Business Agility Institute (BAI) Chapters are local non-profit organizations that share the BAI global mission. For the most part, BAI Chapters are established as independent non-profit bodies, but still operating under BAI. They will have their own board, operate independently, and remain their own entity.
BAI Chapters will organize and facilitate their operations, programs, and community activities through local networks. They will share in the mission and purposes of BAI and serve as the local voice for their region to the Business Agility Institute.
Plan for Chapters
BAI Chapters provide an essential vehicle for carrying out BAI's programs at a regional level. A Chapter will represent the first and primary line of contact with and identification for the membership. Potential Chapter members may join BAI directly and not their local Chapter, or vice versa.
The mission and purpose of BAI, however, is the reference point to reaffirm the reasons for having Chapters. Both BAI and the group applying for creating the Chapter status have to understand the benefits each can derive from the relationship.
BAI encourages the creation of Chapters dedicated to bringing the local business agility community together by increasing the density of connections among people within the community, and encouraging the exchange and exploration of ideas among regional professionals.
BAI Chapters will conduct activities that cannot be accomplished on a global scale. Chapter meetings allow members to meet local members, exchange ideas, discuss local business problems, compare notes on new ideas, discuss governance policies, and establish better business relations.
BAI and BAI Chapters will have an official relationship and will have a written charter that formalizes expectations, rights, and privileges. Upon receipt of their charter, Chapters will assume the name of the BAI, such as BAI US East, BAI Africa, BAI Benelux, etc.
The decision to develop BAI chapters is part of BAI's strategic planning process. And this checklist should be considered as first steps in order to initiate a chapter application.
Key tasks include:
BAI's goal is to ensure geographic representation of member interests. The eventual goal is a BAI Chapter in each region. In larger cities, such as New York or London, Chapters may be incorporated as separate entities apart from others in the region because of the number of members or their special interests, if needed.
In order to avoid territorial issues, BAI will restrict the formation of Chapters on the basis of geography. BAI will not issue a charter that would establish a Chapter within the territorial jurisdiction of an existing Chapter. BAI will require each member organization to have a defined geographical boundary.
In special cases, the existence of a “critical mass” of potential members will determine the number of Chapters. BAI could allow a Chapter formation, for example, where a certain number (20 or more) of people express interest in Chapter status.
Purpose and function will guide BAI Chapter formation, and there is no optimal number of Chapters. BAI wants to have a balanced representation and therefore will have a limited number of Chapters so that each maintains relatively equal input into BAI purposes.
Structure for Chapters
Where do we see ourselves in three years? What will BAI Chapters of the future look like? The answers depend on how Chapter structure. We have decided on a bottom-up structure.
In BAI Chapter structure, the members’ reference point will be at the chapter level, although chapter membership would also bestow BAI membership status.
BAI Chapters will collect membership dues and send a percentage to the BAI on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, as determined and agreed upon.
BAI Chapters will retain all money self raised through their chapter sponsorships initiatives.
Criteria for Chapters
BAI has a criteria for chartering chapters, and the criteria appear in BAI Chapter Bylaws, Policy, & Procedures. Anyone submitting the application–– which we term as “applicant chapter”–– must be thoroughly familiar with BAI’s criteria. These criteria include geography, membership, and congruence of purpose.
BAI Chapter may allow potential members to petition for Chapter status if at least 20 of them reside or work in the region seeking the charter. The written application must include statements concerning the willingness of members to become officers of the new chapter and to pledge that they will abide by the policies of the BAI.
BAI Chapters specifies that not only the number of members is necessary to achieve chapter status, but also their composition. BAI requires that members be practicing business agility practitioners and/or organizations, or have intent to become so.
How to Get Started
BAI will help and guide groups applying for Chapter status to gather enough resources to organize their initial activities. And few others, who are representing regions with not a lot of traction, may require a boost from BAI.
BAI will provide Chapters a step–by–step approach that will explain the process of chapter formation. (“Fact Sheet on Forming a New Chapter” will be available shortly). Such guidelines will explain financial, legal, and tax obligations, describe duties of chapter officers, offer suggestions for conducting meetings and forming committees, and offer recommended activities. They will also include a “model” constitution and bylaws.
As we are developing chapters for the first time in new regions, BAI will seek legal advice regarding the benefits and liabilities of separate incorporation. This consultation will help avoid the issues of standardization, monitoring, and accountability. Non-profits differ in their incorporation requirements, thus BAI must approve the proposed certificate of incorporation.
Once an applicant chapter has all the pieces in place, it petitions for a charter. BAI will review the petition and then recommends for action. BAI will grant affiliation when requirements have been met per set forth in the bylaws, implicit requirements based upon interpretations, and precedence. BAI has final authority and discretion to grant affiliation.
The perspective about the benefits of forming a chapter is likely to vary between the applicant group and BAI. There are, however, areas of overlap in the rationale of chapter formation.
For BAI, the rationale for forming chapters includes the following:
From the chapter’s perspective, the rationale for affiliating with BAI include the following benefits but there could be more:
Monitoring & Termination
Revocation of a chapter’s charter may result from —failure to— satisfy obligations, to observe the limitations on chapters set forth in the BAI Chapter by-laws, to be represented at mandatory BAI meetings, to pay dues, or changes in bylaws that bring the chapter into conflict with BAI, or fiscal impropriety, or loss of a “critical mass” of members.
The members of a chapter may themselves request the termination of their charter. BAI will require one quarter notice from any BAI Chapter withdrawing from BAI at the end of the fiscal year. The BAI Chapter must have met all its financial obligations at the time of withdrawal.
BAI will establish a formal procedure for periodically reviewing chapter status. Reauthorization of a charter at specified periods will help in heightening the chapter’s awareness of and compliance with BAI’s standards. In addition, BAI will conduct periodic reviews to keep the relations active and what assistance chapters might need. BAI trusts Chapters and having them run their operations independent of BAI involvement.
BAI and its chapters join together to promote a common purpose and cause. To that extent, they are partners.
The dynamic relationship between BAI and its chapters will require close association. Periodic reviews and adhering to chapter bylaws will recognize the need to avoid potential and actual conflicts. The dynamism will address areas of services in publications, seminars, conferences, sponsorships, and membership dues.
BAI defines clearly the roles at the outset and maintains clear channels of communication. BAI expects from chapters-maintained standards, their roles and responsibilities, and following formal operating guidelines. The unique combination of purposes, structure, criteria for chapters, and governance will allow for a variety of processes for successful forming of chapters.
While each chapter will create their own bylaws, constitution, charter, or other relevant legal document, please read through an example version. The BAI Chapter bylaws should cover the following areas:
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