Rotary International has been in a serious membership situation for almost two decades. Many long time Rotarians were, and still are, aware of the major issues. However, aging organizations tend to create personal centers of power - silos - that follow separate agendas and perpetuate inbred practices. The Organization Cemetery is filled with those who succumbed to this nepotistic disease. Organizations that want to cure this affliction are usually wise enough to seek outside, objective diagnosis and advice.
Rotary discovered it had so much inbreeding that it had forgotten who its customers were and what business it was in. Fortunately, it sought treatment. In 2011, Rotary began a rebranding initiative with Seigel+Gale. In January 2012, Seigel+Gale presented its research results and recommendations to Rotary's Directors and Trustees. Unfortunately, the initiative's importance was downplayed and demoted because one or more of Rotary's centers of power were following personal agendas. This delayed critical examination and implementation of beneficial recommendations and allowed popular opinion to believe that Rotary had paid over a million US dollars for a new logo. This unfortunate and unwise delay changed this Rotatorialist into The Angry Rotarian.
RIPE Ravi's recent comments helped convert The Angry Rotarian into A Hopeful Rotarian. Rotary's Messaging Guidelines, posted on Rotary's web site in January, 2014, reinforced the conversion. Unfortunately, examinations of the web site upon which the Guidelines are posted along with recent spoken and written comments by some senior leaders indicate that many in Rotary are not familiar with the Guidelines. Would this be because the Guidelines haven't been internally marketed? Are the Guidelines being ignored? Are contradictory or conflicting training materials and public information being corrected or taken out of circulation?