Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Peer Power - So What?

The daily Harvard Business Review email today contained a great article on the power of peers. At HTG we have known and watched this for years. Peers do make a difference. They change things. Jon R. Katzenbach and Zia Khan wrote a very insightful article that I wanted to make you aware of. Here are a few sentences:

"Peer to peer interactions may be the single most neglected lever of change. When enlisted, they are change's most powerful ally; when resisted, they are its most stubborn foe. Peers in large organizations are invaluable in spreading behavior change across an enterprise. In that respect, they constitute a woefully underused set of resources, mostly accessible within the "informal elements" of our organizations.

Whenever significant numbers of peers interact formally or informally, they constitute a force to be reckoned with. When they share mutual respect, they will listen to, learn from, and secretly support one another in ways that can shape opinions, create resistance, or generate energy

I often am asked what the "magic" is in HTG. Quite honestly - this is it - the power of peers. When people come together to focus on others, rather than self, good things happen. When people create community with a common goal - change happens. It is a powerful force. HTG provides a framework to help direct that force. As we do, we see powerful transformation and change happen in the members. They do things they would never tackle on their own. Why? Because they need someone to help them move down the path giving them confidence and assurance they are not going alone. They need accountability to keep after it until they succeed. Peers make things happen.

Do you need change in your life, or your business? Find a group of peers that can help you drive it. They exist all over the place if you look. If you can't find someone, then create your own group of like minded folks that will take whatever journey you are facing with you. It works.

Many companies are now starting to realize just how powerful that can be - both internally with staff and externally with customers. Social media gives a platform for a lot of peer interaction to occur. We need to understand and learn how to leverage this change agent as well.

Don't miss out on the power of peers. It will change everything if you just jump in!

No comments: