Executive Peer Networks
Conference-Based Executive Networks
Strategic Meetings and Offsites
Leadership Advisory Services
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why would I want to belong to an executive peer network?
While members will sometimes come away from a network meeting with a totally novel insight, this is not an expectation. We work with sophisticated executives, and it is rare that conversations will reveal a blind spot that a member hasn’t been considered before. Instead, our meetings help members to develop a more nuanced understanding of various alternatives – by sharing their experiences and learning from others. We are much less focused on “what,” and much more focused on “so what” and “why.”
Why might I want to sponsor an executive peer network?
If you are like most executives, interactions with clients and other important stakeholders may be narrow and transactional. You probably understand how clients interact with your product or service, have little insight into the broader context in which they operate. Network sponsorship allows you to be a “fly on the wall” as your most important clients and prospects discuss timely, important issues with each other. The ongoing meeting cadence will foster deeper client trust and goodwill, and your firm will enjoy nuanced, proprietary insights into market challenges, opportunities, and constraints. Moreover, sponsoring a peer network is a great way to show that you understand your clients' challenges—and are committed to supporting them.
How do you convene competitors?
We often work with groups of competitors, and find that there are always important, non-competitive issues for executives to discuss. As independent meeting leaders, we can explore executives’ individual challenges one-on-one, then design a meeting agenda that steers clear of sensitive topics.
You aren’t subject matter experts in my industry. Does that matter?
Not at all. These aren’t seminars, and we don’t pretend to deliver content ourselves. In many cases, the network members and sponsors are the true subject matter experts. However, a skilled, courageous discussion leader with broad experiences will outperform a specialist most of the time. To be clear, we’re not advocating “content-lite” facilitation; it’s important to be a quick study, and to do enough homework to help our members lean into the right questions. Still, a generalist mindset can be helpful, as experts are often blind to possibilities that fall outside the narrow confines of their professional “box.”
Are you just facilitators?
No, although facilitation is of course one of many tools we draw on. As network designers and leaders, we also need to solicit input, listen carefully, synthesize and analyze ideas, design agendas, write clearly, find the “so what” in an issue, build trust, recognize patterns, think creatively, engage participants, and overcome objections.
What is your expertise?
We are skilled at designing and leading distinctive executive-level conversations, and enhancing trust within a community of executives over time. As one executive told us, "your efforts helped form relationships which previously for the most part were rivalries." We take pride in quality and durability of the relationships that are forged through our networks. This doesn’t just happen by chance.
How do you encourage candor?
We know that candid discussion can feel risky, and we work hard to support open, trusting dialogue. Clear confidentiality principles help network members to speak freely without worrying that comments will be shared outside the group. Our networks follow a modified version of the Chatham House Rule, which states that participants are free to use any information received, without attributing comments to individuals or their organizations.
I am invited to networking events all the time. Why is SkyBridge different?
To start, we never think of our meetings as networking events. Rather, our meetings are touchpoints, when members and sponsors of an exclusive club get together with friends and colleagues to explore issues they discuss too rarely. Our goal is always to convene one of the best meetings our members will attend all quarter, with the right people, the right topics, the right agenda, the right venue, and the right facilitation.
How much time should I allocate to a network?
We recognize that our members and sponsors are busy, and strive to make good use of their time. We speak with network members for 30-45 minutes before every meeting, and offer debrief calls for members who are unable to attend. The meetings themselves typically run 3-6pm, followed by dinner. Assuming three meetings a year, most members invest 15-20 hours per year in the network.
Why is your firm called “SkyBridge”?
The bridge metaphor represents an important part of who we are. We build (virtual) bridges between people, ideas, and outcomes. And bridges take people and groups from where they are to where they want to be.