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Mastermind Groups help SMEs with digital transformation

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Local digital transformation company Xuviate has started a series of Mastermind Groups to provide a platform for IT leaders to brainstorm, to educate and to offer support for digital transformation.Mathias Tölken, chief operating officer of Xuviate, says running successful Mastermind Groups for business and IT leaders is notoriously difficult as individual circumstances vary so greatly between small and medium organisations. “But fear not as we have found the secret Mastermind sauce for business technology leaders in SMEs.”
Group participants are carefully selected from across the world. The groups are online-only and group members are matched based on industry, company size, Relevant IT maturity, IT leadership focus and many other criteria to ensure maximum learning for all.
Tölken says being accepted into a Mastermind Group is often a life-changing decision and participants wax lyrical about the benefits. “These benefits include impartial advice and brainstorming, accountability, motivation, sharing ideas and emotional support and energy.”
“Our very own business IT maturity framework for SMEs, the Relevant IT Methodology, provides structure and guidance. It is extremely useful for keeping everyone focused on the competency-building activities that truly matter during a digital transformation journey,” he explains.
Additionally, the Xuviate Gap Analyzer tool provides shared context, providing members with detailed digital maturity status of each participating organisation. This puts them in a much stronger position to help each other.
“Sometimes one is just too close to the problem and could benefit greatly from the insights and expertise of others. When it comes to accountability, having a group where everybody expects you to deliver on what you commit to do is a very powerful incentive to see things through,” he adds.
Tölken says interacting regularly with other successful people and hearing how well they have been doing puts a lot of pressure (of the good sort) to just take that extra step. “Sharing ideas, even if you are not talking about your own situation; hearing what problems others encounter and what solutions they apply is a very effective way to get your own creative juices going.”
“Let’s face it, being a leader is hard work with often very little recognition. To be amongst like-minded people is often all that is needed to recharge that battery and get up for another day,” he says.
The groups, each with between six and 10 active participants, meet online every fortnight for up to two hours. Sessions are extremely organised with special attention focused on the two or three leaders who have been selected for the ‘hot seat’. These ‘hot seats’ are rotated to ensure everyone is offered an opportunity to get input from their peers.
Members who cannot attend a meeting can catch up on proceedings by reviewing a recording of the session afterwards.
Members are also given access to a private online network, dedicated to the larger community of business technology leaders. Here they can exchange view points as well as get access to an even greater pool of knowledge, tools and templates.
“As group members gain trust in each other, it becomes easier to extend the relationships into your day-to-day work life and get fast decision-support or even support with specific tools and templates that you may need to do your job,” he concludes.