Last month (6 October) I travelled with James and Vicky to the Irish National Convention, hosted by our twin Chamber, JCI Mayo. Whilst having dinner I commented to Vicky that I should write a blog on the lessons we have learned from our twins. Her response? “Where would you start?!” She’s got a point.
Although a brand new Chamber, JCI Mayo is one of the most active and effective in Ireland. It has a global TOYP winner (Ashleigh Neary), the Most Outstanding Local President in Ireland (the unstoppable force that is Derek Reilly) and the most high profile speaker I have seen at a JCI event (An Taoiseach, Irish PM, Enda Kenny).
So here are my top five lessons… I look forward to learning more.
1. Collaboration is better than competition. In the UK we often look at other organisations, particular networking organisations as competitors. Not so in JCI Mayo. Their convention partner was none other than BNI who not only provided significant sponsorship but were also visible throughout the event. It is a real partnership that will hugely benefit both organisations and, more importantly, the wider community.
2. Don’t reinvent the wheel. As a new chamber, JCI Mayo could easily have started everything from scratch. Instead they looked to the most successful projects run elsewhere in Ireland and the world and simply adopted the frameworks already in place. The huge success they have enjoyed with TOYP and the Friendly Business awards shows the benefit of this approach.
3. Flaunt it. All JCI chambers do loads of great stuff, but that doesn’t mean we’re all visible in our communities. JCI Mayo are constantly sending out press releases, engaging with the local media and choosing projects which will raise the chamber’s profile. This attracts new members, business partnerships and people with ideas on how to create positive change in their community.
4. Aim high. Host the National Convention in your first year? Sure! Invite the PM to speak at your gala dinner? Why not?! Twin with the Most Outstanding Chamber in the UK? LOVE TO! The vision of JCI Mayo is inspiring – and the ability of Derek and his team to make that happen is nothing short of incredible. Time to start thinking bigger!
5. It’s all about the craic! Above everything else, JCI should be fun. We’re volunteers, giving up our free time to make a difference, to learn new skills and to get to know all kinds of people. It can, and should, get serious at times but our twins don’t forget the importance of a great social side – from zorbing to Come Dine With Me evenings – and that makes them a lot of fun to be around. Roll on St Patrick’s Day!
Categorised in: Events
This post was written by makedo