Getting around challenges: How executives can benefit from roundtable discussions

Business  Knowledge Sharing

Business landscapes continue to shift across different industries, challenging organisations worldwide. To keep pace with the emergence of more complex issues, industry leaders must build their intellectual and social capital.

‘But what about competing interests?’ you may ask. As the adage goes, ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend,’ and, in critical situations, turning to one’s peers may help address any similar concerns.

Knowledge sharing is vital in this process, and roundtable discussions have proven to be effective platforms for open discourse among decision-makers.

“Exploring varied viewpoints on a single topic has become increasingly vital to ensure that challenges are overcome and opportunities for growth are discovered.”

A convergence of perspectives

Businesses that operate within one industry face, to a certain extent, the same challenges. While they may find common ground in the similar issues and trends they encounter, decision-makers from different companies still have varied approaches to tackling these concerns.

Roundtables are some of, if not, the best platforms for knowledge sharing. Exploring varied viewpoints on a single topic has become increasingly vital to ensure that challenges are overcome and opportunities for growth are discovered. Participants in these discussions are empowered to share their insights on pressing matters freely and confidently.

As in all fruitful interactions, getting the chance to express one’s ideas is not the sole benefit of this convergence of perspectives. Unlike masterclasses that feature just one or two key speakers, roundtables serve as a gateway of wider knowledge sharing, with each participant gaining insights from up to 12 different sources.

Redefined discourse dynamics

What sets a roundtable apart from other knowledge-sharing platforms is its conversational nature. Conference lectures and keynote speeches are still part and parcel of the executive knowledge-sharing sphere, but they’re nowhere near as dynamic and free-flowing as roundtable discussions.

This is where tapping the best moderators comes into play. As explained here, the core element of any ideal roundtable moderator is the ability to break the ice among the participants and make them feel comfortable enough to contribute to the discussion.

A roundtable dominated by just one or two participants will only leave the rest of the group dissatisfied on two fronts: being left unheard and wanting more insights. Effective moderators know how to warmly welcome differing perspectives while possessing enough knowledge of the topic at hand. They are the key to empowering all participants to share their thoughts openly and confidently in a roundtable discussion.

New networking opportunities

In lectures led by just one or two executives, one may notice that, after the discussion, participants will flock only to those key speakers to invite them to join their networks. Without hearing from everybody else in attendance, they won’t find any interest or clear purpose to connect with all participants.

Roundtable discussions breathe new life into this post-event networking dynamic. With no single person leading the conversation—and with everyone getting the chance to share their key insights—each participant may discover kindred entrepreneurial spirits among the group. In turn, attendees may take this opportunity to link with like-minded executives to expand their network or start meaningful business relationships.

Just an invitation to the ‘table’ alone is a clear indicator that not one participant will stand out above the others. Roundtables are a level playing field for all executives invited. Corporate rank and industry positioning are irrelevant to these discussions; insights and experiences, on the other hand, are.

Exploring roundtables

Are you interested in discovering more benefits of roundtable discussions? Are you considering hosting one of your own? Reach out to The Ortus Club today. Their insights into and experience in creating the best discussion topics, tapping the right moderators, and selecting the right venues should prove essential to your next event.


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