Why Organization's Fail

Organization failure begins at the top. Rotary did not stop growing because people were not interested in joining local Rotary clubs. The number of people joining Rotary clubs proves that. It stopped growing because its leaders assumed it was in the business of supplying humanitarian services rather than in the business of creating Rotarians; they were product oriented instead of member oriented.

Red Text Note

==============Red text has a link to a previous Rotatorial or referenced document.==============

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Manage Change or Change will Manage Rotary!

   Rotary, the entire organization, must continually evolve otherwise it will cease to exist (Please refer to Rotary's Branding Triangle in the right sidebar.)  Change is never easy, but Rotary does have a choice – manage change or change will manage Rotary, perhaps out of existence.  In managing change, it is critical that Rotary understands its core industry, recognizes who funds the organization (the customer), and continually delivers value to them.
    Rotary International’s core industry is advancing the Object of Rotary.  Its only customers are its member clubs; clubs that depend on retaining and attracting local business, professional, and community leaders into the Rotary network.  The Rotary Foundation, Rotary’s charitable arm, is a key associate and a major player in advancing the Object of Rotary throughout the world.
    But Rotary's strength lies in its over 34,000 local member clubs and their over 1.2 million members.  Change must be managed with their points of view in mind because it is they who fund and advance the Object of Rotary, first within their local social fabrics, then the world.  Change must continually deliver value to member clubs who must deliver value to their local members.
   The Organization Cemetery is littered with graves of those who failed to manage change because they were seduced by success and fell under the spell of one or more of what I refer to as Fishy Fantasies.  (Author’s note – A fishy fantasy is a slang statement representing a deterrent that hinders addressing paramount issues.)
Fishy Fantasy One – By getting better at what they are doing, they believe their customers will continue to demand their product or service.  Organizations, believing that they are the best at what they are doing, tend to become arrogant, lazy, and gravitate toward mediocrity.  These conditions will become their enemy because customers will eventually find a way to achieve higher levels of satisfaction; more value for their time, treasure, and/or talent.
Fishy Fantasy Two – It costs too much.  Customers are lost primarily because they do not believe they will receive, or are not receiving, value proportional to what they are being asked to contribute in time, treasure, and/or talent. A fundamental principle of any successful change is that if the product or service satisfies customer’s needs, they will find a way to pay for it.  Obviously there has to be a reasonable cost/value ratio, but price is seldom the primary reason people do not buy what an organization sells.
Fishy Fantasy Three – Increasing affluence will ensure the organization’s growth.  In this type atmosphere, organizations’ leaders often assume that they do not have to be creative about their business or industry.  Instead they tend to concentrate on improving what they are already doing.  What actually happens is that they get better at their deeds rather than improving their deeds’ values to their customer.

  Has Rotary been Captivated by any of these Fantasies?

(These fantasies are slightly modified excerpts from Membership - A Chilling Analogy - a short, 2009 Rotatorial prepared for the All Florida PETS.  The Rotatorial may be accessed by clicking on this link.)