People approach the world around them in different ways and there’s value in different approaches to life and work. Some people like to be very organised in their lives whereas others can travel around Europe for months without a schedule or a map. It all comes back to personality type. Some people like to bring life under control – to have things planned and orderly. They feel more comfortable once decisions are made and there is a clear plan. Other people prefer to take life as it comes. They may be more open to new experiences and are comfortable adapting to the world rather than trying to organise it. They are seen as being flexible and spontaneous. For these people following the BNI programme can be at times challenging. It’s not easy to maintain attendance, generate quality referrals, immerse in a culture of learning, and always maintain a positive attitude.
In the long run – taking the hard path often makes life easier. Taking the easy path often makes life harder. This is true in business. It is true in our personal lives. It is definitely true in BNI. Simply put – groups that do the hard work generate much more business than those that don’t.
Some chapters try to please everybody and let some things slide…
Holding members accountable for their attendance, for bringing quality referrals and for attending ongoing education means that the entire group is engaged and the BNI system is being followed. Many of these things are, in fact, hard to maintain. They are hard to do consistently. It’s not easy to run a great chapter of BNI. The real tragedy is that when BNI chapters try to please everyone, unwilling to take the necessary hard steps to build a successful group, the results are inevitable. The chapter usually struggles and can find it very difficult to generate results.
As we move into the second quarter of the year and Leadership Teams changeover, now is the perfect time to refocus on the backbone of BNI (those structures and processes that have proven to be successful over time). Yes, as technology changes new initiatives can be added or processes enhanced, however if you don’t follow the core structure your chapter will not be as successful as it could be. It really amounts to getting back to basics.
Here are 4 areas where you can help your chapter get back to basics:
- Follow the BNI Agenda.
- Focus on attendance. Don’t let people be absent regularly, show up late or leave early.
- Engage members in regular, quality ongoing education.
a) New members should be attending MSP training before they are allowed to complete their first 10-minute presentation.
b) Leadership teams should all be attending Leadership training prior to leading the chapter.
c) Engage members every week with high quality, engaging education nuggets/learning pieces.
- Encourage everyone to participate in regular 1 to 1 meetings.
The BNI systems and procedures are tried, tested and proven. By following the proven system, we will all benefit at BNI!