New York Times blogger JAY GOLTZ talks about his experience with Vistage for three years, why he left, and why he’s thinking about coming back. Read the full post here: Why I Keep Joining Business Groups
“A couple of years later, I received a call from another large group, Vistage International (as it is now known). Again, it has very impressive connections and members (about 14,000). The groups are similar but with some important differences. Every individual group, or council, has a chair who organizes and oversees the meetings. He or she also meets one-on-one with each of the members. About nine speakers a year come to speak on various topics. Most are good. Some are incredibly good.
I lasted about three years. The group was stuck at about eight members, and no one new joined. Three of the guys were trying to sell their businesses. After a while, going to the meetings became a chore. I will only take half of the responsibility for this break-up. Yes, I do get bored. And without any new members, I found little to keep me interested. I was paying them to find new members, and they weren’t doing it. On top of that, I was getting valuable input from only a few people in the group.
Because this happened about four or five years ago, I thought I would call the group’s chief executive, Rafael Pastor, and see what has changed. First of all, they now believe that the ideal group size is 15 or 16. He was fairly new on the job when I was in it, and he has made some significant changes. He believes that quality trumps quantity and says he has put many systems in place to do a better job delivering on what the group promises. These include continuous “best practices” training for the chairs and better follow-up with the improvements, I’m thinking about rejoining.”