How would you feel about having an employee who was never trained in your business? Would they be effective? Would it be worthwhile having them on your team? Would they be adding value at its peak level or just skimming the surface with information that they are picking up here or there?
Most of us would never allow someone to work in our business without an orientation of some kind. Often, once they have had orientation they are then asked to shadow another employee or they are mentored about the way the company works.
If we agree that BNI is about building our businesses based on building strong relationships then why would we not expect the same thing from a new member in a chapter? First they go to orientation, then they go through a mentoring program. In BNI we are very serious about new members getting through orientation as quickly as possible. We even have a policy in place that lets them know just how quickly they must get the program done:
BNI Member Policy #17
All new Members must attend Member Success Program (MSP) training in their region within the first 60 days of their induction. Only after attending the Member Success training may a new Member be added to the speaker rotation for the Chapter. Any new Members not attending the Member Success training within the first 60 days after being inducted into the Chapter will be subject to having their classification opened by the Membership Committee.
Unfortunately, many BNI Membership Committees are very lax about this policy. They allow new member to get on the speaker rotation long before that person has completed their MSP. I meet people who have been members for 5 or 6 months and have never made the effort to come to orientation to learn not only how to help themselves, but to help their fellow members as well.
What is the message that we are sending to our members who make the time to go to training while others continue to attend the weekly meeting and have never bothered to learn the basic skills of referrals? It is an unfair practice that membership committees allow. It sends a message that one person is special in comparison to the others.
The most successful chapters run their organization as if they were running a business. They do not allow behavior from members that they would not allow from their employees. They understand the importance of everyone being properly taught the 4 most important parts of a member’s success in the chapter, thereby allowing everyone in the chapter to be more successful.
Is everyone in your chapter educated at the same level?