Guidance for Business Agility Meetups (BAMs)
BAMs are regional groups (generally by city), organised by local business agilists, and empowered by the Business Agility institute, to support the local community. BAMs would generally run small outreach events such as the meet-ups, breakfasts or evening seminars to drive education in the topic and help organisations on their transformations. They are largely informal without a legal entity. This is different from formal BAI Chapters which are legal NFP entities. For more information on forming Chapters, please Contact Us.
As community leaders, we believe that we can create valuable connections & communities by bringing individuals together through high-value, educational, interactive and enjoyable events. As community leaders, to ensure a positive experience for fellow community leaders, members, and partners, we agree to follow these principles:
- Belief: We volunteer our time because we believe in the mission of the community
- Respect: We will respect the time & effort of our fellow leaders
- Commit: We will, to the best of our ability, commit to the time needed to create a strong community
- Quality: We will help ensure that community events flow smoothly and the programme is fair, interesting, valuable, diverse and unbiased
- Diversity: We will share insights and experiences from multiple industries, domains and functions
- Value: We will help our members to extract value from the community by encouraging interaction, networking, learning and sharing
- Independence: We will ensure that community events remain independent and neutral from all vendors, consultancies, tools, methods, and frameworks
- Collaborate: We will regularly communicate with our fellow leaders and share the workload wherever possible
- Innovate: We actively seek new ideas whether from member feedback or wider afield and have the honesty & courage to challenge old ideas
- Safety: We will abide by the Institute’s code of conduct and promote a safe and open environment for all members and leaders
- Integrity: We will build an environment where members act in good faith with each other and unsolicited sales & marketing is prohibited
- Make Each Other Awesome: We will strive to delight our members, have fun with our fellow leaders, and create value for our partners
Extending the principles, there are a number of guidelines designed to help ensure that Business Agility Meetups remain open and valuable;
- All leaders and members of a BAM must adhere to the code of conduct. Leaders must ensure that the code of conduct is enforced; up to and including banning members who severely or regularly breach the code.
- BAM leaders cannot use for the meetup community for their own personal or commercial gain. i.e. Meetup leaders cannot exclusively promote their own services or training.
- Commercial material is only allowed in certain situations;
- Recognition of corporate sponsors
- Acknowledgement of the corporate affiliation of any speakers
- Occasional promotion of ALL services offered in the region. i.e. a monthly email listing ALL business agility training offered by any member in the region.
- In regions where registration is required, members must use their true name. This is a legal requirement and each BAM must ensure they adhere to local laws.
- Topics unrelated to business agility (i.e. politics, religion, health, etc) are not allowed. In some regions (i.e. China), there may be legal consequences for breaking this guideline.
The responsibilities of each BAM group mirrors the four pillars of the institute.
Pillar #1: Community
Ultimately each group is the primary representation of the community. Within the bounds of common restrictions, such is the code of conduct and this guidance, each group is run by the community for the community. It is the responsibility of each group to ensure fair representation and knowledge sharing occurs. This is not a forum for “framework wars” or company disputes and, while differences of opinion will occur, each group should treat disagreements collaboratively and respectfully.
Each group will serve a different community or sub-community depending on the needs and demand of that community. That purpose will be set out in the initial application for the group, but is expected to evolve as the group evolves. Some examples;
- The Bangalore BAM will serve the local coach community. They want a forum to educate and differentiate high quality coaches.
- The Jakarta BAM serves local business leaders.
- The Washington DC BAM serves a more mature business agility community.
The formal expression of community is membership in the Business Agility Institute. That being said, it is not a global requirement to be a member of BAI to participate in any group (although we would encourage them to become members). Companies are allowed to sponsor BAMs in-kind. For example; donating meeting space or catering. Recognition of that sponsorship is expected and allowed during the events and on the group webpage on the Institute’s website. Note however, that such sponsorship does not confer corporate membership unless otherwise agreed by the Institute.
Legal, Anti-trust, and Competition Implications
Depending on the context a BAM may require members to comply with local NDA, antitrust or competition rules. Attendees might be requested to sign legal paperwork (e.g. an NDA or MoU) as appropriate for the event or group. Where needed, these rules need to be clearly defined and repeated at each meeting and for attendees to agree to them.
In addition, all meetups must be in compliance with local country laws. For example, where required, public meetings ought to be applied with appropriate local district offices. The contents of each meetup must focus on business agility and remain non-political and non-religious.
Pillar #2: Outreach
The primary purpose of each group is to provide a forum for community members to meet and share insights, learn new ways of working and form mutually beneficial connections. Depending on the context of the group, these may be face-to-face, online or larger conference events.
Especially relevant for local BAMs, short-form meetups are the regular heartbeat cadence of any group. The approach taken will be different depending on the local demand. For example;
- A meetup.com style meet-up for members; which in itself could take a presentation format or a lean-coffee format
- Knowledge sharing through site visits or open spaces
- Invite-only leadership breakfasts (or lunches)
- Online presentations or discussion groups (e.g. zoom.us)
Online symposiums provide knowledge sharing and guidance to all members, regardless of location. Care must be taken to ensure all members have a chance to be included (e.g. repeat symposiums for US and Asia timezones). Symposiums will generally take a similar format to the global conferences.
- 3×15 minute “art of the possible” presentations
- A 15 minute Q/A session
- A 30 minute deep dive where all members are invited to present and discuss
The Business Agility Institute will provide the webinar platform (currently zoom) to all groups who require it.
Finally, some groups will be able to put on a focused conference for their members. This, one or two day event, is designed to impart strong guidance and peer-based learning for all participants. Due to the investment in time and money, there are separate guidelines and requirement when running conferences. If you’re interested, contact the Institute for more details.
Pillar #3: Guidance
To ensure consistency in content and guidance, there needs to be a two-way contribution of ideas between the global Institute and the groups. Depending on the context of the group, we expect stories to be shared into the global Business Agility Library.
Groups may contribute specific guidance, case studies, book reviews, references, frameworks and helpful tools. While anyone may contribute to the Library, the Library steward is ultimately accountable for ensuring that the submitted content passes review before it is published on the website.
Pillar #4: Leadership
Finally, each BAM is seen to be the leader in their space. It is expected that they remain impartial, independent and operate for the benefit of the community. This does not mean all voices are equal however. Each group needs to demonstrate, discuss and share what “good” looks like in their domain.
It is the intent of the Institute to empower each group and provide core platforms as required for the operation of each group. This includes;
- Professional Zoom accounts for webinars and online symposiums
- Meetup.com account for BAMs
- Complimentary individual membership for BAM leaders
- Complimentary individual membership for primary contributors to the Library from any group
- Promotion of BAM events
- Active interlinking with other BAMs to take local discussions global and global discussions local
- Common code of conduct
- BAM Logo
Leading a BAM is a committed process, requiring a dedicated team of volunteers. In many cases this commitment will run over several years. At this stage, BAMs are informal communities. At later stages, these may incorporate as independent entities.
Each proposed BAM needs to provide some key information prior to setup.
- Name of the group (e.g. Melbourne BAM, BAMgalore, Business Agility London)
- Focus area (region/city, domain or industry)
- Details of the nominated leaders (we require at least 5 organisers to ensure a successful group)
- Your initial outreach approach (e.g. lean coffee, presentations, executive breakfasts, etc)
- Your target audience (e.g. coaches, executives, transformation leaders, marketing division, etc)
- Approximate cadence (e.g. weekly, monthly, ad-hoc)
- Short description of the group
- Indemnification: The parties agree to indemnify each other for any and all claims of loss or damage directly caused by: infringement of a third party’s intellectual property rights; or death, personal injury or damage to any property, except to the extent that the loss or damage has been caused by the other party. Neither party is liable to the other for any indirect or consequential loss or damage (including loss of profits, opportunity or production).
The leaders of the BAM form an informal leadership council. The role of the council is to guide and execute the work of the group. In general, leadership is a voluntary role and leaders shall serve without compensation. Likewise, decisions made by the leadership council requires a majority decision.
Within the context of the purpose, each individual council member carries several key responsibilities;
- Refine the mission and purpose of the BAM as it relates to the global Institute: As the local and global business agility community evolves, it is the council’s responsibility to refine the stated mission and purpose to ensure ongoing alignment with the needs of their members.
- Recommend initiatives and activities to support local members: The council is responsible for identifying, prioritising (considering limited resources) and planning potential local business agility initiatives.
- Plan and run events: At regular intervals, the group will run events for their members (e.g. short-form meetups or online symposiums) and it is the responsibility of the leaders to ensure these operate.
- Enhance the public image of business agility: The council should clearly articulate the group’s mission, accomplishments, and goals to the public and garner support from the community.
From time to time, Industry Council members may be asked to take on special duties. These are optional, depending on time and availability, and may include activities such as:
- Inviting new members to join the Institute
- Speaking at community events, online Symposiums and global conferences
- Holding seminars to share insights with other member organisations
- Run site visit tours for other members of the Institute
- Contributing to press release and speaking to media when appropriate
- Contributing case studies & guidance to the Business Agility Library
- Why do I need five leaders to get started?
Having five leaders, rather than one or two, helps to ensure that the responsibilities of running a BAM are not falling onto one person. Five leaders is a minimum.
- Where is the BAM application form?
- Can we have meet-ups discussing specific frameworks – in case, say they are relevant to the topic of the meet-up?
Of course. But we don’t want every event to be focused on a single framework
- Do BAMs need to register as a legal entity?
It depends on the legal situation in your local region, however generally not. This is different from a Chapter.
- Powerful principles well described. The only query for me is on the Independence front, and how that might translate for us. Would this mean that I would need to initiate the BAM separate to the firm I work for?
Good question – it means we can’t exclude another firm just because one firm is involved. SAFe might provide pizza but Scrum Alliance can also provide drinks. Consultancy A and Consultancy B may both provide organisers. We can’t preference one organisation over another. We do take sides on what “good” looks like, but as a community organisation, we need to remain neutral on other matters.
- When and how should I invite BAM members to join BAI?
- Can you provide detailed guidelines?
I’d rather avoid “fine print”. I want to set the broad strokes and let the BAMs use their own judgement. If someone steps over a line, we’ll discover it together and adjust accordingly.
- Can we use Google Hangouts instead of Zoom?
You can use any system you prefer. However, the Institute will provide zoom accounts to support easy recording.
- Is there a minimum or maximum set of criteria on how outreach or events should be structured, what should be their approach, their frequency, etc?
No restrictions. Depends on the community
- What are the benefits of membership?
Business Agility Institute membership benefits can be found here: https://businessagility.institute/join/
- Who does credit go to for content contributed to the Business Agility Library (the author or the Business Agility Institute?
Credit always remains with the author or authors.
- The requirement for 5 BAM leaders, is that a min or the max?