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Thursday, September 30, 2010

BNI: How Do You Drive Performance in Your Business?

When I wrote about “what” drives performance in your business several years ago I knew I would have to answer “how.” During that discussion I mentioned that there was a growing recognition that businesses, to increase their productivity and profit, would need to address workforce alignment and understand how to leverage our increasingly knowledge-based economy.

Since that time we have experienced a significant recession that has contributed to many doubts about the ability of our economy to recover. While there has been a lot of discussion on debt, unemployment, lack of working capital, etc. – very few pundits have contributed to a discussion on increasing productivity and profit – the very two factors that will contribute to an improved economy.

We know workforce alignment contributes positively to increased performance. We know that many workers continue to feel unfulfilled by their roles and are not satisfied with their level of performance and success. We also know that some people consistently achieve much greater success with less effort.

Research shows that there are two acquired skills that positively impact performance: self-awareness and authenticity. Jay Niblick, in his groundbreaking study and book, What’s Your Genius, understands that peak human performance can be achieved by any employee by understanding three core areas.

When you identify what natural talents a person possesses, why he is motivated to use them, and how he prefers to use them you can understand how these affect attitude, talent, performance improvement, efficiencies, behaviors, engagement, and corporate and individual performance.

In my experience focus and effort to improve role flexibility & individuality amongst employees is directly related performance improvements. Several ways to achieve more role flexibility include considering both the job and the person-future fit so that the employee can adapt the functions of the job to his natural talents; allowing more autonomy and independence in job decisions, and involving employees to participate in strategic discussions about their roles.

Simply put, build roles around people instead of the other way around. The key to improved performance in your business is to effectively tap into each employee’s talents, values, and behavior and enable them to perform to their 5th level.

Warren J. Rutherford is the Owner of The Executive Suite, Hyannis, MA, is an Assistant Director BNI Southeastern MA, and can be reached at or 508-778-7700.

With over 5,500 active chapters, and over 100,000 members throughout every populated continent worldwide, BNI is the largest and most successful business referral organization in the world. BNI was founded in 1985 by Dr. Ivan Misner and the organization, which allows only one person from each profession to join a chapter, offers members the opportunity to share ideas, contacts, and most importantly, referrals. Last year alone, members of BNI passed 6.2 million referrals, generating 2.6 billion dollars’ worth of business.

For more information on BNI, please visit or call BNI Headquarters at 909.608.7575.

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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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