Jul 19, 2016


I had a member tell me that BNI should have more Carrots and less Sticks. 
I did not really respond at the time as I needed to think about what my response should be. 
For those who may not have heard this expression, when training horses, you give them a carrot when they do something correctly as a reward, and give them the stick when you want them to change their behavior.
After thinking about the members comment, I thought of the policies of BNI and how they are really all carrots…
For example:
  • One person from each classification – This is a carrot, because as a member, you have locked out your competition, in your specialty area.
  • Represent Primary occupation – Carrot because you want your members to follow up on referrals you give them and not have them working a full-time job in another classification that prevents them from following up.
  • Weekly meetings last 90 minutes – Knowing this you can schedule appointments around your BNI meeting and know that you will be on time for those appointments.
  • Cannot be in a second BNI chapter or similar group – Your members are committed to you and your business when they are passing referrals.
  • Attendance is critical to the group – Your members will be there to hear your Weekly Presentation or your Feature Presentation so they learn how to find referrals for you.

These are just the first 5 of 19 policies, and I find they are all carrots.  When you look at the rest of the policies, I’m confident you will see the Carrots in all of them.

What about the Code of Ethics?  I believe they are Carrots as well.

When we think of the Stick, your Chapter Membership Committee is only applying that when the Policies or Code of Ethics are violated.  When members apply for membership they are agreeing to follow the Policies and the Code of Ethics.  BNI is not in the business of using the Stick, we want to keep members in BNI.  We have education to help members understand the process so they are successful in BNI, and they follow the Policies and Code of Ethics.

If you find that there is a policy, that from your perspective is only a Stick, talk to your Director and see if they can help you see the Carrot.

Hope you like Carrots…