Founded in 1985, Inner Circle specializes in offering a peer advisory experience that addresses issues related to both business ownership and personal fulfillment.
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Recognizing the personal challenges that often accompany small and medium-sized business ownership, Inner Circle emphasizes its dual focus in their mission to provide their members with both a "better business and a richer life."
How do they do it? According to Inner Circle, their approach provides members with three important benefits, each designed to improve business performance as well as personal satisfaction.
- Clarity. At the heart of the Inner Circle approach is something they call the "Vision Quest process". The Vision Quest encourages members to temporarily step back from the details so they can focus on the big picture issues in their company and their life. Despite its highly personal nature, the Vision Quest process leverages a group dynamic through the creation of actionable items that are ultimately shared with peers.
- Accountability. Like many other peer advisory providers, accountability is another central feature of Inner Circle's approach. Facilitators and peers are expected to hold one another accountable for action items that emerge from monthly meetings and from each individual's Vision Quest process.
- Success. Although success should be an anticipated outcome of any peer advisory process, Inner Circle avoids defining success strictly according to the company's bottom line. Instead, Inner Circles gauges success by the progress its members make toward achieving the actionable items that emerge from the Vision Quest process. Some of the more common measures of success for Inner Circle members include better decision-making, improved confidence, increased profit (or revenues), stronger competitive positioning, and a better work/life balance.
Inner Circle's program structure is similar to other peer advisory providers. Members participate in monthly peer group meetings that are geographically-based and comprised of business owners from a diverse range of non-competitive industries. Called "circles", groups are designed to support the Vision Quest process and to leverage the members' collective expertise.
In addition to monthly meetings, Inner Circle provides articles, whitepapers and other learning resources on a broad range of business-related topics. Member profiles, a blog, and quarterly webinar series round out Inner Circle's resource base and solidify its commitment to offer members insights from qualified leaders both inside and outside the Inner Circle community.