Monday, September 27, 2010

Not just access. Understanding.

Anyone can access significant players. Lyceum Associates fosters deep, multilayered interaction that creates extraordinary business relationships.

These days, rapport matters more than ever. In a world of instantaneous information, a company's ability to create and execute strategic objectives depends on a thorough appreciation of not just what knowledge it's getting, but also from whom.

Too often, we turn to 'experts' without truly understanding their motives and framework, let alone their expertise. And this can occur within an onslaught of information, in which we don't allow ourselves adequate time to evaluate sources, and rely more than we should on assumptions.

Over its five and a half years, Lyceum has delivered more than 80 roundtables—each one an exclusive event of 10 to 12 participants representing diverse expertise and viewpoints and, collectively, entire industry value chains.

The GatherSmart® website features profiles on each of these participants, allowing for thousands of individual interactions to take place beyond the events themselves. In addition to discussion topics and related commentary, members can search events to identify every participant and his or her professional profile.

They can also chose among different outlets to contribute their own thoughts and opinions: Perspectives (the Lyceum newsletter), ChatterSmart (a short-format newsblog), and a discussion forum.

We have showcased business innovation and industry transition in a variety of industries, and focused in recent years on the intricacies of the United States health care system. By selectively inviting a variety of stakeholders for participation, we utilize group problem-solving as the most effective means of defining and understanding value, whether in terms of business model shifts or workflow redesign.

Members—professionals who continue to participate in our events—gain familiarity and a sense of trust that can otherwise be impossible to attain even in a private, one-on-one meeting or a social interaction. For the better part of a day, a member will analyze and discuss hot-button topics with other key players. Conversations begin as arrays of common interest, and end as discoveries of common ground and likes and dislikes.

Quite simply, there's no better way for one individual to access another individual. It's the advantage of a shared experience rooted in informal exchange and business-centered topics.

A round of golf or a dinner might open new doors for vendors in pursuit of clients, but neither compares to the opportunity of vendors, clients and other subject matter experts jointly analyzing a point of common interest. Vendors won't just discover more about clients: clients will be better able to screen what vendors are offering.

Most important, the opportunity presents itself equally to each person at the table. With participants individually invested in the discussion, the group gains exponentially, compounding the return on that investment.

To extend Lyceum's reach to professionals who might not be able to contribute the same resources, but who contribute valuable expertise and experience, we encourage sponsored events and series. In contrast to a member, a sponsor functions as a partner in Lyceum, and helps to shape roundtable series, including content, locations and participants.

Users include entrepreneurs, corporate executives, industry consultants and experts, institutional investors, and many others. We believe a carefully-arranged assembly of stakeholders will surpass any one person in expertise, and that members will be better able to ascertain their own strengths and weaknesses and to engage others as they strive for personal success.

Not just access. Understanding.