advantage of it. You always get more than you give and you’ll be richer for the experience. You might give one and get five or ten in return.