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​Frequently Asked Questions

Are peer advisory councils new? I’ve never heard of them.

Business peer advisory councils have been around a long time. Ben Franklin started a Boston mastermind group in 1727. Rotary was started in 1905 by four professionals who wanted to exchange ideas and build friendships. Napoleon Hill recommended forming mastermind groups in his classic 1937 book Think and Grow Rich. While peer advisory councils are not new, our focus on cleantech is.

How can I afford to take the time away from my business?

The peer advisory councils and coaching focus on helping your business to grow, improve and become more profitable and valuable. We will help you to have a more holistic view of the cleantech landscape, become a better leader, and improve business decisions. The value that you receive far exceeds your time commitment.

How do you help members get comfortable with opening up about their problems?

Members decide when and how much to share – it’s different for everyone. That said, the more open they are, the more value that they’ll get from the councils. It can take time for members to bond and trust each other. We use a variety of approaches to help accelerate this process.

Will I be pressured to do things that I don’t want to do?

The group is designed to be composed of cleantech leaders who value people, planet, and profit. We expect members to continuously improve on all three elements, but how you proceed is up to you. You will be asked to hold yourself accountable for the commitments that you make to yourself and the group.

How experienced is the moderator/coach?

Zbig is a trained and certified moderator and business coach, with an MBA from Kellogg in entrepreneurship. Zbig previously owned and led a traditional CEO peer advisory franchise for 12 years. He facilitated almost 200 group meetings and held approximately 1,000 coaching sessions.

What is the moderator's experience with cleantech?

Zbig is the Chicago ambassador and a startup mentor for Cleantech Open, the world's largest cleantech accelerator. Zbig has a degree in engineering, 25 years in software development, and an MBA in entrepreneurship. His unique combination of strategic and technical skills allows him to understand the key aspects of an industry. One of his specialties is asking "stupid" questions that challenge prevailing wisdom. If Zbig pretends to be the industry expert in the group, then he's performing the wrong role.

Why are we meeting in person instead of virtually?

Members give and receive honest feedback only after they've learned to trust their fellow members. Developing trusted relationships is difficult virtually. We may explore this option in the future, but initially will focus on in-person meetings.

Why do you emphasize diversity within the group?

Research has demonstrated that diverse and inclusive teams foster greater insights and better performance. We are consciously building a diverse peer group membership to give you a broad perspective on the cleantech sector from people with different life experiences.

Is the Triple Bottom Line a new concept?

The Triple Bottom Line (3BL) was introduced by John Elkington in a Harvard Business Review article in 1994. He followed this up by restating 3BL as “People, Planet, Profit” the following year. The Balanced Scorecard, a classic way of creating business metrics, introduced a 3BL version in 2020. While the idea has been established for almost 30 years, the triple bottom line has taken on new urgency as we live in a climate-challenged world.

Will I risk the profitability of my business by incorporating the Triple Bottom Line?

The approach that we take emphasizes improvement on all three elements of people, planet, and profit. As a cleantech business, you are by definition already focused on all 3 of these elements. It's then a question of consciously incorporating all 3 elements into key business decisions. A 3BL culture will lead to higher employee satisfaction, an improved business image, and higher valuation.

What framework do you use? How flexible are you on its use?

Our overarching approach is centered on continuous improvement on people, planet, and profit. We recognize the value of different frameworks and are open to their use by members. We adjust our topics and speakers based on the needs of our members.

What if I don’t like the other group members?

Before joining the group, you will receive a bio of each group member. You can decide whether they are a fit for you.  You also receive a 3-month money-back guarantee.

What if I don’t like the moderator/coach?

You will talk with Zbig, the moderator/coach, several times before attending your first meeting. This includes at least one coaching session. You also receive a 3-month money-back guarantee.

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