One of BNI’s Core Values is Traditions + Innovation. In 2021, I announced that I was beginning a new tradition called “Founder’s Day” which is a day where I meet with BNI members from around the world in one-to-one meetings. This is possible because of the technological innovations that allow us to conveniently have global video conversations from the comfort of our own home or office.
The idea came from an episode of one of my favorite television shows called West Wing, which talked about the “Big Block of Cheese” concept. In 1835, the U.S. President, Andrew Jackson, was given a 1,400-pound block of cheese from a grateful dairyman. The gift was delivered to the White House (the President’s residence) and he didn’t know what to do with so much cheese. So, he opened the doors of the White House for the public to come in and take some of the tasty cheese for themselves. The story goes that thousands of visitors came to the White House and dispatched the massive block in just a few hours.
The TV series had a few episodes where they took this concept further and required that all the top staff meet with public citizens to listen to topics that they wouldn’t normally hear about and embrace.
That motivated me to do a networking variation of the idea. Founder’s Day is my opportunity to meet with BNI members from around the world for the purpose of answering their questions about business or networking.
The results from the first two years’ events have been gratifying. I enjoyed the meetings and appreciated the conversations and positive comments; one person shared afterward, “It was an inspired session. I am ready to hit new destinations in this journey.” A new book in both English and Hindi, “Knowledgepreneur”, came about because of one meeting. I was able to connect with people from around the world in a meaningful way for both of us.
Business owners, managers, and professionals, have you invited your team or your customers to have a conversation with you or ask some questions? It can be a great way to build and strengthen your business relationships.
The 2023 Founder’s Day is taking place on Thursday, June 29th. I invite you to have your own day of 1-2-1 meetings that day, too. Schedule time to meet with your clients or your teammates so you can listen to and answer their questions. You may discover overlapping areas of professional and personal interests, and you may find out how you can help them in their business or role.
I look forward to hearing how many One-to-Ones you schedule for 29th June, and hearing about the results.
BNI members – follow me on social media for information on how you can submit your request to be part of my 2023 Founder’s Day on June 29th.
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