Now that Rotary has chipped away at the Mound of Basic Factors by examining “What business Rotary is in” and “Who Rotary’s customers really are” it is necessary to discuss what Rotary’s customers – average Rotary club members – value; what satisfies their needs, wants, and aspirations. Rotary leaders at all levels should not even try to guess what these values are, but should keep updated by continuing to seek answers from the only ones who can answer – Rotarians; local leaders who act rationally within their own situation and reality.
Everything exemplary leaders of successful organizations do is centered on creating and delivering value to their customers. Unfortunately Rotary leaders have fallen into the trap that has taken many organizations to the
: answering for the average
Rotarian by rationalizing that the quality of Rotary International’s (RI) projects
and programs is paramount; seeing the organization as the end in itself. That’s the RI bureaucracy talking, not the
Rotarian; that’s the RI bureaucracy asking, “Does
it fit within our projects, programs, systems, and practices?” when it
should be asking, “Does it deliver value to local clubs; to local Rotarians?” Organization Cemetery
All Rotary clubs would do well to determine what members’ value and what they expect the club to deliver. Once clubs determine what members’ value, it is not difficult to understand what has to be done. It may be difficult to implement, and clubs may need assistance. Where will they get it? Click here to read about how the Rotary Club of Sarasota, Florida, USA, is Bucking the Downward Trend because it knows what business it is in, its customers and what they value.
The most important questions RI leaders could ask are, “What do the Association’s member clubs value? What do the clubs’ members value?” Until recently, these have been the least asked. Seigel+Gale’s worldwide research uncovered for RI senior leaders and staff what many local clubs have known for years – the most important reasons that Rotarians join and stay in their clubs is to make and retain friends and to impact their local communities (images 96-112 of this linked document.) Aren’t these also the first three Objects of Rotary?
If Rotary leaders do not chip away at the Mound of Basic Factor by knowing what business Rotary is in, who their customers are, and what their customers value, growing membership will remain an eternal Sisyphus struggle.
The next Sisyphus Rotatorial will discuss the importance of being results oriented.