Members Share Their Flex Forum Experiences
It’s been several months since we introduced our new Flex Forum option, so we caught up with two members who have participated in Flex Forum and asked them to share their experiences.
First, we talked with Kornel Grygo, CEO of Tasty Catering. Here’s what Kornel had to say.
Kornel, can you give us a little bit of background on your involvement with EFBC to date?
Tasty Catering has been a member of EFBC for about 12 years. We are family owned and very culture-driven. We believe in networking and finding opportunities to grow personally and professionally. EFBC gives us that opportunity. I’ve been attending events like the sales round tables for 5 to 7 years now but 2022 is my first year as a full member.
Was this your first Forum experience?
I’ve attended Community in Forum before. I believe that Forums are extremely important both professionally and personally. They allow you to align yourself with other businesses that have similar values. Since the pandemic, our industry took a big hit and we are trying to recover. Labor shortages are the biggest struggle that we are finding. A lot of other businesses that I talk to are as well.
What attracted me to the Flex Forum is that word, Flex. We do a lot of deliveries, corporate events, picnics, galas, weddings, etc. For me to make a monthly commitment to Full Forum is really difficult because our business changes day to day. Especially now trying to build up our staffing roster it is tough for us to make that time commitment.
Flex Forum is a really nice addition to the membership benefits because you have the flexibility that you participate as you are able. I didn’t want to go into a Full Forum and keep canceling, its not fair to the group and it goes against protocols.
What protocols did you observe at the Flex Forum?
The confidentiality amongst the group. Sometimes you are talking about sensitive things, not always business, some are personal. Sometimes they are intertwined. I liked the vulnerability.
In the Flex Forum I attended no one knew each other before that. It’s hard being vulnerable with people we know, much less people we don’t. The protocols do a great job of building that safety net and making sure that everyone is engaged and focused.
The no phone rule, while hard at first, forces you to really engage and makes you listen and focus on what is being said instead of checking your email. It also brings more respect to the presenter.
You are there to hear shared experiences and ask for input. You know that what you talk about is going to stay in that small circle. You can share whatever you want.
Liz was there to moderate and hold us accountable to procedures and protocols. As we were new to Forum it was good to have her there with reminders not to make suggestions but offer up shared experiences.
Will you continue to attend flex if your schedule allows?
Of course, it gives you a great platform to help others and to network.
We are busy in our business and our lives. And sometimes as leaders, we feel like we are the only ones going through things, which is not true. It’s good to share those experiences and put those problems out there. And also hear from others what they went through that might be able to help you with the challenges you are facing.
It’s the combination of seeking some of that help and being able to provide that help to others. It stimulates your mind to think about some things you are doing.
Would you ever consider going to Full Forum?
If something changes with the business in the next few years and the labor market stabilizes and we can get more staff onboard. If I have more time to commit, I will consider Full Forum. But for now I’m really happy that I have the Flex Forum option.
The Flex Forum option helps remove some of the stress of committing to Full Forum and not being able to attend the scheduled meeting.
With Flex Forum you can still feel like you are giving it your all, but you are not letting down your peers.
Would you recommend Flex Forum to others?
Definitely! We all hunger for continuing education personally and professionally. Sometimes you think about the Forum is all business growth. But it’s not. It’s personal too. Having like-minded people who you can bounce ideas off and share what they have been through. Can help you cope or figure out a way to solve some of your issues.
Flex Forum is a great platform where people can help you and hold you accountable too. Sometimes you leave from meetings saying you are going to do something and time passes, and you don’t. But with Flex Forum, if you see those people again, they are going to ask you about it. You said you were going to do this; how did it go?
Next up is Sara Poss of @properties. Sara has been a member of EFBC for 15 years and during that time has been part of two different Full Forum groups. Recently, Sara shared an update on a personal issue and discussed it with her Full Forum group. Sara had the opportunity to present on that same issue to the Flex Forum. Here’s what Sara had to say.
Can you compare your experience of sharing your update with your Full Forum and presenting on the same topic at the Flex Forum?
I presented a family issue related to the upcoming holiday; which was surprising to the Flex Forum.
The Flex Forum gave me shared experiences that was very different from my Full Forum. The Flex group’s shared experiences were to be patient and let things work themselves out. My Full Forum group on the other had presented shared experiences that were more action-oriented.
So, have you resolved the issue?
I took to heart what the Flex Forum shared and decided to be patient. I’m usually very action-oriented and a doer so it was very hard for me.
But, I felt it was best for me to take a backseat in this scenario and let this ride out.
Before Flex Forum I was taking action and not seeing any results. After presenting to the Flex Forum I stepped back a bit. And that is working very well.
Is there anything else about the Flex Forum experience that you want to share?
Because you don’t go to lunch or dinner we spent the last hour asking questions about the updates that the Flex Forum participants gave at the beginning of the meeting. I really liked that. It gave me an opportunity to learn more about others’ businesses that I have not had experience with.
There were no drinks or food so everyone was very focused on the questions and interactions.
Also, it gave me an opportunity to meet different members. In fact, I met someone that has become a friend and we’ve attended other EFBC events together.
Would you recommend others in a Full Forum to present at Flex Forum?
Yes! I didn’t know what to expect but my experience was great with the Flex Forum. Sometimes the people that don’t know you as well give shared experiences that can really resonate with you.
I wouldn’t give up my Full Forum, but I would present at Flex again to get additional shared experiences.
I also think that Flex Forum would be great if members have an employee that they want to get activated in EFBC. It’s a good way to get them started.