Overview – Buzz groups

Buzz groups are formal meetings to put the spotlight on specific organisational issues or topics through discussions by end-users, contributors, subject matter experts, key opinion leaders or networkers. Their communication value lies in bringing together employees representing all aspects of the issue or topic to share their knowledge, experiences, insights or ideas.

Buzz groups identify performance barriers and address them by expanding on the existing knowledge base and assumptions through cross-fertilization of ideas and insights. Buzz group participants can represent a vertical slice of the organisation. Or they may comprise representatives from each stage in an end-to-end process between, for example, an operational division, support functions and the customer.

Grey TickThis tactic is useful for:


Identifying issues relating to a particular aspect of a key performance indicator.
Reaching a holistic view by all participants that accounts for the full gamut of aspects related to the identified issue.
Providing an environment that stimulates innovative thinking to unravel all the complexities of an issue.
 Reaching consensus and implementing a solution strategy.

cloudyThings to consider:


Determine how best to run your buzz groups to derive maximum communication benefits. Some ideas include:

Incorporating buzz groups as an essential step for idea generation, proposal development or issue resolution.
Implementing buzz groups as part of team or management off-sites to stimulate ideas for achieving continuous improvement.
Conducting a buzz group live on stage as part of the agenda of a conference or leaders forum to share the views and insights of participants across a wider audience. Buzz group participants might include external representatives of a process, such as suppliers, customers or shareholders.

Appoint a buzz group expert who can provide advice and run training sessions on best ways to conduct a buzz group session.

Tone BulbHelpful tip:


When selecting buzz group participants, the high performers and key influencers usually come to mind first. In addition, consider including the organisation’s cynics and detractors. Their value can be in contributing both positive and negative perspectives of an issue resulting in a more balanced and realistic view.
Category: Face to Face