I hate rules! I know this likely surprises my friends, but it’s true. I hate rules, but I hate injustice even more and I see injustice happen in BNI Chapters all the time all over the world! I have been a witness to it this injustice in Israel, Australia, Hong Kong, London, Ireland, America, Malaysia, and… I could go on but I won’t.
When member of a BNI Chapter take a role on the membership committee they commit to the chapter that they will hold members accountable and look after the wellbeing of the chapter and all members of the group. They commit to uphold the policies and the code of ethics not just for their well-being but for health of the entire chapter.
Yet time and time again I see considerable injustice in the groups. Here are a few of the most common things I witness:
- A member behaves badly but the members of the membership committee take no action because this person is a client of theirs. They are looking after their own good and not the good of the group. THAT IS INJUSTICE
- They are inconsistent with the policies. I had one chapter who opened the category of a member for attendance, as they should have. But when I looked at their records they had 2 other members who had missed twice as many meeting and were still members. When I asked why policies where implemented for one person and not the others they took great time to explain, justify and defend their position. You see the other members were “founding” members and when they were present they brought a lot of business. THAT IS INJUSTICE
- Founding member who do not participate yet never are held accountable for that lack of participation. Month after month the linger at the bottom of the Power of One Report (previously the member traffic lights) yet they are not called to the membership committee to discuss how they are going to remedy the issue. THAT IS INJUSTICE
- BNI Policies and Code of Ethics are unfairly enforced with some members but not all the members. THAT IS INJUSTICE.
What you allow from one you must allow for all. If you—as a chapter—say it is ok to come late each week for one person because they have child care issues then you must allow all members the same opportunity. They all signed the very same chapter application and agreement, they all joined the same organization and they all deserve justice.
BNI has a system for holding people accountable, and each person who is granted membership into your chapter are expected to abide by the policies and the code of ethics. As a chapter when you choose to only enforce them for a few then you erode the foundation of your chapter and thereby damage the opportunities for every person in the group.
Destroy injustice in your chapter, make sure that every person in the group is treated equally and that policies hold true for all members, regardless of how long they have been a member, if they are your customer, or if you really like them and want them to stay.
Keep it Simple,
There are few women better at building a global network than Hazel Walker . Renowned for her straight talk and no-holds-barred approach, Hazel is a globally sought after speaker.