solutions Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
Misner's Corollary

Misner’s Corollary

I learned about Murphy’s Law in graduate school. It basically says that what can go wrong will go wrong. Although this tenet feels very pessimistic, there is value to it. It gives a framework for people to look for flaws in their thinking, which can make it easier to address potential issues before they arise. This leads me to Misner’s Corollary to Murphy’s Law: Sometimes, what can’t go wrong will go wrong. I know this sounds crazy and even more pessimistic, but if you go about it in a thought-provoking manner, you can truly think through potential challenges before you proceed. In particular, you want to consider what I call the “unintended consequences of a seemingly good idea.” This tends to happen when you roll out what everyone agrees is a good solution while avoiding what could go wrong with its rollout and implementation. You then roll out the idea, and all goes well. But we tend to overlook the unintended consequences of that new idea.

Misner’s Corollary Examples

This has happened several times in my career, such as when my company, BNI, implemented a “substitute program” relating to attendance. The idea was that the substitute would represent the member (employees and customers were the prime substitute candidates), and then the member wouldn’t be considered absent. It sounded and looked good on paper, but there was a long-term unintended consequence: Some members would look for virtually anyone to be a sub. This created a less than satisfactory situation for the group, especially when that sub basically just pitched their own business instead of representing the person they were supposed to be there for. It has taken us years to address this issue, and it’s still not perfected.

Another example of the impact of unintended consequences was BNI’s transition from paper copies of referral slips over to digital referrals. Despite the massively improved process of passing and tabulating the information, there was a sense of loss by many members in the physical passing of a referral to another member. This turned out to be moot once the pandemic arrived and all our groups transitioned to meeting online, but it does underscore one of the problems with Murphy’s Law and Misner’s Corollary — you never know for sure if something would have been an issue when the problem never really had a chance to surface (which is probably a good thing).

There have been some occasions where I’ve witnessed these strategies produce clear-cut results. Last January, our CEO, Graham Weihmiller, began to transition 10,000 weekly, in-person networking meetings online. He expected pushback early on, and therefore started the transition where it was first necessary (Asia) and experimented in areas where it was not yet necessary. By moving forward and testing the waters, the organization was well prepared for unintended consequences, resulting in an incredible global pivot over a matter of weeks.

The prevailing lesson here is that when you have a good idea, think about what can go wrong with that idea. Then, spend time thinking outside the box about what can’t go wrong by considering potential unintended consequences. Maybe then you’ll avoid encountering Misner’s Corollary for yourself.

Restart the World

Restart the World – world tour

It was very exciting to present the BNI “Restart the World” world tour over the past three days. Furthermore, this second live global event was even better than our first, Growing Forward Together. We streamed live in over 70 countries on YouTube this week. Finally, thank you to all of the BNI members, directors, and visitors who joined us at this historic event.

During our 3-day event powered by BNI®, we shared ideas that businesses, entrepreneurs, and business executives can embrace to effectively restart and ramp up their businesses. I want to thank the CEO of BNI, Graham Weihmiller, for his inspirational vision for the future and much more. Furthermore, I also want to personally thank the three panelists for participating in the panel discussion each day and for providing your insight. Therefore a big thank you to: Mac Srinivasan, BNI Global Markets President; Lorena Medina, BNI National Director México; and Bijay Shah, BNI National Director United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Qatar, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Restart the World

Our global movement, “Restart the World”united business leaders worldwide this week to help and support other local, national, and global business leaders to quickly get back on the path to growth. We hope that the tools and tips that you learned from us will help your business navigate these challenging times. Ultimately, we will build strong relationships with each other that will lead us all to strengthened and empowered networks. By establishing the right mindset right now, we can restart, reopen, reboot, and re-launch local businesses worldwide, powered by BNI.

 Rewatch the Video

Different people, different places, different countries, different faces, different cultures; we all speak the language of referrals, as we restart the world.

The presentations were watched so far this week by over 23,300 viewers worldwide. In case you missed the LIVE event, would like to view it again, or want to share it with others, here are the recorded presentations in 9 different languages:

Chinese Version     Japanese Version  Korean Version    Thai Version     Vietnamese Version 

Portuguese (Brazil) Version    Spanish (Argentina) Version    Spanish (Mexico) Version        Spanish (Guatemala) Version   

Italian Version        Portuguese (Portugal) Version    Spanish (Spain) Version 

Watch the English version below

Entrepreneurs had three struggles this year. First, COVID-19, then, “The Great Pause”, and now, a recession. We now can focus together to refuse to participate in the recession and get through these struggles together. By focusing on establishing the right mindset right now, we can take the steps to reopen local businesses and restart the world, powered by BNI.  

Growing Forward Together

Growing Forward Together World Tour

It was very exciting to present the BNI Growing Forward Together World Tour over the past three days. Furthermore, this event was the first live global event in BNI’s 35-year history. On July 14th, 15th, and 16th we streamed live in over 70 countries on Facebook and YouTube. Thank you to all of the BNI members, directors and visitors who joined in this historic event

The broadcast was open to businesses, entrepreneurs and business executives focused on leapfrogging the “lockdown recession” and doing more and better business in 2020 and beyond. The presentations were watched so far this week by nearly 45,000 viewers worldwide in twelve different languages.

During each broadcast, I shared my vision for the future as well as my insights for business growth and personal success. Furthermore, I talked about refusing to participate in the recession and how BNI and its 270,000 members are taking action leading businesses around the world to foster global business recovery with business growth and professional success. Therefore, now is the time to thrive!

I want to thank the CEO of BNI, Graham Weihmiller, for his inspirational vision for the future and much more. Furthermore, I also want to personally thank the BNI marketing team for the planning, the marketing, and the amazing execution of this global event. For example, watch this fantastic video their team created to promote the event on social media.

 

 

Different people, different places, different countries, different faces, different cultures…

We all speak the language of referrals, growing forward together.

In case you missed the LIVE event, would like to see it again, or want to share it with others, here is the presentation in 12 different languages:

Chinese Subtitled Version        Thai Voiceover Version         Japanese Voiceover Version

Vietnamese Voiceover Version           Portuguese (Brazilian) Subtitled Version

Spanish Voiceover Version  Portuguese (Portugal) Subtitled Version   German Version (Pending)

Italian Voiceover Version       Spanish (Spain) Voiceover Version       Bulgarian Voiceover Version

English version below from Day Two

BNI brings so many people together across so many boundaries for such a productive purpose.  Therefore, we build meaningful relationships and extend our hand to help others grow, and they in turn help and support us in the essence of Givers Gain®. At BNI, we are Growing Forward Together.

Solutions Focused

Look For Solutions Focused People When You Are Networking

There are some people who are positive and supportive individuals. Over the years, I’ve recognized that these are the people that I really want to be around. They are solutions focused when it comes to solving problems. Plus, they are almost always willing to talk through challenges with a positive end in mind. These solutions focused people are enginesThey help us be our best selves, and they motivate us to drive forward in a positive way. The quality of your personal and professional network is highly dependent on the people in your network.

We often consider people’s aptitude when we bring them into our personal network, but we often forget to consider their attitude. Based on a survey I conducted of over 3,400 people around the world, one of the top characteristics of a great networker is, in fact, their attitude. Focus on networking with solutions focused people who are engines, not anchors.

Solutions Focused People

I have noticed, as I’m sure you have, that there are some people who complain as though it were an Olympic event. And for the record, I’ve checked, and it’s not. Furthermore, they tend to be negative, argumentative, and obsessed with problems without any real focus on solutions. I’ve learned not to spend much time with these people because they focus on all the things that are wrong relating to most challenges. If all someone does is focus on problems, they become an expert on the problems and not on the solutions. These people are anchors. They hold us back and weigh us down.

Who do you surround yourself with, engines or anchors?

This is an important question for everyone. Therefore, It is particularly important if you are trying to build a powerful personal network of people around you. Is your network full of people who are engines helping you go to the next level in your life or your career? Or are they anchors weighing you down with the plethora of complaints?

Do they hold you back, or do they drive you forward?  Sometimes when we first meet someone, we can’t tell if they are an engine or an anchor. It may take a little time to observe the way they do business and how they interact with others. However, it is critical that we take notice as soon as possible.

If you want to build a powerful personal network, look for engines — those solutions focused people who help you in your business and in your life. Forbid entrance to the anchors who may be trying to get into your personal network. Generally, they don’t really care about you but mostly care about what you can do for them instead.

The funny thing here is that no one thinks they’re an anchor — no one. They’ll tell you that they are an engine and that they just don’t like the direction you are going and that’s why they come across the way they do. For the record, this attitude means they are an anchor with a motor attached who is trying to take you down faster.

My advice is to call for “all hands on deck,” cut loose the anchors in your life. Partner up with your fellow engines and go full speed ahead. Create the life and the network that you want. Only other solutions focused people can help you do that.

HOPE

Hope is More Powerful than Fear

When times are difficult, we have two choices. We can choose to have hope, make the most of it, and come out better and stronger. Otherwise, we can choose to be overcome by our fear. I choose to be better and stronger. To do that, I choose to focus on solutions.

Please watch this video:

Rather than get caught up in fear, I try to

  • Focus on solutions.
  • Maintain a positive and supportive attitude.
  • Enlist Charles Swindoll’s quote about attitude

Attitude – by Charles Swindoll

The bottom line here is – almost all of us are stuck at home.  We can choose to make the most of it and come out better and stronger

MINO

MINO: Members In Name Only

Being a member of the group is not enough. What I called a MINO (Member In Name Only)  If you are not contributing then why are you there.

Whatever the issues are, just ask, “How can we help?” If we respond negatively, they become defensive. The power is to focus on a constructive approach. If you ask them, “How can we help you?”, their answer will always be either a “Can’t do” or “Won’t do” answer. The person will either explain why they are having difficulty with the situation because they “don’t know how to” address it effectively, or they will give an answer that illustrates that they “don’t really want to” do this for some reason or another. If they are going to say they are really challenged: I can’t do.

How to handle a “Can’t do”:

The printer in a chapter was dead last on P.A.L.M.S. report. We did not tell him that he was dead last. Instead, we asked him, “How can we help you?” The print shop is new, I don’t understand networking. I sleep at my print shop. I do not know how to do this networking stuff. This is a classic “Cant’ Do” response. It is our job to teach them. We were all “can’t do” when we first started. We all make tons of mistakes. When someone alleges they can’t do, they are open to being coached. It is our job to teach them.  If we were just negative and told them they were dead last, he would have quit. Pour into them and help them. They become champions in BNI.

We came up with this together and brainstorm the idea. Not my idea, but I helped. Where the clients come into the lobby area of his shop, he put up a sign where everyone could see it with slots for the BNI members’ business cards. Get 20 copies of everyone’s business cards to fill signs with only the cards from BNI members. Tell them that Bob’s printing referred you. If someone not in BNI wants to give you their cards for the sign, invite them to the next BNI meeting. True story! Nobody just took a card and left. They asked Bob his opinion on each of these. He gave a testimonial with everyone he had cards for. Bob went from last to number one in giving the most referrals. He went from being embarrassed to the top referral giver within 6 months. Bob was the winner of the year. He now loves BNI. We changed his business by coaching and mentoring Bob.

How to handle a “Won’t do”:

It’s too difficult. They give excuses, they are busy, I’m different. With a clear-cut “won’t do”, you open the door for them. They will leave on their own. “I understand your frustration, it is ok to leave the group, feel free to come back if things change”. If you kick them out, they will become defiant and negative towards BNI. They blame and claim it is everyone’s fault. It’s ok to leave on top. If they don’t save face, they will fight you all the way. They don’t hate you if you give them the option to leave in a positive manner. Throw them a “retirement party”. You can cut down the percentage that will require a tough conversation by 90%. Then only 10% of the time you need to have the tough talk about opening their classification and not renewing their membership.

The best part about BNI is friendship; the worst part is the friendship. Ice hockey without rules would be boxing on ice. Without rules, your networking group would be chaos.  You want to be invested in their success. Being a member of the group is not enough.   If you are not contributing then why are you there? Do not become a MINO.

great leaders

Great Leaders Do Not Tell You What To Do, They Show You How It’s Done

If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, you know how challenging it can be to find the path towards leadership that works for you. If you find yourself wondering how to become great leaders in business, follow these steps:

Click here to watch this video

The Path to Business Leadership

1. Focus on solutions, not problems
2. Collaborate with your team
3. Be a culture champion
4. Care about the success of others–REALLY care!

Finally, leadership is about accomplishing more than people thought possible. In your business, what are your wildest dreams? What’s your ultimate goal? Never lose that idea and constantly be working towards it.

Watch the video to hear more about the four steps towards becoming a business leader, and leave me a comment on what YOU think makes a leader.

“Can't do” or “Won’t do”

Helping others depends on either a “Can’t do” or “Won’t do” answer

Whatever the issues are that are holding someone back, focus on a constructive approach. If you ask them, “How can we help you?”, their answer will always be either a “can’t do” or “won’t do” answer. The person will either explain why they are having difficulty with the situation because they don’t know how to address it effectively, or they will give an answer that illustrates that they don’t really want to do this for some reason or another.

How to handle a “Can’t do” answer

Once there was a printer that was dead last on P.A.L.M.S. report in a local BNI group. We did not tell him that he was dead last. Instead, we asked him, “How can we help you?” His response was that his print shop was new and he admitted that he did not understand networking. This is a classic “Cant’ Do” response. It is our job to teach them because we were all a “can’t do” when we first started networking. We all make tons of mistakes. When someone says they can’t do something, they are open to being coached. It is our job to teach them.  If we were just negative and told the printer he was dead last, he would have quit. Instead, if we pour into them and help them, they become champions in BNI.

Where the clients come into the lobby area of the print shop, we recommended that he put up a sign where everyone could see it with slots for the BNI members’ business cards. He was instructed to get 20 copies of everyone business cards to fill sign with only the cards from BNI members. When someone took a card, they were told to say that Bob’s printing referred you. If someone not in BNI wanted to give him their cards for the sign, the printer was instructed to invite them to the next BNI meeting instead. True story! Nobody just took a card and left. They asked Bob his opinion on each of these. He gave a testimonial with everyone he had cards for. He went from last to number one in giving the most referrals. He went from being embarrassed to the top referral giver within 6 months. He was the winner of the year. He now loves BNI. We changed his business by coaching him.

How to handle a “Won’t do” answer

In this example, they give excuses: it’s too difficult… they are busy…I’m different. With a clear-cut “won’t do” answer, if you open the door for them they will leave on their own. I recommend saying, “I understand your frustration, it is ok to leave the group, feel free to come back if things change”. However, if you kick them out, they will become defiant and negative towards BNI. They blame the chapter and claim it is everyone fault. Therefore, if they don’t save face, they will fight you all the way. On the other hand, they don’t hate you if you give them the option to leave in a positive manner.

Here’s a suggestion. On rare, rare occasions – when someone is a “won’t do” but they don’t want to leave.  Tell them you appreciate their involvement and that you’ll throw them a “retirement party”. OK, not a real party – but recognize their past participation in the group and thank them for their involvement. This should be done rarely but it allows them to save face and leave. With this advice, you can cut down the percentage that will require a tough conversation by 90%. Then, only 10% of the time you need to have the tough talk about opening their classification and not renewing their membership. You want to be invested in their success, yet cut them loose when needed.

Being a member of the group is not enough.  If you are not contributing then why are you there? Being complacent is what I call a “MINO” (Member In Name Only). How can we help you to get more engaged? How can we help you to… bring more members? …bring more visitors? …bring more referrals? Whatever the issues are, just ask, “How can we help?” Their answer will tell you if you can help them.

solutions

Focus on solutions, not problems.

What was the last problem you faced?

  • An employee issue
  • A difficult client
  • Financial hurdles
  • Competition from another business
  • Time management concerns
All too often, when facing a problem, the first thing we tend to do is focus on the negative situation. We continue to repeat our patterns, doing the same things that do not work, until we dwell in a feeling of negativity. Many people let their minds wander toward the negative, which then prompts them to focus on more problems instead of searching for ways to resolve the situation and grow from it. You must begin to start focusing on ways to actually resolve the situation by focusing on solutions. Do not just react, take the time to fully analyze the problem then make a list of possible solutions.
  • Identify the problem(s)
  • Identify what you did before in a similar problem
    Brainstorm possible solutions.
  • Change what doesn’t work
  • Find and use resources
  • Decide which solution is best
  • Put that solution into play
  • Build on each successive step
  • Try to do more of what works
  • Use an alternative solution if not achieving the required results
Regardless of how bad your problem may be, the solution is there if you think long and hard enough. Not every solution will work for this problem. However, when we start to think of more ways to overcome our problems, we can grow from the situation at hand by being more prepared for the next problem we will face down the road. We can even avoid future problems because if we focus on problems, we will get more problems. If we focus on solutions, we will get more solutions. By being aware and reminding yourself of your list of solutions you just created, you can focus on solutions, not problems.
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