Opendoorz Director, Sonia Kearns, explains the attributes they look for in new Opendoorz members – a hint: quality over quantity!
Could you be the next member of Opendoorz? It sounds rather like something Simon Cowell might say on an episode of X-Factor, and whilst we’re not going to make you perform on a stage (you can stop practising now!), when it comes to new Opendoorz members we are looking for someone with the elusive “X-factor”. Just think more along the lines of business development and networking, rather than your rendition of a Whitney Houston classic.
When myself and Cathy Dunbabin founded Opendoorz we wanted to create a networking group that was more ‘grown-up’. We wanted our members to create valuable relationships – we’re not here for the smarmy schmoozing or one upman (or woman)-ship. Nope, instead our mission is ‘For each Opendoorz group to deliver a unique, vibrant, educational and fun environment where long term trusted relationships are forged, develop and thrive.’ And to achieve this, it means that we are very discerning about who joins Opendoorz. We’re looking for the very best, rather than a ‘they’ll do.’
Yes, Opendoorz is for business owners and directors from well established businesses with a sound business track record, who are ambitious and are looking to grow professionally and personally. However, what’s just as important is personality, chemistry and a positive outlook on life. We’re after that glass half-full attitude to life!
We’re looking for people that share our moral values, namely sharing, supporting and helping others. It’s incredibly important when thinking about networking to consider not just what you hope to glean from it, but what can you contribute to the group too? What value can you freely and genuinely add (and FYI we can tell when it’s begrudgingly given!)?
Perhaps you could bring to the metaphorical table a client, a potential client, a supplier, a member of your team or even just an acquaintance. We believe emphatically that a powerful network is integral to business growth and development – so who do you have in your address book who could build strong and meaningful relationships with quality businesses?
Perhaps you can pass on advice and your expert knowledge or act as a mentor. We want members who are generous with their time and knowledge. You must be willing to give to the group as much as you take! It’s not every person for themselves! There’s a lot to be said for that warm, fuzzing feeling that only comes your way when you know you’ve really helped another, we are all about those natural highs!
So, what do we expect from the Opendoorz members once they’ve joined? It’s simple really: contribution, engagement and respect for other members. In return, we work to bring out the best in everyone, we help you to grow professionally and personally, developing your skills and strengthening your business. And we’re there to energise and motivate and bring an element of fun. We’re serious about business, but as with most things in life, it’s always better when you have a little bit of fun along the way – we always make time for a drink and a good laugh in the bar at every networking session!
The Opendoorz Business Awards
At Opendoorz we always want to champion our members. Because of our selection process we know that all our members are great, but there are always some that stand out and we want to celebrate this – plus Cathy and I love a reason to get dressed up!
Recently we hosted our first Opendoorz Summer Soiree at Oxford University’s Natural History Museum and a key part of that was awarding some of our key members with special awards. It was a wonderful evening which of course included fizz (well would it truly be an Opendoorz event, if we didn’t raise a toast?) and gave recognition and thanks to these members who went over and beyond the expected level of contribution.
But what do our members do to deserve the accolade? Well, they really encompass the Opendoorz ethos by:
- Planning in advance for the meetings and attending them (remember the old adage, fail to prepare, prepare to fail – whilst it’s not failing if you miss a session or two, we love to see our members make the most of their membership – so don’t become a stranger)
- Following on from the above, our award-winning members are eager to jump in when there is a last minute absence.
- They are proactive on behalf of other members. They are always making connections happen and taking action to help other members’ businesses develop.
- They give engaging and informative showcases during the meetings and contribute to the discussions after. Our meetings aren’t staid and dull – so get involved!
- And they adhere to and understand the value of the Opendoorz strategy – a tried and tested method that we know works.
So well done to the marvellous Jane Fryatt, Rob Allaway, Louise Finlay-Wilson, Annie Haimes, Ryan Irving, Liam Cubbage, James Craddock and Daniel Barnes. All members who won awards deserve a huge pat on the back and we’re already looking forward to our next awards!
If you think you have these qualities then you’d be more than welcome in our gang! Get in touch to find out more and join us at a guest meeting to see the Opendoorz magic for yourself. We’ll get the fizz ready to pop!