Friday, February 27, 2009

Rotary Membership: A Chilling Analogy

Rotary clubs are in the business of advancing the Object of Rotary.  They have done it by satisfying the networking, friendship, and achievement needs of business, professional, and community leaders. 

Effective Rotary clubs, those that have stable or increasing membership, satisfy these personal needs. 

What about the districts and clubs that are losing members?  Too often they waste time, treasure and talent on convenient diversions rather than examining the more difficult issues that sometimes require systemic and attitude change.

Perhaps this brief analogy will encourage more critical thought and discussion about membership development.

Jim Henry, Zone 34 RRIMC 

Click here for the Analogy. 

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Our Club is currently reviewing and changing the way we approach membership and . . . this analogy has hit us square in the face. This is exactly how a majority of our ad hoc committee is approaching membership. I am forwarding this analogy to members of our committee with the hopes of putting doubts into the directions the membership discussion has been heading.

PDG Ken Smallwood, Rotary Club of Orange Park, FL

DRMaymon said...

Jim -

Very thought provoking indeed and I intend to share it with a number of folks. I do believe, however, that you now have four additional installments to produce. Keep them coming - totally worthwhile.

Doug Maymon DGN
D6990 / RC Weston

Harry Fields said...

Jim,
Thank you for your well crafted commentary and analogy. You may be on to something! There is a reason(s)for the drop in membership and lack of attractiveness of our great organization and I salute your efforts to search it out and put forth your ideas.
Harry Fields

Sam Eskew said...

Jim,
Your analogy is thought provoking. Do you think the relaxation of the classification system has been a successful strategy for Rotary membership? Has the perceived value of networking through Rotary been in any way diminished?
Sam Eskew

Diana White said...

A very thought provoking article - it led me to think about a further analogy.
Many consumers, because of their need for a means of transportation, still continued to buy the GM product despite the fact that the product did not fit their needs. Having spent the money, they were stuckwith the product.
Rotary Clubs, because of their desire to increase numbers, invited "unknown quantities" into their midst and then discovered that this changed the personality of the whole group and the desire to work, network or fellowship lessened. The common deniminator was weakened due to the lack of research into the quality of the incoming members.

DGND Margie Kersey 6900 said...

Excellent analogy. Organizations find it difficult to "manage" relationships, so they begin focusing on processes to "standardize" the experience / product. The result is always mediocracy - and the loss of participants whether they are customers or members.