TRF is a wonderful organization that deserves the celebration. But it also has taken up much of the oxygen of senior management and has become a force within the world of Rotary that I think disproportionate. I for one, want TRF to again resume the role of being there to assist Rotarians and their Clubs with THEIR smaller and less sustainable projects.
We’ve seen the last case of polio six months ago. Now, we hold our breath for the next 30 months until certification is official. While we plan the party, what else should RI and TRF be doing? What should life be like for the world of Rotary now? Continue reading “After the war.”
I can’t envision a Director saying “PolioPlus is great, but I can’t wait until it is behind us. I hope we never do something like that again!” (I can. And I do.) As someone who loves Rotary, I worry for its future. I don’t like what I think I see.
In a recent attempt to provoke a conversation on LinkedIn, on the philosophy of RI’s management, I incorrectly couched the question in terms that were economic and political: capitalist vs. socialist. And despite many thoughtful comments, most people did not talk about RI’s –as opposed to Rotary’s– guiding beliefs. So let me try again. Continue reading “There is a movement, Rotary, which has a philosophy and characteristics. There is an organization, RI, which also has beliefs and attributes. How similar are they?”
RI is an organization whose primary object is making TRF a player on the international non-profit stage through the eradication of polio, and its management is wholeheartedly focused on achieving that end.
There is the movement known as Rotary. There is also an organization known as Rotary International. If the proverbial Martian (not Matt Damon) looked at RI today and was asked to define the Object of Rotary by observable actions and speeches of management, what would be the outcome? How much of our historical Objects would be included? I think that this exercise would make the point that despite our written heritage, the actual practices of RI today are much different. In fact, what began as an association of Clubs, has become an entity that sets its own agenda and ignores the needs of Clubs and their Members to achieve goals that really have little to do with many Clubs and their Members. Continue reading “Time for a revised Object of Rotary statement? (Alternate title: Time for Clubs to take back Rotary from RI?)”
Someone out there knows how many of today’s Rotarians have come onboard during the PolioPlus heyday period, perhaps the last ten years or so. I bet it’s significant. For these people, Rotary, TRF and PolioPlus have an interconnection that creates an organization that is vitally different from the one I know and love.
I recently had the opportunity to spend time with a remarkable Rotarian in an informal setting, and the talk was all Rotary, some of it about the upper levels of senior management. This Rotarian has been active on the Zone level for many years and without ambitions for anything above. Names that were mentioned as personal acquaintances certainly gave the impression of connectivity. And another good Rotarian friend who has spent considerable time with my source attests that we are talking about a square shooter. It was as refreshing as it was eye opening. Thankfully, it dispelled some of my gloom about the future of our beloved organization. Continue reading “What’s next after PolioPlus? Hopefully, a return to basics.”
Is Rotary just a wealth redistribution mechanism in today’s world? That attitude would explain a lot of what we see in RI’s actions, or rather, inactions in the care and feeding of Rotarians.
Reading about Chicago in 1905, one senses the atmosphere in business was openly fierce, as capitalism was gaining its supremacy on the strength of the Industrial Revolution. Individuals were empowered with visions of personal success only constrained by their own limitations. One can see how such a time would inspire the gentle soul of Paul Harris to reach out for a better way forward, where business was encouraged, but moderated with good will and fellowship, the values of a rural Vermont village adapting to the emerging new world of possibilities. Continue reading “Rotary was founded on western capitalism: how does a creeping socialism affect it?”
I don’t know if we have the time to save our District with the redistricting machine gathering steam at RI. While I’ve always felt that it would be a shame for us to lose our District, I am now thinking that maybe it would be better if we did.
In two recent posts, I suggested to my Club that it create a strong committee structure, something that has been missing since the early ‘90’s. I also recommended that the Board change from being a council who runs the Club, to a team that uses its time with the responsibility of understanding the will of the Club, looking down the road, and making sure the job is getting done, while letting the committee chairs become the managers. Continue reading “Reforming Our District: Let’s Get 7550 Off Life Support Permanently (If There’s Time!)”