GInI membership lets you become part of a very unique organization, a society dedicated to all the brilliant and innovative minds out there, a place that brings together people and ideas, and a lab to conceive, create, test, experiment, and succeed. Being a member gives you exclusive access to incredible networking opportunities and member-only roundtable events. You will constantly have access to all of GInI’s blogs, forums, articles, publications, and news relating to the field of innovation. You will also gain access to special pricing and discounts on GInI’s certifications, exams, events, renewals, publications, online assessment tools, and other resources. No other organization delivers the caliber of community and resources that GInI does.
GInI Chapters are open groups of GInI Members who live and/or work in a common geographic area, and therefore wish to network together in that area – so as to learn Innovation from one another in a very practical manner.
Why We Need GInI Chapters
GInI Chapters serve many important functions. Among these are the following:
- Many professionals feel like they are just going it alone in their struggle to drive new innovation… a one-person battle. Chapters offer a place of encouragement where they can find the mentoring and support they need to win those battles and overcome the obstacles blocking their path.
- Many professionals find that their days are filled with just doing, and not learning and growing. Chapters offer a powerful venue for being able to learn and grow outside of one’s day-to-day work.
- Many professionals find that their organizations are lacking in innovation maturity and consequently do not have adequate standards of innovation practice in place. Chapters let them find find others in their area possessing the insights needed to raise those standards in their organization – and thereby improve its innovation maturity and capabilities.
- Professionals in different industries and markets quite often face very similar problems and challenges to one another. Chapters actively promote the cross-industry fertilization of innovative new ideas and practices that can be applied to multiple different industries and markets.
- Many professionals find that all too often they just end up repeating the same errors and mistakes of those who came before them. Chapters allow for the dissemination of world-class practices and principles, so that these individuals can avoid making such needless errors and mistakes in their work.
Defining Your Chapter
Each Chapter, if it is to grow into a healthy and self-sustaining group, needs to establish what uniquely defines it as a group… why it exists, who it intends to serve, and what types of issues it wishes to address.
If the Chapter is to ultimately attract new members and get them engaged in the life of the group, then the answers to these questions should not only be interesting, they must actually be very compelling. Otherwise the Chapter can struggle to maintain engagement and participation over time. Leaders must therefore address and answer these question and allow their answers to focus the Chapter as it grows and evolves.
Your Chapter's Leader
Within each GInI Chapter, there is to be a set of leaders, each of whom are to possess some level of expertise in one or more areas of Innovation.
The primary objectives for these Leaders include the following:
- To establish and maintain a healthy, self-sustaining Chapter based on acceptable bylaws and a clearly-defined set of roles.
- To grow the Chapter by introducing new members to it.
- To organize the life and activities of the Chapter.
- To plan and coordinate the regular meetings and other events hosted by the Chapter – including securing the necessary venues, speakers / panelists, food, and other elements.
- To facilitate and moderate certain Chapter events where and as appropriate.
- To encourage and facilitate the open networking of members of the Chapter.
- To facilitate the sharing and dissemination of new knowledge and insight inside the Chapter as it is produced.
- To ensure transparency, objectivity, and honesty in how the Chapter is being managed and operated.
- To laisse with GInI and share the status, successes, and challenges of the Chapter with GInI’s leadership.
The specific leadership of a given Chapter can take on any number of forms, but in general, it will need to encompass the following roles in some form or another:
- President – responsible for casting the overall vision for the Chapter, ensuring all of its Vice President roles are filled and each such Vice President is fulfilling their roles as expected, and liaising with GInI.
- Vice President of Membership – responsible for driving the ongoing membership growth of the Chapter through marketing, networking, promotions, and other means. This individual is also tasked with tying the Chapter’s events and activities back to GInI and its Professional Certification Program.
- Vice President of Events – responsible for defining the topics / themes and formats of the Chapter’s organized events, as well as – with the assistance of all of the rest of the Chapter’s leadership – identifying and securing each of the respective speakers and/or panelists to be featured in the Chapter’s staged events.
- Vice President of Marketing – responsible for driving and – with the assistance of all of the rest of the Chapter’s leadership – undertaking all of the marketing for the Chapter and its scheduled events.
- Vice President of Engagement – responsible for ensuring the active engagement of the Chapter’s members in its ongoing conversations, meetings, and other activities – including ensuring that its members are engaged in the Chapter’s virtual platform (hosted on GInI’s Community Portal).
- Vice President of Venues – responsible for securing the venues to be used for hosting and stating each of the Chapter’s respective events.
(This role may not be needed if the Chapter has an established and secure permanent venue that it uses; though quote often it is beneficial to move the Chapter’s events around to differing places, particularly for Chapters attempting to reach a broader geographical audience).
(This is also not needed if all of the Chapter’s events are virtual).
- Vice President of Nourishment – responsible for coordinating the catering at each (live) Chapter event, or otherwise securing the food / snacks / beverages to be served at such events.
(This is not needed for virtual events).
- Vice President of Sponsorships – responsible for soliciting and securing certain Corporate Sponsorships for the Chapter, especially important if and when it is attempting to put on a very large event, perhaps on an annual basis.
For each of these roles – President and Vice Presidents – Global Innovation Institute grants the individual a free professional membership in GInI as a GInI Council Member.
Aside from these explicit leadership roles, the Chapter may also recruit any additional number of Chapter managers to further assist with the above tasks and activities, as the formal leaders feel is needed. These leaders may also, if they so desire and if appropriate, select certain Facilitators and Moderators to help run the Chapter’s different events, as well as its online virtual community (hosted on the GInI Community Portal).
Finally, all members of the Chapter should in fact be recruited to help drive the ongoing growth of the Chapter by helping to market it and its activities to their respective networks, and by attempting to recruit new members to the Chapter.
As a Chapter Member, How Do I Contribute?
In order for your Chapter to thrive and grow, it relies on the engagement and energy of each and every member. You should seek, therefore, to be actively engaged in the life and activities of your Chapter – becoming an integral part of what makes it unique and powerful.
More specifically, as a Chapter Member you should seek to do the following:
- Actively participate in the Chapter’s various meetings and events.
- Share your knowledge with the Chapter to help its members find innovative new ways to address their particular challenges.
- Contribute to the pool of topics the Chapter addresses, and help it to select specific topics to focus on at different times.
- Contribute expertise to the advancement of each topic being addressed, either your own or by helping the Chapter locate experts in your network who can speak to those topics.
- Help members of the Chapter effectively apply the new insights being developed around each topic addressed.
- Ensure the Chapter’s emerging knowledge is being shared more broadly across the overall GInI community by publishing its insights as new blog articles or – where there is adequate interest – by presenting webinars on those topics.
GInI Chapter Formation
Initiating and operating a viable and sustainable GInI Chapter requires the dedication of a group of highly-committed volunteers, each of whom must be active GInI Members in good standing.
The following is a brief overview of the Chapter Start-Up Requirements, Commitments, and Process.
The Time Commitment
- The time required to undertake the Chapter’s initial start-up activities can be quite considerable. It is not uncommon for the Chapter’s leaders to invest several weeks of focused effort to get it launched and up and running. The more individuals that are engaged in this task, the less work each one will have to do.
- Once the start-up process has been completed and the Chapter is actively running, its leaders should expect to invest somewhere around 2 - 5 hours each week to operate and manage the Chapter. The more individuals involved in this activity, the less time each one will have to spend on the various tasks.
The Start Up Requirements
In order for a group of GInI Members to launch a new GInI Chapter, they must meet the following three (3) requirements.
- There needs to be a minimum of at least six (6) GInI Members – each active and in good standing – who are interested in forming the Chapter, and thereby seeding its membership.
- There needs to be a minimum of at least three (3) GInI Members – each active and in good standing – who will serve as the Chapter’s initial Leadership Team.
- There needs to be a minimum of at least two (2) GInI Members – each active and in good standing – who will coordinate all of the necessary Chapter start-up activities. These individuals will generally be a part the Chapter’s initial Leadership Team.
The Chapter Start Up Process & Timeline
In order to startup a new GInI Chapter, its organizing leaders will need to undertake the following process steps.
- Establish the purpose of the Chapter.
- Ensure that there is adequate interest from a prospective community to support a Chapter with that purpose.
- Identify prospective Leaders for the Chapter, and then recruit a cohort of Leaders from amongst that set to help launch and lead the Chapter.
- Review GInI’s Chapter Start-Up Requirements and ensure that the new Chapter is adequately addressing each of those requirements.
- As a leadership group, select a unique name for the Chapter – one that uniquely identifies it amongst all of the GInI Chapters.
- As a leadership group, establish more specific goals and objectives for the Chapter.
- Complete the GInI Chapter Start-Up Application Form and submit to GInI for review.
- After submitting the GInI Chapter Start-Up Application Form, GInI will notify the group’s organizing leaders within 1 - 2 weeks of whether:
- GInI has approved their application to become a new GInI Chapter.
- GInI needs additional information before it can approve their application.
- GInI has rejected their application to become a new GInI Chapter – and why so.
- If your Chapter is approved by GInI, then a member of GInI’s Chapter Team will contact you to review your next steps in fully launching that new Chapter.
- In general, the time needed to bring a new GInI Chapter up to active status can vary between one to two months from the date of Application approval, depending in part on how quickly or slowly its founding leadership team chooses to proceed.
The Chapter Launch & Operations Process
- Work with GInI to establish the Chapter’s new web site, mailing list, and other marketing resources needed to effectively market it to its target market.
- Establish the Chapter’s marketing pitch for attracting new members to it, as well as prospective Corporate Sponsors.
- Identify prospective charter members for the Chapter and then recruit as many of these as possible using the marketing resources stated above, as well as through individual word-of-mouth marketing by the founding team.
- Establish an initial set of programmatic themes around which the Chapter will host specific events.
- Establish a regular rhythm and sequence for the Chapter to host various meetings and events.
- Organize and host the Chapter’s first official gathering or event. Work to make this as impactful and memorable as possible. Market it broadly and aggressively to all prospective attendees.
- Thereafter organize and host a regular ongoing sequence of various gatherings and events. Work to ensure that each of these are very relevant and useful. Continue to market these broadly.
- Seek out and secure an initial cohort of Corporate Sponsors to help underwrite the costs of operating the Chapter.
- Continuously invite new individuals and groups to attend the Chapter’s events, and to likewise join in the Chapter and get involved.
The Chapter Financial Practices
In order to manage your Chapter’s financial affairs properly, its leaders are required to adhere to the following financial practices.
- So as to establish a baseline operating budget for your Chapter, GInI will charge the Chapter’s members an Annual Membership Fee – to be paid via the GInI Online Store.
- These funds will be managed by GInI on behalf of your Chapter using an appropriately allocated bank account, but will otherwise belong exclusively to your Chapter.
- Your Chapter can – and in most cases should – charge attendees of its events an Event Fee to help offset the expenses of hosting that event, particularly if a live in-person event – unless the event is otherwise being underwritten by a Corporate Sponsor. If it so chooses, your Chapter may charge a lower fee to its members and a higher fee to non-members.
- Your Chapter can use an event management platform like Eventbrite to announce and manage its events – including collecting its associated Event Fees.
- If and when your Chapter collects Event Fees and/or secures a Corporate Sponsorship, it is required – for proper accounting purposes – to remit those funds to GInI to be managed on its behalf by GInI (using the aforementioned bank account). Those funds otherwise belong solely and exclusively to your Chapter, and cannot be used by GInI for any other purposes.
- Your Chapter’s leaders and managers are to submit expense reports to GInI to be reimbursed for all expenses they incur on behalf of the Chapter. These will be reimbursed by GInI out of the membership, event, and sponsorship fees collected for the Chapter – up to however much is available in the Chapter’s account. GInI will not reimburse the Chapter wherever its spending exceeds what it has available in its account.
- Securing Corporate Sponsorships for the Chapter can go a long ways toward giving the Chapter the financial headroom it needs to put on truly high-caliber events.
- Your Chapter may reimburse its event speakers for their associated travel expenses.
- Your Chapter may pay its event speakers a professional speaking fee, but if it does so, it must inform GInI of all of the details of doing so – for proper accounting and reporting purposes.
The Chapter Maintenance Process
In order to sustain your Chapter for the long run, it should seek to undertake the following good practices.
- Meet, meet, and meet yet again. People will find that, even when they are tired and lack the energy and will to attend its events, they will nevertheless find those events to be energizing and informative, making their time and effort to do so very worthwhile. It is this level of commitment that will inevitably sustain the Chapter and allow it to thrive over the long run.
- Work with GInI to establish your Chapter’s dedicated virtual group on GInI’s Community Portal. This will give your Chapter the digital collaboration platform it needs to engage its members in the virtual domain. Ensure this virtual group has an appropriate Moderator to help encourage and guide its productive use.
- As needed in each calendar period, update your Chapter’s set of programmatic themes around which it will continue to host specific meetings and events for the upcoming period.
- Regularly maintain and update your Chapter’s (GInI-hosted) web site so that its calendar of events is always current and easily available for people to find and use.
- Constantly seek out and secure additional Corporate Sponsors to help underwrite the expense of operating your Chapter, so that in due time it can potentially host more expansive events.
- Over time, ensure that your Chapter is grooming prospective new leaders and managers to succeed its current set of leaders and managers. This avoids burning out any given set of leaders and/or managers, and keeps the Chapter fresh and vibrant over the long run. Indeed, the active volunteerism of fresh new cohorts of leaders and managers is critical to the long-term health of any Chapter – as one set of leaders cannot be expected to volunteer at this level indefinitely.