Monday, October 12, 2009

Orange County SCORE 114 launches CEO FORUM

Shared Knowledge-Shared Experience-Better Results

This article was written by Jack McSunas, SCORE Orange County Management Counselor

clip_image002[4]The leaders of growing small and mid-sized companies confront the constant challenge of “doing more” with constrained resources in the face of increasing competition. The CEO FORUM program was formed by SCORE Orange County to address these strategic issues in a peer group setting. The members of the FORUMS are passionate about improving the performance of their businesses through shared experiences and knowledge.  Each CEO FORUM group is comprised of 10 - 12 CEO/Presidents from non-competing businesses who meet monthly as an ongoing team.

The CEO Forum program includes a monthly, half-day problem-solving and skills development meeting that is facilitated by SCORE Counselors with CEO experience. This meeting is an opportunity for the group to share problem solving, experiences and support.  Additionally, once a quarter the monthly session will include a three hour workshop which is led by an expert outside resource speaker based on the group’s collective interests. These meetings are usually held at a central hotel conference room but, on occasion are hosted at a member’s business location which provides valuable insight into their operations.

Between the monthly workshops each member can also choose to meet individually with an experienced SCORE Advisory Board member for no-cost, personal performance coaching sessions at their place of business. These sessions can be focused on a wide range of business and personal development opportunities.

The CEO FORUM program will enable you to become a better leader, make better decisions and achieve better results through:

  • Better insight into your own business as well as the economy at large which will help them to compete and outperform their competitors
  • New perspectives to stimulate fresh ideas about your opportunities and challenges
  • Enhanced skills to facilitate ongoing learning and performance improvements
  • A confidential sounding board comprised of experienced executives for both everyday and strategic decisions

To keep the groups homogeneous the following criterion has been established:

· Revenues are expected to reach at least $1,000,000 during the current year

· The company has been operating for a least two years

· There is an established office ( excludes home-based businesses)

· There are at least 3 non-family employees

· There will not be any competitors in any given FORUM

· Members must sign a confidentiality agreement

· Members informally agree to participate for one year, once they have completed their group orientation and have attended their initial meeting (after acceptance by existing members, if joining an established group)

Each SCORE 114 CEO FORUM Member is requested to be active in meetings and cooperative and respectful of other FORUM members. Members come to each meeting with current business issues that they wish to share with the other members that may have similar problems or perhaps have some experiences that might be of assistance. Additionally, each member seeks to identify areas of their business experience that may need some skill development and share these requirements with the facilitator.

As of early September there are 29 companies in three FORUMs. FORUM FOUR is being formed.

A new FORUM member sent the following email following the last meeting: “Before time got away, I wanted to thank you, a big thank you, for the invitation to the Forum this past Wednesday .The session, for me, was energizing and inspiring. Actually, I was first humbled and then, proud to be in the company of you and the other facilitator. Your combined experiences, successes and talents set the tone for the meeting. And when each of you spoke, the comments were measured and intelligent. The atmosphere was certainly cordial and open, but it was also apparent immediately that people were going to reach down and put forth their best observations and input.
The diversity, intelligence and entrepreneurial spirit shared by each member around the table was gratifying. I don't use this word loosely - it was truly synergism at its best. For me, the experience was like Jack Nicholson's  character in the movie As Good as it Gets, when he says to Helen Hunt -"You make me want to be a better man".
The experience made me "want to be a better, more astute, more complete business owner and entrepreneur".
Thanks for being there and doing what you do.”

To request an application for the SCORE CEO Forum please contact the Program Chairperson at or telephone 714-550-7369 between 9 – 2:30 weekdays.