MasterMind Groups - anyone?

A regular reader, Duane M., contacted me to see if I knew anything about MasterMind Groups.  I don't (beyond what I have below), but I wonder if any of my readers do.  Please leave a comment with more info and pointers to relevant stories.

Duane described MasterMind groups this way:

[T]hey sound like small support groups for like-minded people trying to achieve something or work thru some shared problem. The way she described it, i thought of it having a kind of knowledge management theme. Reminded me of those Xerox repairmen who met every morning at Denny's and talked about their work.

This description reminded me of Networlding, which works in a very similar way, as described in my meetings with the founder, Melissa Giovagnoli.

Duane also turned up this useful set of descriptions from a SpeakerNet News discussion on How to set up a mastermind group (written March 2000).  From this, I also hear something like Toastmasters, but that may be due to the focus of this particular group (speakers).

"In describing our mastermind group, Mark Sanborn wrote:

Napoleon Hill coined the concept of the mastermind alliance in his classic book Think and Grow Rich. He believed that a group of like-minded, achievement-oriented individuals could dramatically leverage each other's success.

4 Comment(s)

Thanks Jack. I am a frequent reader of your blog, one of the few i take time to track.

In case anyone wondered what i meant by the Xerox repairmen, i was thinking about the guys in Julian Orr's book "Talking About Machines: An Ethnography of a Modern Job" . John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid wrote about the connection between KM and just sitting down for breakfast in their May 2000 HBR article "Balancing Act: How to Capture Knowledge Without Killing It". My sense of what a Mastermind group could be made me think of it as a potential KM tool, or process. I'd like to know more about them and wondered if anyone is a member --or maybe the idea has just become something we all do without thinking with our social networks?

Kirby Barkley said:


Napoleon Hill was, indeed, the originator and first articulator of the "Mastermind Group" or "Mastermind Alliance" concept. The very best explanation of it I have ever seen is found on pages 181-188 of Hill's classic book "Think and Grow Rich!: The Original Version, Restored and Revised" (the ISBN 1s 1-59330-200-2). According to my much marked-up copy, there is also good information on pages 77, 78, 105-6, 150, 165-66, 186, 290, 294, 308, and 355. If you think I just about have the book memorized, you're right. I've read it 25 or 30 times and have applied the Mastermind concept in my business and personal life. Every success I have enjoyed I owe directly or indirectly to this great book and the Mastermind principle it teaches. The book really belongs in every library.

Evan said:

Hi Jack - great post!

I write a regular blog on Mastermind Groups - what they're all about and how to achieve success with them. Your readers can check it out at



Thanks Evan and Kirby! These things have been around a while but i've never heard of them.

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