As business leaders, our professional and personal lives are full of conflicting demands, ambiguity, challenges, and stress.
What if we each had our own personal "board of directors" to help guide us through difficult decisions?
What if this experience of peer support and learning also helped us grow our businesses and build stronger relationships?
HBS alumni forums (and likeminded groups elsewhere) do just that. Made up of 8-10 peers, forum members meet regularly to discuss confidentially what’s going on in their lives and work, help each other go deep, and gain new insight.
Since 2009, hundreds of HBS alumni have participated in forums organized by Alumni Forum Services, and inspired by similar programs at Young Presidents Organization and Entrepreneurs Organization, AFS offers HBS alumni (and other peer groups) the resources to launch, lead, and participate in their own forums, whether club-based or interest-focused, in-person or virtual.
How do we start and sustain a forum program in our HBS club (or other peer group)?
What tried and true approaches can help keep my forum healthy, effective and valuable for all members?
A professional facilitator with deep forum experience can help a forum launch successfully, go deeper, reinforce best practices, clear the air, and recommit to the shared forum journey.
All of AFS’s facilitators have years of experience; many are part of the certified facilitator community of Young Presidents Organization or Entrepreneurs Organization.
"HBS Forum has been a life-changing experience. It builds upon the lessons learned in the HBS course Authentic Leadership Development and provides a diverse, engaged, group of alumni the chance to develop professionally, explore solutions to business problems, and grow as a leader. In the process, I've gotten to meet alumni in other industries and career stages who have become trusted advisers and close confidantes. I am immensely grateful for this opportunity and to have the trained facilitation and structure of HBS Forum."
Lilly Beshore (MBA 2013), Forum Member, HBS Club of Colorado
"Most HBS alumni events (and I have attended many) involve casually socializing with other alumni. In contrast, my HBS Alumni Forum has been the most impactful HBS-related experience I have had since graduating, allowing for far deeper and meaningful conversation."
Marc Zablatsky (HBS MBA 1992) Former President, HBS Association of Boston
"My HBS Forum has been meeting for over five years and has been a key part of my life. Without the support and encouragement of my fellow Forum members, I may never have taken on the role of president of the HBS Club of NYC. Definitely worth the time commitment!"
Katherine Bahamonde (MBA 2007), Immediate Past President, HBS Club of New York
"My HBS Forum experience over the last 5 years has been transformative in my life. With coaching from my forum, I’m a better business leader, a better spouse, and a better parent. This is by far the most valuable part of my HBS alumni experience."
Zander Packard (MBA 1997)
"I am very blessed to have amazing and supportive friends in my HBS Forum. It is a powerful network that helps me bounce ideas in business and life. I am an entrepreneur and it can be lonely with lots of questions on my mind. My forum helps me think clearly about both my consulting and start-up."
Christine Gajardo, (HBS Program for Leadership Development 2012)
"Forum has helped me in business in many ways. It’s been a terrific resource for those hard multi-faceted decisions that involve money and markets but also people and reputation. Forum training has also given me an additional set of communication skills around listening and getting to the core of an issue inside the company and with customers and vendors."
John Macomber, (HBS MBA 1983, YPO member)