December 15, 2014
By Jacki Hart CLM
Prosperity Partners Program Manager

Jacki HartFor the last two years, we’ve run an Effective Management Short Course at Congress. It’s been VERY popular. During these courses, we’ve asked participants, “What’s next?”

They were clear as to next steps for them, “Give us facilitated opportunities to brainstorm solutions for our everyday challenges.” Consensus included a combination of face-to-face sessions with online support, discussions and meetings.

In combination with this great member input, the Prosperity Partners team at LO offered a survey to capture the needs of a broader member audience. We wanted to make sure we have our finger on YOUR business pulse.

In this survey, we polled LO business owners to learn about their biggest challenges. What we learned is that many of you are challenged with similar issues: getting paid, managing profitability, writing contracts, finding and keeping good people, implementing systems for administration, operations and training; staying compliant with legislation; adapting to the new business reality (working harder to make the same dollars, or less); the list goes on.

We also learned that in order to move forward on these issues you want more face to face and focused opportunities, for peer to peer brainstorming; you all want proven tools and structure; you want a safe place to learn and share frustrations, not worry about divulging secrets to competitors; we learned that many of you feel you’re alone and that you believe your business challenges are embarrassingly unique.

What we know for sure from the similarities of our survey answers is that you’re in good company — you’re not alone. And you’re surrounded by peers who are equally frustrated and challenged by their business.

In response, we’ve developed Landscape Ontario’s new Peer to Peer Network, which launches at Congress 2015 on Warm Up Monday.

Our approach to a Peer to Peer Network for LO is the polar opposite to that of PLANET and other consultants. Our members’ needs are broadly varied, and proportionately few seem prepared to invest heavily with dollars or time in professional development. We propose a completely different offering to what’s already in place and available to members: A self-directed peer to peer network.

We believe it is time to try a different approach to sustained professional development engagement with our members.

Our concept is for participants in LO’s You’re In Good Company Network to engage with any one of several group-generated discussion topics relevant to their day-to-day frustrations and challenges. Our goal is to see our peers use the peer network to draw from and create their own informal Peer Advisory Board.

This Peer to Peer journey will be ongoing and punctuated with timely, relevant and solid business opinions, advice and critical thinking. The vision is peers helping peers with helpful content provided along the way and face-to-face facilitation when requested.

We want this network to be uncomplicated, somewhat organic, and to respond with maximum flexibility to the collective needs of the members who engage. Program content will be developed as needs and demand emerge. We anticipate that each peer group will have different needs.

The drivers of content and focus will be the participants. Our facilitator’s job will be to respond to the current reality, and help everyone to move forward with peer support. Participants will encourage next level management and operations best practices, plus the introduction of provocative and critical thinking and business assessment techniques.

The Prosperity Partners Pillars and language will serve as the core philosophy. Additional content will be provided as needed and will build on the Effective Management Short Course concept. People management tools from a variety of sources will provide a platform for deeper management skills.

This new LO Prosperity Partners offering is a unique opportunity to leverage our Prosperity Partners toolbox and connect Peers to Peers with relevant, timely help in navigating every day issues and challenges in business.

Plan to join us, and watch next month’s column for a sneak preview on how the Network will roll out. Together we can build solutions, confidence and rekindle your passion for what you do. Peers helping each other are what our members do best — this new program will provide the connective conduit.

Join this kick-off session and connect with your peers to share challenges, set priorities and move forward.

By working with our facilitators and each other, together we will provide tools, creativity and support to hunt for helpful solutions and fresh approaches.

For more information on the Peer to Peer Network at Congress, go to

Free prosperity tools

Prosperity Partners Best Practices Templates are available for download to at to help your business succeed.

Each template will assist you to implement the key principles of the program into your business culture. Many of the templates may easily be customized to your specific business needs.

Each month Prosperity Partners column in Landscape Ontario will highlight two or three templates from one of the five pillars of the program: Customers for Life, Financial Health, Leadership, Operational Excellence and Sales Success.

This month we bring you Customers for Life.

Jacki Hart may be reached at