Question: What does TEC stand for and how long has it been around?
TEC (The Executive Committee) was formed in October 1957 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when Bob Nourse assembled a group of businessmen for a novel CEO roundtable. Nourse’s idea was to have executives share their collective knowledge and experiences as a way to help each other generate better business results.
Question: I sometimes see groups called Vistage instead of TEC. Same thing? Different?
Simply said, Vistage and TEC are the same organization, depending on where you live and work. In Wisconsin and Michigan, where it all began, the groups are called TEC. In other states and countries, it has been re-branded as Vistage. Bottom line, we work together and share many of the same resources for the benefit of our members.
You may have also heard of EA or Executive Agenda. EA is our sister organization. They use a similar process, but attract members who are vice-presidents or directors reporting to the top executive.
Question: I have also heard of other roundtables that target executives and CEO’s as members: YPO, PeerSpectives, MRA and TAB. Are they all basically the same? Is TEC really better?
Great question. I would encourage you to review other peer groups before deciding if TEC is the right group for you. The service offered by many of the roundtables is a forum where company executives discuss planning and operational issues within a peer group. TEC is unique in that it offers a confidential environment to members as they addresses the issues and opportunities in much greater depth; and finally, is the only option where our process and members build a cohesive team and deep friendships within the small group.
Question: Who qualifies for membership in TEC? Is everyone accepted if they meet these qualifications?
First, you must be CEO, president, or in charge of the operating division for your company (i.e. chief decision-maker). In the large company category that I chair, your company has to consistently earn more than $3 million in annual revenues, and must commit to the TEC process and members in the group.
These are the table stakes. From there, we review potential members for fit and growth. Those attributes include members who identify with their leadership role, executives who want to grow the company, leaders with additional capacity, and who are open to the learning and advice of others. While not a secret society by any means, it has to be the right fit for the group and the new member.
Question: What’s the difference in the two primary TEC programs?
The primary distinction between programs within TEC is size of the company you work for. The small company program is for CEO’s with company revenues of $500,000 to $3 million. The large company program starts at $3 million, and goes up to $1 billion in annual revenue.
Question: How long is my membership commitment after I join a TEC group?
Once you join, we ask you to work with and stay with your TEC group for at least one year before deciding to leave. Although this is not a mandatory requirement, it takes time to learn and apply the process, and to build the needed level of trust with your peers.
Bottom line, you are a member as long as you want to be. It’s not uncommon for members to stay with a group 10, 15 or more years. It’s more common for leaders to leave a group if they retire, sell their company, or for some reason, part ways with the company.
Question: What are the major obligations of joining TEC?
The most important center on the idea that you fully commit to the TEC experience and the members of your group. That means attending 80 – 100% of the meetings. In addition, we ask that you fully participate in each meeting, attend for the entire meeting, hold information shared in strict confidence, and promptly pay your dues when the invoice arrives each month.
Question: Do I have to accept another TEC member’s advice on an issue I bring before my group?
What you choose to implement and how you respond is left up to each member. You are not obliged to take any advice or input you receive from group members; however, you will find that nearly all members implement the ideas they prioritized during the executive session. That comes from the value of having different size and companies represented in the group.
Have any other questions? Browse the TEC Midwest website (www.tecmidwest.com) or give us a call at (608) 354-3524.