So, what exactly does a quote from an ancient Greek philosopher have to do with Peer Networks?
Quite a lot as it happens.
The Socratic method is a form of co-operative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presuppositions.
Asking somebody “and what do you think? “can very often be an extremely powerful learning opportunity for everyone involved in a discussion. And that is exactly what lies within the value of Peer Learning and why it is so valuable in many areas of our lives, at school, our communities and particularly in business. It allows individuals to listen and learn from one another in the broadest sense, approach problem solving, taking action and reflecting on the results – in a confidential environment.
The MDHUB have been running peer learning groups to support business owners and the growth of their businesses since 2002. Our early clients included Giles Palmer – originally from Runtime Collective, who went on to set up the phenomenally successful Brandwatch, Neilsen Holidays and Ricochet Films, who are now part of Warner Bros.
Today we are privileged to work with growth businesses throughout the UK which include Ridgeview Wine Estate, Andy Sturgeon Garden Design, DMH Stallard, Mooncup, Temple Group and Cheesmur Building Contractors.
So why is peer learning more important than ever in today’s business environment?
Employees often expect their MDs to have all of the answers, after all that is why they are in that role isn’t it ? Nobody has all of the answers to everything and often MDs put huge pressure on themselves by thinking that they “should know” or at least “sound like they know” when asked a question. This in itself can amplify the feeling of isolation that many business owners experience.
Being able to participate in a small confidential peer session of Managing Directors to present, discuss and resolve issues, is vital not just for the business growth but for the MD’s personal growth as well.
The arrival of the global pandemic in the past 14 months in the UK has seriously demonstrated just how powerful peer learning has been for business owners.
The MDHUB ran 100 online peer workgroups in the first 100 days of the pandemic, with over 200 peer workgroups delivered during this time via our MDHUB Membership and our partnership working with the Local Economic Partnership (LEP) network .
The MDHUB team are particularly proud of the partnership work that we have been undertaking with the Coast To Capital Growth Hub and the delivery of the peer networks programme to support 88 business owners during the depths of the pandemic.
Our workgroups are all facilitated by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, so we really understand the highs and lows of running a business and the challenges that are faced.
“MDHUB has reassured, empowered and inspired me moving forward with my business during an incredibly challenging time.”
We are delighted to say that we have been delivering a new national peer networks programme for the Coast to Capital Growth Hub for 110 Business owners from June 2020.
This programme is fully funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
How does the programme work?
Peer Networks is delivered through a series of confidential and high impact peer sessions, with each cohort led by a trained MDHUB facilitator.
The programme provides each participant with 18 hours of facilitated peer group support plus a minimum of 3.5 hours of one-to-one support.
All applicants go through a selection panel where care is taken to curate the best fit for the programme and the cohorts going forward.
Once allocated to a cohort, each participant will be required to commit to all of the confidential, facilitated peer sessions which will typically be 2-3 hours in length with up to 11 people and organised over a 6-8 month period.
All sessions will take place online either via Zoom or MS Teams for the time being.
Are you eligible for the programme?
The programme is available to any SME business in the Coast To Capital Area that has:
• Operated for at least one year
• Has at least five employees
• A turnover of at least £100,000
• The potential to scale up
• The ability or potential to export
• This programme is fully funded by BEIS