The futures thinking value of masterminds

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We had a great mastermind session last week in my women speakers mastermind here in Cape Town. Of course, what happens in mastermind, stays in mastermind but I can make a few general comments.
I have been fortunate to be involved in a few of these types of groups over the years. Some were in person and one was online. Some lasted quite some time and others were shorter but no less valuable.
This current version of the women speakers mastermind is actually its third iteration and has been very robust. It is slightly larger than is recommended but luckily it is diverse in its skills set and thinking approaches and we have at least one member who hauls out a stop watch to give everyone some time.
I have grown to love masterminds for the way they represent some essential futures thinking mindsets.

Collaboration

A mastermind is a group of people without a designated leader who share insights and support each other in the development of their own aims and goals. Traditional training and workshops normally have a trainer or facilitator who comes with the agenda and training manual and dictates the course of the event. How else would the trainer prove that they have achieved the learning outcomes.

But a collaborative mastermind means that we often explore a rabbit hole we had not intended, but find that it is absolutely the place that we should have spent the afternoon in order to get the most value.

We also support each other outside of the meetings with online tools giving each other more media exposure or encouragement.

Diversity

Diversity is essential in any group to get the most facets of understanding and experience. The more homogenous the group, the less likely we are to explore all avenues and challenge each other to take necessary risks.

Our group is female by design, and relatively homogenous in terms of race, status and income and of course we are focussed on an area of work that is what draws us all together.

But it is in the space of our differences that we really get the value of this group. We have different exposure to our speaking world in terms of media reach, we have different priorities in terms of business and family, we have taken multiple paths to our current levels of success and even those are different. And interestingly, even though we are all speakers and value that, we value it differently and use speaking in our careers in different ways. These insights about our own approaches are the parts that help our fellow mastermind members to get insights of their own.

Creativity

Now this is where the magic happens. Any problem or stuck issue that we raise is swiftly dealt with, with contributions from all the other members of the mastermind, and we often have more than one solution per member.

While of course there is a bit step between a creative solution and the actual successful implementation of it, by sharing these ideas, we can source a range of solutions faster than we could on our own, and we can test it for gaps.

And as we talk about one particular problem, we often find that our minds are coming up with new ideas for other issues of our own.

A mastermind is designed to help people collaborate in a creative way. It is certainly more than the sum of its parts and each brain goes away having stretched in a way that it could not have done on its own.

 

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