The Importance of a good Brains Trust
January 24, 2019 by Tony Chapman
I’m feeling really energised! As I write this, the team at SRA have just wrapped up a day devoted to considering aspects of our own business strategy.
We start 2019 as committed as ever to making a big impact – to unlocking the potential of people and organisations. And today was a day when we explored various aspects of how we do that, both now and into the future.
So what was so good about it? Why do I feel so energised?
The answer is three-fold:
- there was a real richness and diversity in the ideas raised, and passion in how they were discussed;
- the robustness of the discussions resulted in an outcome that feels right; and
- the assembled group maintained a sense of fun and lightness throughout the day – despite being involved in some very meaty conversations.
You don’t know what you don’t know! That’s a big risk in running a business. And sometimes we can get into a groove and not see other options… or not fully challenge ourselves. So today wasn’t about the SRA Directors sitting down to map things out. We had some of our team present – people who know the business, know us, and know our clients. And we went one step further and brought in an external Brains Trust too – a group of people from outside SRA whom we trust, and who’s opinions, expertise and experience we value. Some of these people had expertise in the subject matter we were discussing, others are people who can represent the client perspective and are willing to challenge us. We also had an external facilitator – while we could have undertaken this role, it’s a completely different experience being able to immerse yourself in the conversation as a participant, and not have to worry about the myriad of other things that you have to worry about when you are facilitating conversations.
So it was a great day, with the discussions taking many a varied twist and turn as we built on the contributions of others and sifted down to the essence of a good outcome. Through all that, the conversation kept coming back to points that matter most to us – our clients, the impact we make, keeping things simple, our team, and our vision. Focus!
For me, the workshop highlighted the importance of having a Brains Trust. People from inside and outside the business who can bring different perspectives, different expertise, different experiences… and who aren’t afraid to challenge ideas and the status quo.
And I leave you with your own challenge – who do you have in your corner that you can have these types of conversations with? For most of us in business, it’s likely to be “no one”. Why not make 2019 the year that you change that?
Tony Chapman is a Director of SRA Corporate Change, as well as a mentor, coach, facilitator and senior consultant.