Earlier this year, the Angry Rotarian was asked, "What would it take for the Angry Rotarian to become the Hopeful Rotarian?" Well, it has happened! According to my sources, Rotary International President Elect (RIPE) K.R. Ravindran, at the Multi-District Presidents-Elect Training Seminar Alliance, said, "RI must encourage the clubs to run their clubs in the same manner they would run their respective businesses; that they should put in systems they would if their businesses were running off its customers by selling a bad product or providing poor customer service."
These may not be RIPE Ravindran's exact words, but close enough! At last, one of those who represent all Rotarians recognizes that R.I. is a member-supported not-for-profit business and that Rotarians, dues paying members, are its customers, the ones R.I. should be encouraging its member clubs to serve, instead of continually expecting the members to serve clubs, R.I. or TRF. This solves two of the major obstacles that have been preventing R.I. and its members clubs from concentrating efforts on creating Rotarians and should help R.I. overcome its Sisyphus Complex.
Many challenges remain, but R.I. should now work toward eliminating silos by having all efforts centered on creating Rotarians. One immediate, low cost way would be to get Big Data working toward creating Rotarians by furnishing and publishing for all Rotarians to see - without going through Rotary Club Central - simplified but vital membership information. This should include Retention Rates, Growth Rates and RG Indexes for clubs, districts, zones, and regions. All Rotarians and Rotary Associates must be aware of how many customers are being attracted and run off. In addition, for planning and budgeting R.I. Directors, TRF Trustees, and all Coordinators should be aware of RLVs (Rotarian Lifetime Values.)These are a few of the many changes that may be on the horizon now that senior leaders like RIPE Ravindran recognize who should be serving whom. I am happy to be signing off as A Hopeful Rotarian. Perhaps many readers will join me in that category.