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Business Voices in Action – History Maker in Winston-Salem

Our new awareness campaign, Business Voices, has been inspiring members all around the world to do some pretty amazing things in their local communities. The impact our BNI members are having on children’s education is nothing short of awesome!

Here is a report from Business Voices Team Winston-Salem Coordinator and history maker – Glen Coleman:

The changes being initiated by the Business Voices® movement are so powerful! Yes, we’re changing the world – one Principal at a time, one Teacher at a time, one Child at a time.

We’ve initiated the 5-5-5 movement here in the Winston-Salem Region as a sort of pilot to get our feet wet. BNI member, Antonio McCoy has been a tremendous help, utilizing his network to identify the most underfunded schools and to facilitate introductions to the principals. As always, personal introductions are the best way in. Every district has at least one person who can make introductions, across the district.The chapters are now being introduced to the principals, and the principals are visiting the chapters. We’re also working to get the D-I-S-C profile into every school involved, so that the principals and teachers learn how to get along with each other and with the students.

I’ve discovered that the first impact we have is to change the way that educators think. For years, they have been coping with problems on a daily basis – without hope of ever solving the problems. They believe that’s the way the world works. When they understand that in business we solve problems as a way of life, it changes their world view, permanently.

Each principal we have met with has struggled to identify their 5 greatest problems. They ask, “What do you mean by the biggest problems?  Do you mean like…………….?” After naming one or two things they think might be the biggest, they have wondered aloud if they can ask their teachers for help. Of course, and that’s an excellent choice!  Again, they are thinking as they have never thought before, and they can’t ever go back. When they learn that we’re in this for the long haul, they breathe a sigh of relief.

Business professionals in my network outside of BNI are also getting involved. For example, one of my fellow Winston-Salem Black Chamber of Commerce members runs a shelter for battered women. For years and years, she has been trying to get into the high schools to teach girls how to avoid ending up in her shelter. Business Voices will give her that opening!

We were shocked to learn what teachers at one elementary school identified as one of the biggest problems: many children need shoes.

Let’s work together to change the world,

Glen Coleman

Business Voices Team Coordinator

BNI Southeast

P.S. I’m compelled to give an update on the need for shoes at the one school.  It’s a great example of being a catalyst for change. Antonio McCoy bought 2 pairs and posted pics on Facebook. He issued a challenge……and people answered. People in the community who have never been to a BNI meeting (yet) are stepping up to each buy one pair of shoes! Woohoo!!!

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