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.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Will The Angry Rotarian ever become the Hopeful Rotarian?


    One of those with whom I communicate asked, "What would it take to change you into being The Hopeful Rotarian?"  The answer is very simple.  It would take Rotary International (R.I.) leaders to thoroughly comprehend that operating system outputs depend on users who create ideas, believe the system can be useful, and input resources that helps their ideas come alive!  Operating systems without users accomplish nothing.
    To put this into perspective consider this: SHARE, TOS, DOS, TSS, BOS, ACP, MTS, ORVYL, MUSIC, OS, MSDOS, SCOPE, KRONOS, NOS, WINDOWS, APPLE II, APPLE MACINTOSH, LINUX, ANDROID, ECT are samplings of operating systems developed in the latter half of the 20th century.  The ones you recognize are the ones whose creators understood that their systems would be a note in history if users did not find them to be of value.  Users are humans.
     Humans, not systems, create ideas.  Humans use systems to help make their ideas productive and rewarding.  Using the surviving systems and the Internet, humans have exchanged ideas and created web sites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, hackers, on-line banking, marketing techniques, Wikipedia, communications monitoring systems, robotics, tablet computers, smart phones, guidance systems, global positioning systems, and thousands of apps now available to over seven billion people.  Until these operating systems and related hardware came along, bureaucracies, assembly lines, standard operating procedures, codes of policies, copper telephone lines, booster stations, extensive training, snail mail, and vast numbers of trials and errors achieved results that can now be completed in fractions of previous times at minuscule the cost and effort.  But even those systems depended on humans finding them useful.
    So what has this got to do with The Angry Rotarian becoming The Hopeful Rotarian?  That will come when senior leaders recognize a single fundamental:  R.I.'s 20th century operating system ROS 20 (Code of Policies, Manual of Procedure, bureaucratic mind-sets, customs, practices, training sessions, etc) has not almost eradicated polio or completed countless other service projects. R.I.'s customers, past and present Rotarians, using ROS 20, have.  So The Angry Rotarian will become the Hopeful Rotarian when:

  • R.I. leaders recognize that R.I.'s top priority is not bringing to completion the elimination of polio or any other service project (Rotarians, because of who they are, will see to that), 
  • Senior leaders recognize and communicate that R.I.'s only purpose is to create Rotarians like those past and present business, professional, and community leaders who created project ideas, like eliminating polio, and used ROS 20 to accomplish their goals, and
  • ROS 20 is updated to ROS 21, a more user friendly system that its customers, present and future Rotarians, find of higher value; a system that, to them, is worth the time, treasure, and talent they invest; a system that minimizes the chances of future R.I. leaders redirecting this wonderful organization from its sole purpose - creating Rotarians.
 If R.I. stays centered on what comes out of ROS 20 instead of what goes in and does not make version ROS 21 into a system that better serves modern users wants and needs, other operating systems will.  And The Angry Rotarian will remain angry simply because he cares about Rotary's future.

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