GBA Peer Groups Provide Support in Troubled Times

GBA Peer Review Committee

Perspective: The interrelation in which a subject  or its parts are mentally viewed; the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance.

Black Swan Event: A metaphor that describes an event that comes as a surprise, is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the widespread insistence they were obvious in hindsight.

As the nations and businesses of the world have tried to come to grips with the magnitude of the “black swan event” that is the Covid-19 crisis, rational perspective has understandably been in short supply. Sudden disruption necessitates a defensive response, relying at least initially on instincts. Unique in our lifetime, the disruption in this case is exacerbated by physical separation from our usual social resources. A relatively new GBA program has yielded added value to participants in these troubled times by helping to bridge the emerging social gap between leaders in geoprofessional firms.

GBA’s Peer Review program has for decades provided member firms the business perspective they need in times of relative normality. In the fall of 2018, GBA’s Peer Review Committee launched a related program (Peer Groups) designed to provide continuity and sustain a network for confidential peer perspective on business    best practices among participants. The  first Peer Group (5 executives from firms with little competitive overlap) was launched and  remains engaged.

Peer Group 1 held a kick-off meeting that shared firm profiles and a provided a platform for  bonding. The group has met twice a year since. Each meeting has focused on a primary topic of   broad business interest followed by several secondary topics covering pressing issues, core  management competencies and critical success factors. The Peer Group has developed trust  and support between meetings through ad hoc sharing of inquiries, experiences and suggestions.

The initial Peer Group is proving to be a valuable resource for participants as they seek resilience, navigating the impacts and response decisions related to Covid-19. After an initial virus-related inquiry within the Peer Group on March 6, participants have kept in touch each week on the impacts to their people and business while providing insight on response measures. The group has served as a virtual extension of each executive’s advisory team. Perspectives shared are fresh, independent and unbiased by the fog of war that is proximate in each firm. The group is planning a half-day teleconference this month to further confront the current and future threats we are facing, as well as stretch to explore potential opportunities that may emerge as we begin to heal.

More Peer Groups are being formed. For more information about how you can join a GBA Peer Group, please contact GBA Staff or Stu Thompson (CTL-Thompson), Chair of GBA’s Peer Review Committee.