A new and fresh approach to networking with a twist. Instead of pitching your business you give support and advice to like-minded businesses on the round table.
Ironically the original purpose of having a combined meeting was to provide a place for people who wanted a little bit more networking at the end of the week. So my goal was to setup a non-industry group that anyone could go to and it would be run a little bit different to other groups. The point of difference would be, I would do all the presentations instead of a member from the group, lucky me.
Initially I started running workshops, on how to manage your Facebook account, blog writing and basically anything that I thought could help support the small to medium size businesses.
I noticed a trend, many of our workshops would turn into open discussions and at the end of the week I would ask the group what they would like to learn next week.
These groups grew and it quickly became our biggest networking group of the week. To my surprise people weren’t concerned about having somebody else in their own industry in the same group. They were very open about sharing their knowledge, experience and skills even with their direct opposition sitting right in front of them.
I decided to break out of the confines of the regular business networking format and the Think Tank was born. We now had a focused discussion group, it is designed for brainstorming and problem-solving, ideal for entrepreneurs, startups or jobseekers. Think Tankers were free to discuss their successes, goals and problems, like the old saying a problem halved is a problem solved. Our discussions are often unpredictable but they always evoke lots of laughs and pearls of wisdom. To keep the conversation on target I set a theme for each meeting.
To give the meeting more structure we appointed a scribe who takes notes in real time using an active Mind Map (MindNode), which is projected onto a large screen for all to see. If you are not familiar with Mind Maps, they are a brilliant communication tool that improve brainstorming and collaboration sessions. As well as a highly organised diagram that work in line with your brain’s natural way of doing things. The Mind Map is shared after the meeting on social media along with next weeks theme.