True North Groups, providing the opportunity for people to get to know each other on a deep, person-to-person level, continue to bring engaged and energized communities together. When I spoke at recent Heartland Thought Leader Gatherings in San Francisco and Minneapolis, we drew some of the biggest crowds that the organization has seen. People are drawn to the idea of being in community in a new, deeper way.
I am very pleased that we continue to receive good questions. I’m continuing to address some of the questions. Feel free to post your own thoughts and comments.
“Do you really think these groups work for people within the same company? I would be reluctant to share on a personal level with people at work.”
- Yes, I do believe that these groups work within an organization. And, of course we know that True North Groups aren’t for everybody. We strongly recommend that within a company, potential participants be invited to apply for group membership. Voluntary participation makes it more likely that the participants want to go deeper in self awareness and self development, and are willing to share on a more personal level.
- In any kind of leadership development that has an impact on a person's core being, there are risks. However, the short and long term benefits far out-weigh the risks for most individuals and organizations.
- Each participant is required to sign the Member Contract. By doing so, they agree to strict confidentiality regarding anything discussed in the group, and also agree to suspending judgment and not pushing other members to share beyond their comfort area.
- The groups have successfully respected confidentiality in potentially competitive situations such as Harvard School of Business
- We agree that some company cultures would not be conducive to successful True North Groups consisting of solely their associates. For these firms, a multi-company approach may be a better approach.
“We are using action learning groups for our high potential leadership development program. How is this different?”
- Action learning groups have been used successfully in many organizations. Typically their primary purpose is to accomplish a task and reflect on how the team came together to accomplish that task.
- This is different from a True North Group that has a primary purpose of self-awareness and personal development.
“How can I join a True North Group?”
- One of the best ways to be part of a True North Group is to start one yourself. Talk with 1-2 friends about being in a group, see if you are all interested in similar goals from the group, check to see if others would commit to on-going regular meetings. Then invite other people into the discussion on forming a group. As noted in the book, groups of 6-8 people are optimal.
- Some of the online meeting tools, such as Meet Up could be helpful in bringing a group of like-minded people together. Starting off as strangers can work well, as long as you have similar goals and agree on the commitment and structure.
- For a group of friends of associates, you have a choice of bringing in a facilitator or starting the group being peer-led. (True North Groups: A Powerful Path to Personal and Leadership Development. Bill George and Doug Baker, BK Publishing)
- We will be offering some short seminars for people who want more support to start a group.
Please continue to ask questions and share your thoughts on True North Groups.
All my best,