Should our forum add new members?

The “sweet spot” for forum size is 8-10 – large enough to have critical mass and diversity of perspectives; small enough to be manageable when scheduling meetings and sharing air time.

So when should a forum consider adding members?

Tilt towards not adding if the following is generally true:

  • Attendance is solid, almost always 7 or 8.
  • Members are comfortable with the group dynamics, chemistry, balance between peer quality and diversity.

Tilt towards adding members if:

  • One or more members are likely to leave in the next year, for any reason: relocation, dissatisfaction, or lack of alignment with other members’ goals for forum.
  • Your numbers are on the low side (7 or 8), and new members could provide an infusion of new energy, different styles, and a wider range of experience to share.

It’s essential to plan ahead.  Remember that adding members can take several months between identifying candidates, vetting them, and integrating them into the forum.

One Response to Should our forum add new members?

  1. Al Nierenberg says:

    I agree with the sweet spot of 8-10. I disagree with the statement, “attendance is solid almost always 7-8”. My read of this is that there could be one or more forum members missing from most meetings. I believe attendance is one of the easiest and best measures of a healthy forum. If attendance regularly runs bellow 100%, I see this as an area of concern that should be addressed. I’m curious what typical attendance is for the average forum.

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