Why do Groups Fail?

16% of groups we start won’t make it to the 24 month mark.  I’ve tracked that ratio since 2004.   Groups that fail usually struggle with at least 2+ of these areas.

1. Poor Attendance:
When attendance as a group is below 80% overall the meeting value gets diluted.  When they fall below 70% it is death sentence for a group.

Our best groups always have two common traits:  The attendance rate is high and they run good meetings.  Referrals become a byproduct of those to two things.

2. Drama: Nothing sucks the energy out of group like drama!
Conflict between members will happen in almost every group at some point.  When it happens it is important for members not to feed into it.  When other member mentions that “So & So did this or didn’t handle this well…..etc”  The next words out of your mouth should be:   “Have you talked to them about it?”   Then, don’t engage in the rest of it.  Shut it down.  The parties involved need to work it out.   You’ll only fan the flames when you engage in it.

If the two parties can’t fix it then they should inform the Chairman it will get us involved.  Then 1 of 3 things will happen (group choice not ours)

1-No action needed.  Let it go and quit talking about it.
2- We want to keep one (or both) parties involved but they need coaching.
3- One or both parties are brought up to be removed.

It is important to remember that we have a process to remove people if necessary.  More importantly don’t feed into gossip and drama.  Shut it down and move on.  It only causes you to lose focus.

3. They run poor meetings:
I have a group that runs horrible meetings.  They are nice people and refer, but they don’t:

-print up or put on the screen the referral report.  The visual of the report drives dialog.
-they refuse to run a timer on the speaker. So the speaker always goes over by 8-10 minutes.
-they don’t put out copies of the agenda.

The group did a great job inviting guests.  The problem is that post meeting their guests would call me and say “I love the concept.  The people were nice, but do you have a group that takes it serious?”.  This one group has produced 8 new members…..for OTHER GROUPS.

The meeting should be fun, but keep the fun in the fundamentals.  Run a good meeting or you’ll dilute your value.

4. They forget that 20% attrition is natural:
Groups that don’t lose anyone scare me to death, because I tell groups when they start to expect 20% attrition year over year.  I had one group recently that didn’t lose any members for the first 2 ½ years.  That was great, but the problem was that they got too comfortable.  They always wanted to be 8-10 members. They stayed in that range until the 2 ½ year mark.  Then, the attrition average caught up to them and they lost 5 members in 6 weeks (most of which they couldn’t control).  I’d been telling them for 2 years that they needed to be at 15-16 members because the loses were coming. 

They never believed me and when it happened it was crippling to them.  

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