General Information

Red Text bears a link to reference Rotatorials.

Retention Central is monitored occasionally by its creator, Jim Henry, who may be contacted by email at

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rotary's ASK Paradox

 Ask a person to join your Rotary club and membership will grow.

This statement might be true, but it is not validated because of this invalid argument:

Ask a person to join your Rotary club.
The person joins your Rotary club.
Therefore, membership increases.

This argument could be true, but it is not valid because the conclusion assumes:
  • Rotary club membership is static (stable).
  • The person remains a member.
Both assumptions depend on clubs retaining more members than they ask to join, an unrealistic assumption.  Rotary membership is dynamic and depends on Rotarians participating in Rotary's Circle of Life.  To grow membership, clubs must identify and address their dynamics. Consider downloading and circulating, from the right sidebar, Zone 30's M&Ms and Membership Thoughts from Around the World.  District 7980's 'Seven Steps to a Sexy Club' is a new addition.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Can Placebo Effect Research help Rotary International with its Membership Stagnation Condition?

     Brain scans during placebo effect research show that placebos alter the biological process of pain response which, in turn, relieves the painful condition.  This indicates that many people do not need pills to alleviate the pain caused by a lingering problem.  All they need is the brain power and discipline to change from focusing on the symptoms associated with their problem and concentrate on positive actions and aspirations.
     Rotary International's lingering problem is membership stagnation.  The major symptom associated with this problem is the large number of Rotarians walking out of local Rotary clubs.  So do Rotary International and its member clubs have the brain power and discipline to cease treating this symptom with Ask and Recruit pills (which have not worked for going on two decades) and focus on positive actions and aspirations? 

This link  tells how one club changed focus, concentrated on retaining members, and is growing.  If this club can do it, so can others.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Ask and Polio Eradication Membership Myths

During the interview process Rotary International (R.I.) presidential candidates, when asked about membership, must assume they have to say that they will -1- press every Rotarian to ask a family member or anybody on the street to join a Rotary club, and -2- repeat the myth that membership problems will go away when R.I. receives the worldwide recognition it deserves for its leadership role in polio eradication.
  Both conceptual phrases have been standard presidential membership fare since I first served as assistant Zone 34 membership coordinator in 2007.  Surely R.I. speech writers can come up with material that tells member clubs what realistic membership result R.I. would like to achieve and what actions R.I. is taking to assist achieving the desired result.
    If none exists, could not R.I. create and make public sustainable retention and growth rates the results it would like to achieve, then follow up by asking clubs what support R.I. could furnish that would help them achieve these results?  If the R.I. staff and Board of Directors cannot create such results, how about using these:
        But follow up and ask District officers and member clubs what assistance they need?  Oh! That would be Opening Leadership to the bottom up concept, and clubs might actually respond with feedback R.I. doesn't want to hear.  It might even encourage clubs to become engaged in district and regional membership plans.  Bottom up instead of top down addressing membership issues!  Wow!  What a concept!
While contemplating and debating its membership stagnation, R.I. leaders should remember that time does not pause in regards to progress, development, or change, and it overwhelms inaction.  Actions cost, but the cost is far less than the long range affects of inaction.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Who needs Who?

            Fact:  Rotary International (R.I.) needs members more than the business, professional, and community leaders in local communities throughout the world need Rotary International! 

            To improve membership retention and attraction, R. I. and its member clubs must get serious about the way they define, implement, and manage the member experience. This will take visionary leaders who lead from the front knowing that R.I. and its member clubs are member-centered businesses, who the customers are and what they value.  The leaders must be results oriented, employ the power of language, disperse leadership, encourage open discussion and innovation, and create accurate measures of performance.

Is this in the strategic plans of R.I. or its member clubs?