The Business Tribe – Social Tuning and the Vibe

If you were going to create a 21st Century “Business Tribe”, what would it look like? How would it work? What would motivate the tribe?

Lately, the idea of business tribes has been on my mind. Two years ago, we experimented with “small business, small group consulting” where we coach 3-5 small businesses as a group. The offering fell flat. There were some good business conversations – and more than a few useful business tips… but not enough to justify the periodic meetings and commitment. Why?

The group did not “Vibe”. The businesses had different models and were at different stages. By default, we had to generalize the conversation to fit everyone – or cover topics that left some participants out. Neither approach worked.

So, starting this week I’m experimenting with some friends on creating a “business tribe”. The businesses and their entrepreneurs are all of the same:

Business stage – we specifically chose 3 companies at roughly the same stage of their business growth.

Business model – they share the same basic product model, although some are B2C and others are B2B. I’m wondering how critical that ends up being?

World view – Used Spiral Dynamics to assign “memes” to candidate companies. I think this might be a very important intangible to consider.

– Pursuing the same objective (to be selected by the tribe). One of the members suggested this in our kickoff meeting. I really like this since it gets everyone aligned around a common activity, but specific for each of their businesses.

So, do you agree with these “tribe building criteria”?  What would you add or change? I’d love to riff on this with you!

(Photo Credit: from http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/life/entrepreneurs-university-resources-a-win-win-for-all-335985/)

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