The Website and Blog of HR Author and Speaker Lori Kleiman

Working Together: 4 Steps to Great Mastermind Groups

Mastermind groups can be a tremendous asset to your organization.Mastermind groups create connections that people need in the workplace today. Once reserved for executives through popular programs such as YPO, Vistage and Conference Executive Board, Masterminds are now available for most professions at a variety of levels of management. Groups exist for those with a common role, such as CFO and HR Director, or within organizations to give high potential or management a safe place to gather and process business issues.

By definition, a Mastermind group is a meeting where a combination of brainstorming, education, peer accountability and support exist in a group setting to sharpen skills. The group normally has a goal of helping members achieve success. Groups often have a facilitator, but can be run by the members. They key to an effective group is that it is a confidential and safe place to discuss issues and process ideas before implementation.

My mastermind group is focused on HR professionals. I also facilitate a group for the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association. This group is open to members of the association to address their issues. Internal corporate groups are very effective. Whether your group is for a similarly situated group of professionals, or an internal corporate focus, the steps to success are the same.

The four critical steps to starting your group are:

Membership – Who should be in the group? What is the goal for the group, and the person organizing it? It is critical that the members are screened. A great group needs a combination of leaders and those that are more reserved. All members should have the desire to bring issues to the group, and have the authority to implement changes.

Logistics – While the best interaction occurs face to face, groups are very effective via web platform. The web has the advantage of allowing participants to join without concern for physical location. is an effective platform that participation via video, which provides a personal connection. Using any effective platform, you can manage a speaker with slides, participants desire to talk and have conversations in a chat section without interrupting.

Setting up the group – Formal rules and processes are essential. Most importantly is the creation of a group confidentiality agreement. There should be structure to introductions and how issues will be processed. Even the decision of who can join and when should be agreed upon. Members must understand their accountability to group meetings and other members. Finally, we agree to honesty and respect of others and the group in general.

Let’s meet! – All meetings should follow the same structure. Generally, starting with member updates is effective. Then move into an educational component that is scheduled in advance. The meeting should allow plenty of time for members to discuss their issues, that is generally one of the major reasons for participation. Groups may have other components, in my groups we end with HR updates and access to data for example.

Groups should exist to create bridges, connect members and identify resources. With long term connections, members will add value to their function and ensure new work based initiatives are the best they can be to drive long term results. If you would like training in running mastermind groups, visit The Success Alliance at

Lori Kleiman is an HR expert who presents to business people and groups. Click here to see a video of Lori in action. If you’d like to have Lori keynote one of her HR presentations at your upcoming event, click here, or email Lori directly at!
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