Vistage (formerly T.E.C.) was founded in the 1950s by a businessman in Wisconsin. The core concept hasn’t changed – selecting chairs that gather and facilitate a group of decision-makers once a month to discuss strategic decisions and offer support to one another. It’s a simple recipe that works so well the organization that had less than 10,000 members when I became a chair in 2001, now has over 20,000 world-wide.
In addition to the core value proposition, the organization launched something a couple years ago that is starting to get real traction and last night was proof-positive the idea is a good one. They’ve created Networks and any member can join as many as they wish – Food and Wine Network, Golf, Retail and last night the Manufacturers Network hosted an event for Vistage members in the Manufacturing segment to coincide with the International Manufacturers Technology Show being held in Chicago this week.
These networks provide a vehicle by which a member can meet other members from around the world with common interests outside of their own 12-18 member Vistage group. It was fun to see so many members meet one another and I know some mutually beneficial relationships were forged.