This is the first episode of the Official BNI Podcast.
In this episode Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder and Chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization, explains why he has chosen to start a podcast and discusses:
- Topics He’ll Be Covering
- His New Role As Chairman
- Podcast Feedback
- Guest Appearances
- How Long Each Podcast Will Be
- Members Spreading The Word
- How to Subscribe To The Podcast
Complete Transcription of BNI Podcast Episode 001 –
Well, here we are with the first edition of the official BNI podcast. What exactly were you thinking of? What is the idea behind the official BNI podcast?
Dr. Ivan Misner:
I think a podcast like this gives me an opportunity to flatten the communication hierarchy, to bypass various layers in the organization and allow me to talk directly to BNI members and directors all over the world about how to make this program work most effectively for them.
Some of the things that I hope to do is first of all, create some materials that members will be able to respond to at the BNIpodcast.com web site and give some comments on. But more importantly, to do some podcasts that members can talk about at chapters ? talk about the subject and share the information to help enhance the quality of the results that they?re getting on a chapter by chapter basis.
I think that some of the kinds of things that I would like to cover are new activities and projects ? something new to the organization that members might want to know about. I hope to, over time, be sharing new meeting stimulants that we have. Now if you are a member and you don?t know what a meeting stimulant is, you need to write that down and next time you see your director, ask them what is a chapter meeting stimulant? I am not talking about good drugs. Some chapters may want them, I don?t know. But I am talking about exercises that help to make the chapter livelier, more interesting and a lot of fun, which is something very important.
I think years ago I really didn’t talk much about chapters having fun. It was all about the system and the structure. The longer-running BNI, the more important it is I have found that you have to have fun while you are learning and teaching and informing people about what you do. So meeting stimulants help do that.
I couldn?t agree with you more. And I think it helps build the bond between the members when everybody is enjoying themselves.
Absolutely. So those things ? a calendar of upcoming events, things that are going on throughout the world. I?ll tell you, lastly, and probably one of the most important is that I would like to cover topics that are really aimed at education coordinators, topics that education coordinators of a chapter can share with their members to help members to increase the amount of referrals that they are generating from chapter to chapter. Those are the kind of things that I hope to be covering in this podcast.
I think it is a great idea, certainly podcasting is the perfect medium for you to connect directly with all of your tens of thousands of members around the world. Also, the two-way conversation potential of people being able to direct questions to you by e-mail, posting comments on the podcast website and to have them ask you exactly what is on their mind, relative to either getting the most out of their BNI membership or perhaps some question about different resources that you have available in your books and so forth. I really congratulate you for taking this step because you are a very busy guy. I mean, your travel schedule this month alone is taking you across the United States into Europe and back again. I know that it is pretty tough to get on your schedule and get you on the phone for these recordings.
It is, but I think this role is very important. Many members may or may not know that last year I promoted Norm Dominguez to CEO of the organization to give me the opportunity to act as a spokesperson for the company. So my role as Founder and Chairman is primarily to be the spokesperson, to have the opportunity to talk to members directly through as many vehicles as possible. That?s why I love this concept of the podcast so that I can talk directly to members and get feedback.
You are right ? the two-way communication is important and the blogs that we will have and the bulletin board at the BNIpodcast.com are a way to get some feedback. We are going to be looking for there are what I call solution-focused feedback. It?s easy to sometimes take a look at what is not working. What I want to talk about in these podcasts and what I want to talk about on the blogs are the solutions to challenges that chapters may have because it is the solutions and the solutions focus that will carry the organization forward in a positive manner.
So rather than just being upset or complaining about something, you are looking for people to come forward with solutions to whatever those problems are that are upsetting them.
Well possibly. Yes indefinitely. But I am also open to somebody saying, ?Hey, I heard you talking about this on a podcast. We had a challenge with something similar. What is the solution to this challenge?? That is the kind of thing that I would really like to see discussed. You know, everyone can be a critic about issues but the truth is nobody has ever built a statue for a critic. The only people who get statues are people who are leaders and people who say they have a problem and they take a look at the solutions to those problems. They do their best to try to solve issues in a positive way. That is what I want these podcasts to be. I want them to be a vehicle for me to share with the membership world wide the things that members have done all around the world to make this program successful.
That is great. That is another wonderful benefit for the members ? being able to hear about best practices from other groups and other chapters around the world. That is one of the things that comes from membership in BNI, as I can speak to myself as a member ? is learning how to do things better from people who have gone there before you.
You bring up a good point. Because I may from time to time bring in a guest, either a BNI director or maybe even a member to talk about some issue or something that they did in their chapter that was very successful. I will also be bringing in some guests, some friends of mine who I think have material or content that I think will help the BNI members in one way or another. So I may do interviews with guests, some of which may be well known to members of BNI and others may not be well known, but they will all be people who I think have something to add and help a BNI member in their membership and organization.
Ivan, I wanted to ask you one thing. One of the benefits of podcast format is that it can be flexible in terms of the length. You are not locked into like a radio show clock format. Do you have any feel for how long these podcast are going to be each week?
I believe each one will be between five and ten minutes, probably closer to ten minutes than five. They will be short, bite sized podcasts, and one of the reasons why I think that is valuable is it is content that we can communicate to members and to education coordinators and directors so that they can take it in short bite size pieces and communicate it to the chapters.
At the chapter meetings, you don?t have 30 minutes every week for someone to share ideas on how to make the chapter work. We have a few minutes. I want to try to do these podcast in ways that can be integrated into chapter meetings and that the chapters can ? it?s almost like everyone standing around the water cooler talking about something that they just saw on TV or heard on the radio. I would love for them to sit around the BNI meetings and talk about the latest podcast on a specific subject and be able to integrate it right into the meeting.
That?s great. With that in mind, we?re probably just about out of time for this first podcast, the first official BNI podcast. Any last thoughts that you would like to leave the listeners with before we sign off?
Yes. I would love for all of the members who are listening to this podcast to go back to their chapters and encourage other BNI members to subscribe to the podcasts. They will be free. Come to the website, take a look at the content, and make sure to share this information. I have heard that word of mouth is pretty powerful so I would like to see our BNI members use a little word of mouth. A good referral for me would be for you to take this back, this information back, if you are listening to this podcast and share it with chapter members in your group or groups around you so that they can benefit from this as well.
That is awesome. I love that. “A good referral from me.” And to that end, I want to make sure everybody understands how they scanned subscribe to the podcast. You can subscribe at the iTunes music store or right on the homepage at BNIpodcast.com. There is also a page there that explains to you how to subscribe and how to download the mp3 files, so don?t be put off by the technology if this is something new to you. It is really worth the effort to learn how to engage with this medium and to be able to hear from Dr. Misner every week.
You know what I would like to say ? one last thing before we sign off ? and that is remembers all around the world ?remember in is netsit or neteat- it is network, and if you want to build your business through word of mouth, you have to learn the techniques to work the organization and get the most out of it.
There you have it. Right from the man himself, Dr. Ivan Misner, the Founder and Chairman of BNI. This is Frank Felker saying we will see you next week on the official BNI podcast.