Ever had to wait for someone? But then, the reason for the wait turned out to be some preparatory activity the other person did that ends up making things more convenient or saving the day? If so, you understand the African proverb: To go fast, go alone. To go far, go together. I believe this concept has much more to say for teams and business success. If two heads are better than one, what’s the right number of heads or bodies?
In business, we are often looking for a more experienced mentor to guide us, advisors that can give us advice, board members that can invest and make introductions. All of these approaches have the time and place depending on the people involved. One that is particularly effective in terms of value received for time and money spent is a Peer Advisory Council, or PaC. I like the PaC because it makes me think of a “pack” that works together as a team to solve a problem. Mostly people think of a pack of wolves that can work together to take down a much larger animal. My son was in Cub Scouts and was part of a pack of kids that worked together to do such things as make a raft or construct something to get them safely across a crevace or stream of water, much like in the picture. Pack also implies that person we had to wait for, that “packed” something in their carry-on that helped us get through. How often have I turned to my lovely wife and asked, “Do you have . . .?” and she came through with a napkin, lozenge, hand lotion, toothpick or whatever I needed at that moment but had not chosen to pack myself?
We all seem to like games of strategy and brawn, sometimes combining the two. Some watch the many reality shows that put people together as teams to overcome obstacles in the wild such as “Survivor.” Think of business as a game with real physical and mental challenges. I like to think of GAME as an acronym for Grow And Make Earnings.
Let’s see how we can apply teams “theory” to business. Don’t worry, this is not going to be an academic treatise. One basic question is, “What is the best size for a team?”
If we look at various sports teams, I could argue that the best team size is 6-11 based on this summary from https://www.factmonster.com/sports/sports-section/official-numbers-players-team
If you want to think about “individual” sports like golf and tennis, consider the many coaches and supporters they have to be able to play their individual sport.
If we do look at the military and other studies of teams, both anecdotal and academic, I think it supports the idea that 6-10, (or 11 or 12) is just about the right number. See below for some references to consider.
The most common governance structure in business is the board of directors. Many states require a minimum of 3 people to be on a board, especially for a non-profit. Most for profit, public companies have boards of about 9 people. Many private companies that have advanced to effectively using a board have 6-9 with 2 or 3 non-family, independent board members to provide an outside, unbiased opinion and guidance.
I now put together Peer Advisory Councils for leaders of manufacturing, technology, and transportation companies using the resources gained through a certified licensed partner of LXCouncil, which stands for Leadership Councils. I plan to have groups of 6-10 (maybe 12) based on what makes a good size team of peers to help a business.
If you want to go far, go higher, scale, climb the mountain, and overcome adversity with a team of peers in a PaC, let’s talk and Accelerate YOUR Success.
Select Peer Advisory to learn a bit more or CONTACT to schedule a time to talk.