Why Organization's Fail

Rotary didn't stop developing membership because people were not interested in joining local Rotary clubs. Recent membership metrics have proven that. It stopped growing because Rotary and its member clubs became product oriented instead of member oriented. They marketed the results of the Object of Rotary instead of its value to its member clubs and Rotarians - its customers - those who fund its operations.

Red Text Note

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Rotary's Image

Rotary and Strategic Plans - Part IV of IV Parts

The image (reputation) of Rotary International (RI) is a fundamental instrument in influencing how Rotarians and non-Rotarians view Rotary. RI's image is a valuable component of its differentiating identity. The image cannot be blurry because it is defined by those who view Rotary from outside of the association.  Rotary's image:
·  attracts groups of people who may be interested in becoming association members,
· stimulates the attention of people who may become members of local clubs,
·     influences RI's image in competitive markets and cooperative endeavors,
·     attracts people to become club, district, zone, and international leaders,
·     arouses the interest of people who may wish to be employees of RI,
·     helps retain employees and member clubs, and/or
RI's People of Action campaign could be a major factor in whether or not RI goes up or down in its core business.  Extreme care must be taken in how the campaign is received in the social fabrics of core supporters because the phrase People of Action can imply that Rotarians are:
·  people who act without thinking,
·  people who act without discussing and/or thinking through the pros and cons,
·  people who are willing to try to solve any major issue that comes along, or
·  judgmental and believe that only Rotarians are People of Action.
     RI's strategic plan should consider all of these issues because RI's future depends on (1) RI actually delivering a differentiating identity, (2) when it begins actively promoting the People of Action campaign, and (3) how the campaign is received by its core supporters. RI leaders, communications specialists, and public image coordinators must realize that communication occurs only when those who receive the message understand and believe it.  If RI proves itself capable of delivering a differentiating identity to its member clubs then properly promotes its People of Action campaign, its reputation should soar.  HOWEVER, even if the People of Action campaign projects the desired message throughout the network, but RI fails to deliver its differentiating image to core supporters, its reputation will slide downhill faster than an avalanche.
This is the fourth and final segment of Retention Central's Rotatorials on developing a strategic plan.  Perhaps it has helped readers understand that creating or updating a strategic plan for a legacy international organization like RI is an important, time consuming, and complicated task.  If clubs, districts, or zones are creating or updating strategic plans, the same fundamental principles will apply.