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

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Rotary says, “Retaining members is even more important than attracting new members.”


     Is the Angry Rotarian is actually trying to crack a smile? This Retaining Members statement appears on page 14 of the Membership Supplement published by Rotary International (RI), available at this link.  When the full importance of retaining members becomes embedded in mindsets throughout the Rotary network, RI’s future will become even brighter because the fundamental reason retaining members is more important than attracting new members is LRV – Lifetime Rotarian Value.
    All organizations have growth cycles somewhere in their lifetime.  Many analysts use organizations’ customer retention rates when evaluating their future.  Retention rates help stakeholders predict whether or not growing organizations will be able to sustain growth.  Analysts also use customer retention rates to help predict whether or not stable or slow growth organizations are sound long-term investments, or if slumping organizations can stabilize or return to a growth state.  The reason:  retained customers are happy customers; valuable assets that have what analysts call Lifetime Customer Value.
     Rotarians are local Rotary clubs’ customers.  Retained Rotarians are valuable assets because they are Rotary advocates and have positive LRVs; more-so today than in yesterdecades because their word-of-mouth advocacy spreads through social networks like it is written in the atmosphere.  Unhappy customers are liabilities because their unhappiness also spreads through social networks, often at Category 5 hurricane wind speeds.
    Retained members LRV grow with their time in Rotary.  Until recently, RI had no idea of its true retention rates, much less LRVs.  Every club, district, zone, and region should know its RG Index, and RI should have some idea of what LRVs are after one year, two years, five years, ten years, etc.  Individual clubs certainly cannot afford to conduct such analyses, but RI could.  Meanwhile, many RI present and past senior leaders continue to operate on yesterdecades’ premises’ which are reflected in North America’s twenty-year declining membership and RI’s fourteen-year membership stabilization.
     LRV variables include, but are not limited to, who Rotarians are, the dollars of dues paid, contributions to local club efforts and The Rotary Foundation (TRF), plus other intangible assets, such as visions, influences and initiatives Rotarians bring into the Rotary network.  An LRV analysis would most likely stimulate changes of magnanimous proportions in RI management, public information, seminars, assemblies, and training literature.
   The Angry Rotarian’s smile will broaden and eyes will light up when RI, which is supposed to be a worldwide network of premier clubs consisting of business, professional, and community leaders, is as effective in sound management initiatives as it has been in world health initiatives, which, by the way, RI nor TRF can sustain if local clubs do not retain customers – er – members.

Yes.  The Angry Rotarian actually is cracking a smile.