Last week I went to a meeting at HILG, AKA the Huntsville Industrial Liaison Group. Why should you care? Well, I think small affinity groups like these can help us to be better at what we do on a daily basis. Today I’ll talk a little about the group and then in general about how you can get value from a similar organization.
HILG=The Huntsville Industrial Liaison Group
This group was designed to help government contractors in our local area. The group focuses mainly on the laws and executive orders that impact employers in our area, so the niche is fairly specific. However, since Huntsville contains a high concentration of government contractors relative to other industries, it’s actually a fairly well-attended group.
The meeting I attended was focused on developing affirmative action plans. As a defense contractor we have to have an AAP in place, and I plan to leverage the resources and contacts available through the Huntsville Industrial Liaison Group for making that happen.
Small groups do one thing well, and that’s creating engagement. The smaller the group, the harder it is for any one member to tune out and disengage. The larger the group, the less pressure there is to pay attention, digest content, and participate in the discussion.
When I walk in the door, I know that these meetings will matter on some level. I’m not learning about how nonprofits handle recruiting or how retail stores handle discipline. I’m learning about specific legal requirements that will enable our business to succeed.
Opportunity for similar groups
I talked with my local SHRM chapter several times over the past few years to get them to start an informal meetup to allow members to connect, share ideas, and learn from each other. Last year the Best Practices lunch series was born, and it’s still going strong today.
Anyone can start one of these groups with 4-5 people. Just sit down, talk about some of the things that are keeping you up at night, and ask for input or advice. When others bring up problems, offer your own solutions. It’s not difficult, and it can open you up to greater success.
What do you think? Are you engaged in a small group? What do you think about the experience?Â