You know what they say about the best laid plans!  Growth Groups are designed to be self-facilitated and that’s good for you and your busy schedule as an Organizer.  

While the Growth Group Software allows for the autonomy within groups, there are “rules of the road” that will ensure your groups get the most out of their time together, as well as some pitfalls to avoid.  Just click below for some reminders and watch-outs as you recruit, start and manage your Growth Groups.

Don’t forget to check out the FAQs page for an ongoing list of questions that come up most often!

It’s exciting to think about who will come together in your Growth Groups! As you consider who to invite to participate, keep in mind:

    • The ideal group size is 7-9 Participants.
    • Groups work best when Participants are open to feedback and new ideas.
    • Group meetings are for discussion of the challenges each Participant brings to the table, and not a set curriculum.

And watch out for: 

    • Potential Participants who may not be able or willing to commit to meeting attendance.

Whether you’re forming one group or ten groups, there are a few things to keep in mind when putting your groups together.

    • The ideal group size is 7-9 Participants.
    • Diversity of all kinds (demographic, industry and experience) makes groups stronger. The more perspectives, the better!
  • And watch out for:
    • Hierarchical relationships – group cohesion can suffer if boss/junior relationships are in the same group.

The first few meetings are important to group cohesion.  Keep in mind:

    • All Participants should prepare and share their Lifeline Exercise in the first meeting.
    • It will take a few meetings to get comfortable with each other and the software – we’ll be there to help!
    • Adherence to the process is especially important as groups get used to the methodology.

And watch out for behaviors that can negatively impact group success:

    • Lack of preparation 
    • Allowing for distractions and disruptions
    • Inconsistent attendance
    • Straying from the process
    • Using the meeting as a “bitch session” or therapy
    • Needing everyone to be your friend
    • Being defensive or closed to suggestions

Remote meetings are a great way to allow geographically dispersed Participants to form a group, but Participants should:

    • Make sure they are in a space where they will not be disrupted or distracted
    • Use headphones if colleagues or family members may be around and overhear the discussion
    • Have a laptop ready to go (the software and video conferencing don’t work well together on a mobile phone)
    • NOT try to join from their car
  • Groups meeting remotely will need to view both the Growth Group software (so that they can see the meeting tracking) and the Zoom Video conferencing (so they can see each other) on their screen.  We recommend a split screen that includes two browser windows. It may look something like this:

Commitment of all Participants is crucial to the success of the group.  As your groups get started, keep in mind:

    • As an Organizer, you will have set the number of absences allowed, after which a Participant becomes non-compliant.
    • Adherence to the Attendance Policy is required
    • Voting on non-compliant Participants is to be completed individually and anonymously.
  • And watch out for:
    • Inconsistent presence at meetings can negatively impact group coherence
    • Missing meetings is contagious – be sure to enforce attendance from the start

Given the expectations around attendance, the scheduling of meetings is important. We encourage all groups to establish a standard meeting schedule (ex: the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 9am). When scheduling the standard meeting time, keep in mind:

    • Day of week/time of day when most Participants will be available
    • Busy traffic times that may make people late
    • Morning rather than afternoon meetings – we all know how the day can get away from us!

The software does allow groups to change their next meeting time before their current meeting is adjourned, but watch out for:

    • Changing a meeting time requires group consensus
    • If consensus is NOT reached, the standard meeting time will apply
    • The Coordinator must complete the “Change” screen prior to leaving the meeting