Great leaders are life-long learners.
Many leaders enjoy learning from the experiences of those who have faced similar challenges. When leaders move up they eventually become the most senior executive of a particular function (e.g., marketing, IT, etc.) within an organization. To continue learning from their functional peers, executives must take the initiative to develop meaningful relationships with those who face similar challenges outside of their organization.
For this reason, Credera and a few executives launched the first Strategic Forum in 2013 with great success. Today there are four Strategic Forums representing the functional areas of marketing (i.e., CMO), technology (i.e., CIO, Chief Architect), digital (i.e., most senior digital executive), and customer experience (i.e., most senior customer experience executive).
The Strategic Forums bring together executives who value experience sharing, relationship building, and personal and professional growth in a confidential setting.
“Having the ability to meet with and learn from top marketing executives on a regular basis who are implementing similar strategies and initiatives has proven to be extremely beneficial to me,” said James Meredith, Chief Marketing Officer of Cinemark and Strategic Forum member.
“I enjoy learning about challenges and solutions related to other industries outside of my own and looking at issues from different perspectives. I find the CMO Forum to be an extremely valuable time investment,” said Meredith.
- Each member should materially improve the quality of their forum; therefore, new members are interviewed to ensure a values match
- Conversations must be candid and safe; therefore, forums must also be confidential and free from competitors and solicitation
- Members are asked to share experiences (rather than opinions); we believe mini-case studies are the most helpful way for members to learn from one another
- Relationships and camaraderie are important and time is limited; therefore, each forum includes no more than 15 committed executives
- Meetings occur six times a year between the months of September and June
- Attendance is required, one excused absence is permitted per year
- Meetings are scheduled months in advance to allow for planning
- Credera manages all planning and meeting details
- Forum members take turns hosting meetings; the host is responsible for choosing a topic and facilitating the group discussion
- There is no fee to join
“The most important part of my experience has been the opportunity to share perspectives and acquire knowledge on relevant topics with colleagues who have similar interests and business challenges. I learn something new and valuable every time we meet,” said Michelle Sheffield, Chief Information Officer of BenefitMall and Strategic Forum member.