Some things really do just continue to get better with age – fine wine, good bourbon, well-made shoes, leather chairs, and the company of good people. I just returned from a few days in New Orleans facilitating the winter meeting of the Elevate Ag grower peer group where I experienced almost all of those things. The growers in this group, a group that is now almost five years ‘old’ keeps growing together and the camaraderie, connections, and contributions just keep getting better. It’s empowering to be around the group and gratifying to continue to serve as their convener. The destination was fun and the tours were educational but it’s the Power of Peers that makes grower advisory groups like Elevate Ag not only work but matter to the members.
If we plan good meetings and have good people there, why does this group succeed where other have failed? Is there a formula for the perfect peer group? Probably not but there are a few components that help make them work. I’ve been reading a lot about culture this year and what it means to our industry, agriculture. In his book, The Culture Code, author Daniel Coyle, breaks down three points about the idea of belonging:
- You are part of this group.
- This group is special; we have high standards.
- We believe we all can reach those standards.
What he’s really talking about here is the importance of culture. In the case of Elevate Ag, it’s a culture that the members themselves foster. But a strong culture with a sense of belonging is not automatic; it’s based on time and trust. Another component is creating an environment where the people present have a vested interest in each other, without feeling like their own need for information, ideas, and support is overlooked. There is no urgency to ‘one-up’ or to over impress. There is not a need to feel slighted.
If you are an innovative grower or leader in agribusiness and this sounds like something you’d like to experience, connect with my team today. New groups are forming now! The power of peers just may be what your business needs in 2019!
ACT Like a Pro Out There!