Ann Hawkins of the Inspired Group was the expert speaker at the NRG London West End Lunch in October. Her theme was what is so good about Mastermind Groups.
To illustrate she told a story with a practical demonstration of how ideas are created and problems solved when open minds come together.
I asked Ann if she could share her presentation in an article and here it is below.
What’s so good about a MasterMind Group?
A MasterMind Group is sometimes known as a peer group mentoring forum or a Boardroom forum. These groups simulate the many different roles that it takes to run a successful business and give a business owner independent advice from people with no hidden agenda.
I often get asked, "Why would anyone want to join a mentoring group with people who know nothing about each other's businesses?"
There are three excellent answers to this:
1) The product or service a business delivers may be different but the process of running and growing a business has many generic activities. Almost everyone who starts a business has had experience of other businesses and brings many skills and lots of expertise to a group.
2) The process used in the most successful MasterMind Groups produces a situation where solutions are created from the combined efforts of the group members and do not rely on one person's pre-existing knowledge.
3) One of the major benefits of a well run MasterMind Group is accountability. The members commit to certain actions and keep each other on track.
If people have heard of MasterMind Groups its usually in relation to Napoleon Hill's book 'Think and Grow Rich'. Hill established that many of the successful people he interviewed in the 1930s attributed part of their success to meeting with a peer group on a regular basis to discuss ideas and create new solutions to problems. He describes the process as " When two people come together to discuss ideas it is as though a third person appears with ideas that the others would not have thought of on their own."
What do a potter, a metalworker, a doctor an engineer and a preacher have in common?
There are many wonderful examples of MasterMind Groups working to create success for their members but for me, one of the most powerful examples occurred long before Napoleon Hill wrote his famous book. When the potter is Josiah Wedgewood, the metalworker is Matthew Boulton, the doctor is Erasmus Darwin, the engineer is James Watt and the preacher is Joseph Priestly the ideas produced quite literally changed the world.
Steam trains, electricity, canals, mass manufacturing, the discovery of new gases, processes and materials accompanied dramatic social and educational reforms in the middle of the 18th Century that brought about the Industrial Revolution and great wealth but for the original group of friends the support they gave each other was crucial.
Known as the Lunar Society because they met when the moon was full to aid their journeys, these men worked together to break down physical, social and educational barriers. The internet has brought down even more of these barriers and made it easy to collaborate, to produce great ideas and to take the idea of MasterMinds to new levels.
When Napoleon Hill wrote "Think and Grow Rich" he meant think as in develop the ability to think, to process ideas and solve problems. By rich he meant not just monetary wealth but knowledge, discipline and fulfilment of potential. All of this is achieved by mastery of the mind.
A Master Mind Group is exactly that: an opportunity to develop mastery of the mind, to think and grow rich with the support of a peer group.
Ann Hawkins started her career as an Industrial Relations Advisor in the British Printing Corporation at a time when the industry was tearing itself apart, when there was no Equal Opportunities legislation and technology was making redundant hundreds of years of craftsmanship.
The experience of being part of a huge change in both industry and society and helping organisations and individuals make the most of emerging opportunities gave her the impetus to start her business as a consultant and trainer.
In 2005 she founded The Inspired Group, a business that uses the power of peer groups and structured facilitation to unlock the huge variety of experience and skill that is in everyone of every age and experience and provides support for both personal and business development.
Her philosophy is to create win/win situations where we get what we want by helping other people to get what they want.
You can find Ann's website at www.theinspiredgroup.com, her blog at http://annhawkins.com and connect with her on: