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Old 08-26-2008, 10:59 AM   #85
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In our small town, the local Rotary ran out of steam a few years ago. After 80 years of service, the Woman's Club folded this year. This same phenomena is happening everywhere. It's easy to dismiss this by saying younger generations just aren't interested, but the situation is more complex than that. Older social or civic organization are often run by older people, sometimes folks who have been in the Lion's Club or Optimists or whatever for decades. I've seen younger members come into these organizations and become frustrated because they encounter a "this is the way we've always done it" mentality. I don't know anything about WBCCI, but I have seen this same dynamic play out in places from local governments to churches to fraternal orders. When someone starts beating someone else over the head with a rule book, you know things are winding down

The reason the Air Forums work is that this is a 21st century model of social networking and organization. The organization is open. The rules are fairly simple. What happens here doesn't depend on leadership or rule books... it depends on the willingness for one person to help another. Communication is dynamic and in real time. Users can change the organization to better suit their needs in an ad hoc, informal way. The flat system allows people to come and go freely while minimizing the loss to the whole. The forums don't grind to a halt because the person who always scheduled the campground is out for medical reasons.

Our local Rotary and Woman's Club were full of great people. Wonderful, hardworking dedicated residents who really contributed to the community. The problem, however, is that the world changed far faster than their organizations. The more bureaucratic, the more rigid, the more rulebound an organization, the faster it become irrelevant in a rapidly evolving culture. The organizations that thrive are those that allow members to "reinvent" the organization repeatedly. Success is not about better rules; it's about fewer rules. Retention is not about better leaders; it's about empowering members. People are just as willing to network and "join" as ever... how they do it, though, is changing every day.

Great insight and very valid points. Thank you. I wish that I could have said it.

I especially like and agree with your statement, "when someone starts beating someone else over the head with a rule book, you know things are winding down".

What you have said has made me stop and think. I now have a kinder, gentler attitude toward the leadership of WBCCI. They are not bad people; they just can't come to grips with the new and evolving dynamics of the Airstream community. Hopefully they will read and digeast your post.

Brian
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:17 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hampstead38
...The reason the Air Forums work is that this is a 21st century model of social networking and organization. The organization is open. The rules are fairly simple. What happens here doesn't depend on leadership or rule books...
Keep in mind that the "simple rule" that keeps things civil here on the Air forums is that most of the posts that "promote disharmony and ill will" are deleted.

Based on the Air forums example, one could argue that the heavy hand of the IBT is not heavy enough. You won't hear that argument from me though.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:28 AM   #87
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Thanks for the kind words.

I think the challenge is that the "conventional wisdom" on building a great volunteer or membership organization is increasingly obsolete. What used to work fairly well, doesn't anymore. We have an entire fabric of clubs and associations that is slowly fading away.

Change is hard. When you are a proven leader with a long track record of success, change is even harder. It's a basic human instinct to trust what we know. If we've started a fire with a wooden match 1000 times, chances are we're going to keep trying, even in the wind and rain. Every person, every organization, faces the natural tendency to fall into a rut. "This is the way we've always done it." One of the primary jobs of a leader in today's world is to keep an organization fluid, open, dynamic, evolving. What worked yesterday may not work today. Even the best and brightest (and most outrageously paid) leaders have trouble with this. I'm not going to say anything unkind about a group of well-intended decent people trying, in good faith, to light a fire in a monsoon.

Oh, as for deleting posts... I didn't come here to participate in the Airstream debating society. I'm here to gain information and help other people with a shared interest. I think most of us have seen Internet forums where a handful of people seem to make a career out of picking fights and splitting hairs. To the extent people post with common sense and common courtesy, the moderators should not find any reason to delete posts. Knowing that that there is some level of moderation probably forces people to be a bit more temperate in their comments.

Another aspect of a 21st century organization is that it is self-policing and self-selecting. I've been posting for awhile and no one's handed me a rule book or told me my flags were crooked. The basic message is, "Be nice." OK. To the best of my knowledge, the moderators are members of the community. I haven't seen any evidence they hold themselves to a different standard. In fact, that we can have this conversation suggest the Air Forums as a social network will outlast many "bricks-and-mortar" (or "tin-and-tires") organizations. Sure, it's imperfect, but it's always evolving.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:46 AM   #88
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I have been doing some research on the WBCCI and the 4CU unit, and to let you all know I sent my application in this morning to join...

Don't know if I will attend any International rallies but Love what the local Unit does and am Interested in Participating in what they do... I am however going to stay out of the political stuff as for reasons I have already stated..

Thanks JIMMINI for the info.
Your welcome, Good to have you.I hope to see you soon at one of our rallies.
There is no political talk at our rallies,just good camping fun.
If there is any others that are looking for a realey unit to join please look at the 4 corners unit www.airstreamingnewmexico.info/4cornersunit.htm
Come join use and have fun camping.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:52 AM   #89
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Our WBCCI/4CU membership application is going in the mail today! The many posts from WBCCI members and the interaction between AirForums/WBCCI members and the current WBCCI President gives me hope for Bob's reinstatement and for evolution of the organization to meet the needs of all members.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:59 AM   #90
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Our WBCCI/4CU membership application is going in the mail today! The many posts from WBCCI members and the interaction between AirForums/WBCCI members and the current WBCCI President gives me hope for Bob's reinstatement and for evolution of the organization to meet the needs of all members.

Congratulations! You have made a good decision.

Brian
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:51 PM   #91
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WOW! This is like being at the inlaws on Thanksgiving 5 minutes after the fun runs out. We're MALS cause we're new and wanted time to check out what club was best for us and the club. After this I think I'll stay a MAL as long as possible cause as many have said before I don't want or need the politics in my rare free time. I want to camp and for a few short days a couple of times a year, want to spend quality time with my family and camping friends. As far as needing my so called new blood, mine is 56 years old and has not the engery or patience for city hall. All are welcome through my threshold! Just leave the baggage outside and lets have some fun.
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:54 PM   #92
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WOW! This is like being at the inlaws on Thanksgiving 5 minutes after the fun runs out. We're MALS cause we're new and wanted time to check out what club was best for us and the club. After this I think I'll stay a MAL as long as possible cause as many have said before I don't want or need the politics in my rare free time. I want to camp and for a few short days a couple of times a year, want to spend quality time with my family and camping friends. As far as needing my so called new blood, mine is 56 years old and has not the engery or patience for city hall. All are welcome through my theshold! Just leave the baggage outside and lets have some fun.
Go ahead and join a unit! It's doubtful that you'll see much politicking at a unit rally!


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Old 08-26-2008, 01:02 PM   #93
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If I wanted in-fighting and feuding, I could go to a family reunion!
Amen.

The "politics" of the WBCCI make me question whether or not I want to renew each year. The rub is, if we "vote with our feet", then we loose. Everyone says, "stay in the club and help make it better," but if we do, then we aren't voting with our feet. If we vote with our feet, then we aren't making a difference in the club. The leadership just says, "we need to attract new members, those that leave the club be damned."

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Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
What you have said has made me stop and think. I now have a kinder, gentler attitude toward the leadership of WBCCI. They are not bad people; they just can't come to grips with the new and evolving dynamics of the Airstream community. Hopefully they will read and digeast your post.

Brian
I agree with you whole-heartedly, Brian. They are not bad people. They are just people that are out of touch. They are people that have been out of the business world for too long and don't realize the changing dynamics of people in general. We who are still working allow the strategic planning we do at work to spill over into our private lives whether we realize it or not. This "paradigm shift" has affected every aspect of our life, including our down time.

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Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
I think the challenge is that the "conventional wisdom" on building a great volunteer or membership organization is increasingly obsolete. What used to work fairly well, doesn't anymore. We have an entire fabric of clubs and associations that is slowly fading away.

Change is hard. When you are a proven leader with a long track record of success, change is even harder. It's a basic human instinct to trust what we know.
This is another point I agree with. Look at "The Rally" with Good Sam's Club. They regularly attract more attendees than the International. Their membership numbers may be on the decline, but they are making a concerted effort to change that.

But look at their rally. It is managed and organized primarily by a event organization consultant. It is not organized by volunteers that have to be subsidized for five weeks in advance of the rally every year to compensate for one to three hours per day of volunteering and one to three hours of happy hour per day and site seeing day trips! It is professionally organized and has first rate, professional lecturers and celebrity entertainers. They have far more vendors and lots more things to do. AND, their rally fees are no more than the International's fees are AND their fee includes 30 amp service to boot.

I think people in general today, whether retired or still working, are busy and have lots going on and really don't want to do a lot of volunteering in their organizations. I know with two young sons (one in elementary school and one in middle school) and my wife and I both work, we don't have time to volunteer. When we have time off from work, be it a week or a weekend, we want to go camping, not do more work. I think the International is going to have to be revamped, not all at once, but a reasonable amount each year, in order to attract a wider audience of attendees.
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:10 PM   #94
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That's correct there is very little politics at the rally's, most don't know about the IBT or the way the board functions and they don't need to.

Although I say a few things herein about certain WBCCI issues trust me I camp with many friends and rarely talk about this stuff.

My free time is valuable, but since I met Bob last year in Pensacola I feel bad that a man and his wife as dedicated as they have been for over 30 years gets booted out by a person with his own agenda.

A complaint or grievance should be filed against Jim Franklin for what he did not only to Bob but now Leo Garvey.

Leo is the sencond VP of our Metro NY unit, he is to installaed as the president on 9-21, then he must face a hearing two days later to be booted.

Yes he's outspoken about what he saw as incorrect and voiced his opinion after all he thought he was in America.
[/size][/font][font=Verdana][size=2]Jim Franklin from far, far away that know nothing of our great Metro Unit have been targeting our new incoming Metro President for a long time.

The bosses of WBCCI are attacking any and all that don't agree with them.

I don't need to tell you what Leo has done for our unit and the club, but off the top of my head - he developed our website..

Our memorable 50th Anniversary at Fort Schyler Rally
The 2nd Fort Schlyler Rally
Our upcoming Wine Rally
Leo has always volunteered - whether it was to take a panoramic photo, set up a tour in NYC or just clean up and pick up the gofer hole after a rally.

How about when the "bosses" tried to do the name change - it was Leo that demonstrated how the Thor and Airstream corporation would have extreme control over our club - it was SOUNDLY defeated by our members.

Then the "bosses" tried to shove SOB Motorhomes into our Airstream Club - it too was SOUNDLY defeated when voted on and thanks with the help of Leo for telling us "The Rest of the Story".

I am angry and I am not going to stand by and let them do this to any member of our unit! I want to go camping with my friends, I want to be left alone -but- our leaders in WBCCI just keep creating more and more controversy - they seem to be systematically DISMANTLING this great club.
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:15 PM   #95
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:20 PM   #96
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Oh, as for deleting posts...To the extent people post with common sense and common courtesy, the moderators should not find any reason to delete posts.
Much more "disappears" than you might think. As a practice, this forum is much more heavy handed than the current IBT's actions. Granted, the ramifications of being suspended from the forum are much less severe than a suspention from the WBCCI.

In a simplistic form, both organizations have a "be nice" policy and an administration that is able to enforce it as it sees fit. I'm saying it happens in both cases.
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:27 PM   #97
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Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another:reson and force.If you want me to do somthing for you,you have a choice of either convncing me via argument,or force.Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories,without exception.Reason or force that's it.
In a truly moral and civilized society people exclusively interact through persuasion ,force has no place as a valid method of social interaction.
Looks to me Bob used persuasion and WBCCI used force.
I wouldnt lie to you that the honky tonk truth.
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Old 08-26-2008, 03:49 PM   #98
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Our WBCCI/4CU membership application is going in the mail today! The many posts from WBCCI members and the interaction between AirForums/WBCCI members and the current WBCCI President gives me hope for Bob's reinstatement and for evolution of the organization to meet the needs of all members.
Congratulations and welcome! We joined after our first rally in April. Everyone we have met so far have been great and we are looking forward to meeting many more great folks during the next two rallys we are attending. We look forward to meeting you soon!
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