Frequently Asked Questions
How do I join? What are the necessary steps?
Contact the EA office at 262-821-3600 or 877-MY GROWTH (877-694-7698) or firstname.lastname@example.org. After learning a little about you and your background, we will introduce you to a Group Chair in your area. The Group Chair will contact you to schedule an in-person discovery meeting to determine if Executive Agenda membership matches your professional and personal development plan.
Can I be a member of EA, if I don't reside in Wisconsin?
Currently, Executive Agenda (EA) membership is exclusive to those executives in the state of Wisconsin and only operates groups in the greater metro Wisconsin areas of Appleton, Green Bay, Madison and Milwaukee.
How does my company benefit from my membership in EA?
Your organization should expect improved business performance, time and cost savings resulting from opportunities discovered, problems solved, better decisions, new ideas and resources recommended. Membership in EA also increases an organization’s general management “bench strength.”
What kind of issues are discussed at the meetings?
Anything is fair game. However, examples include forecasting sales in periods of rapid growth; translating your strategic plan to workers; planning for an acquisition; retaining good employees; working with union organizations; managing rising health care costs; handling a problem supervisor, and many more.
How much time will I need to invest?
The minimum requirements are four all-day group meetings (held quarterly) and four personal One-on-Ones (up to 2 hours in length) with your Group Chair prior to each quarterly meeting. However, EA is one of those experiences in which you get out of it what you put into it. For that reason, most members also meet informally with some of their group members to stay connected between meetings.
What if my boss doesn't feel I can afford to take that much time away from the office?
Members who get the most value out of EA don't see the time spent as additional time. Rather, they use the meetings and their “personal board of advisors” to save them time by minimizing false starts, making better decisions, providing insightful feedback on project drafts and recommending proven approaches and resources. You spend over 2,000 hours a year working; by spending less than 2 percent of your time on EA, the other 98 percent of your time can be used making better decisions and getting better results.
Is EA a networking group?
Many members have stated that although their EA group is more focused on professional and personal development, they believe EA is one of the best networking groups in which they have ever been involved. The relationships that are formed when diving deep and gaining a different perspective is unmatched.
Executive Agenda is not a social or business development networking organization, but rather a structured, hard-working peer development program. However, for the purposes of learning and developing, members are encouraged to tap into EA’s community of 550 members representing 300+ companies.
How long do people stay in EA?
The average membership tenure is 5 to 7 years. Throughout the past 32 years (and through 2019) Executive Agenda has recognized 274 10-year members, 87 15-year members, 26 20-year members and 5 25-year members.
Are there female professionals in EA?
More than 36 percent of all EA members are women, and the number of female professionals who participate continues to increase. The general make-up of EA groups resembles the make-up of leadership in Wisconsin organizations.
How experienced must I be to be a worthwhile group member?
Age is less important than experience and knowledge. Diversity, an intrinsic desire to learn and a commitment to others are the cornerstones of the EA experience. When those factors are present in a member, he or she will contribute positively. Current members range in age from 29 to 65 years old.
What determines the group to which I'm assigned?
The decision is based on several factors including geography, diversity, chemistry and conflicts of interest such as competitors or major customers/vendors. The Group Chair and a small committee of members can meet with you to determine your needs and suitability for a specific group.
How many members and organizations are represented in EA?
Currently EA has 550 business leaders representing more than 300 of Wisconsin's foremost companies.
If I join EA, what is expected of me?
Attendance at the four quarterly group meetings, active participation in the meetings, preparedness for One-on-Ones, a commitment to the group and adherence to strict confidentiality.
What are the characteristics of a first-rate EA member?
The best EA members demonstrate several important characteristics. These include: the ability to trust and be trusted, being open and vulnerable, a strong desire to learn and grow, an orientation to act, a commitment to confidentiality and a sense of responsibility to the group and its members.
What if I join EA and it does not work out?
It would be rare to discover that EA is not for you. But if it is not a fit, all you need to do is notify your Group Chair. He or she will try to help you determine whether it is the group or the EA experience in general that is not working for you. Membership fees are billed quarterly in the spirit of pay as you go. There is no long-term contract.
Where are the meetings held?
Meetings are hosted on a rotation basis by the individual group members. When a member holds a meeting at his or her company, a facility tour or a presentation by one of the C-Suite executives of the company’s best practices is usually featured. New members are encouraged to host a meeting within their first year of membership so other members can become better acquainted with the new companies.
Do the meetings include outside speakers?
Speakers are occasionally included on group meeting agendas. However, the strength and value of EA resides in presenting and discussing/working member-specific topics and issues. The EA program does include access to three relevant business leadership seminars each year delivered by world-class speakers and teachers outside of your group meetings.
What if I must miss a meeting?
Groups are serious about regular attendance. A single member’s absence diminishes the learning potential for everyone. Infrequent absence is tolerated because understandably, things do come up, but the goal for all members is to have near-perfect attendance.
Does EA participation qualify for CPE or CEU credits?
Yes, the four quarterly EA group meetings and the three Executive Fuel seminar opportunities offered as part of your membership typically qualify for continuing professional education (CPE) credits. Our understanding is that any program conducted by a professional facilitator that enhances professional development qualifies for CPE or CEU credits.