Rotary International (RI) has ONLY one purpose: to create and support Rotary clubs throughout the world. Rotary clubs have only one purpose: to create Rotarians. The worldwide network of Rotarians adopt the ideal of service in their personal, business, and community lives. They serve by creating and utilizing attributes locally and internationally advancing the Object of Rotary. Unfortunately too many Rotarians, including many leaders, do not understand, or know how to communicate, the Object of Rotary's importance.
Had leaders been talking about, and accurately measuring clubs' effectiveness in, advancing the Object of Rotary, fewer clubs would be struggling today! It is a natural tendency for humans and institutions, as they age, to be comfortable with existing lifestyles and practices; to not adapt to changing times and technologies. But if Rotarians know and accept that Rotary's objective, its Circle of Life, is to advance the Object of Rotary, they, regardless of generation, gender, or ethnicity, should continually seek to develop new acquaintances; to accept and appreciate new businesses, professions, and practices. Therefore, any reasonable person would conclude that dying clubs were not effective at advancing the Object of Rotary. In all likelihood, they had simply forgotten it. After all, nobody talked about or accurately measured it.
Accurately measuring clubs' effectiveness is easy - the RG (Retention Growth) Index. And here is another *BFLOB: without jealously adhering to and advancing the Object of Rotary, the Rotary network will continue to be in danger. North American membership has been telegraphing this for decades. Actions in the recent 2016 Council on Legislation indicate that the message has finally gotten through. Maybe, just maybe, leaders will start delivering the perception that without Rotarians, the Rotary network cannot advance the Object of Rotary.
Is there any chance RI will communicate the perception that it considers membership its top operational priority by offering special training for district membership chairs like it did for District TRF chairs?? Is it possible that The Rotarian and other regional magazines could publish articles on the meaning of The Object of Rotary? That Rotary leaders could encourage districts and clubs to sponsor Object of Rotary speech and/or essay contests with appropriate awards for contestants and their teachers?
* Blinding FLash of the Obvious