Belonging to a peer advisory network is one of the essential management practices for a farm to succeed in today and tomorrow’s agribusiness environment. An informal advisory network will allow you to share business knowledge with a group of your peers from a diverse geographic area.
One key benefit of peer advisory groups is the opportunity to openly communicate with individuals who are completely disconnected from your organization. These people are not intertwined in your family tree or business hierarchy; therefore, the possibilities of emotions, ulterior motives, and preconceived biases or opinions are removed from the equation.
Exposure to Diversity
Many different management and leadership styles work effectively. Involvement in a peer advisory group exposes a member to styles different from his or her own.
Even if a producer has plenty of individuals within his personal network who manage similarly-sized farms, it does not necessarily mean that he feels comfortable enough to give them full disclosure on problems he struggles with. Although peer advisory groups are not intended to act as therapy groups where people commiserate together, members tend to find comfort knowing they are not alone: others face similar troubles.
Identify Blind Spots and Prioritize Issues
By utilizing a peer advisory group, a farm executive has a unique opportunity to listen to the advice and opinions of peers who might see something the executive misses. Some groups choose to meet on the farms of members. This creates an opportunity for fellow group members to witness first-hand the problems that the manager may not recognize him/herself.
Members of peer advisory groups can also use the “peer pressure” from fellow members as a unique form of motivation and accountability.
Many producers utilize their peer advisory group in the same manner as a large corporation utilizes its formal Board of Advisors.Learn more about Peer Groups, Connect with Joel