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Old 12-15-2013, 01:16 PM   #113
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Dan, the matter that Gene was thinking about involves the nominating committee, which he believes will skew future elections. Quite apart from the fact that the IBT is mostly populated by region presidents, over whom members have a lot of say, he also ignores the "other side of the coin," namely, that the nominating committee is tasked with begging for people to step forward to leadership positions, much as is seen at the unit level as well. All fine and good, but irrelevant to the present discussion.

The fact is that doing things like belonging to RV clubs (and very likely more) is just no longer attractive to as many people. This applies across the board to the WBCCI and to the other major RV clubs. The purpose of this thread is to address this situation with suggestions for ways in which we can accommodate newer or different interests. Get real with new ways to get new people interested in joining our club.


Lynn
First, I am aware that finding capable people is the plight of nominating committees for nonprofits everywhere. However, if the people with all the good ideas on this thread don't run for office, nothing changes. Then the nominating committee might have some choices.

I applaud Lynn's effort to generate positive ideas, and I agree with Smartstream that if the reformers are not running things, things don't change. I hope some of the people posting in this thread decide to run, communicate with each other through PM's, develop a strategy, challenge the leadership at every chance, make these and other ideas their campaign ideas, take over and make the club something that I would want to join. One of the ideas not mentioned is finding a way to change the process by which people advance through the leadership—it appears to take too much time and by the time someone gets to the top (if they stick it out), they may have been co-opted. A small group working together with simple messages can make a difference—but, as I said before, it is more work than many want to do (me included).

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Old 12-15-2013, 03:19 PM   #114
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The reformers, as you put it, Gene, are running things, as far as I can tell. But that does not mean that they couldn't use some more ideas on what things might be added to the club in order to attract new members. And that's what this thread is all about.


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Old 12-15-2013, 03:39 PM   #115
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Adding new things is good, and I am all for it However I know a lot of people who did join but never came back for year 2. It is possible at least part of the reason is things we are already doing.
I know I would like to see less formality, no suits and ties or other uniforms, no flag ceremonies and No religion before eating . Saying the pledge of allegiance at meetings reminds me of grade school ( besides it is an international club).
As any organization ages it develops a lot of baggage. We have pages and pages of how to fly the flag, How to wear your badge, how to display your numbers etc and one encounter with the "badge police" will turn off any new member.
A few years ago an attempt was made to upgrade the constitution and bylaws but it was not successful. Part of the problem stems from International officers not being in power long enough to make changes. If the next prez does not share the same agenda it is all over
Probably the way to change these things is one item at a time and it will be slow and then take a while for the benefits to show.

I am not looking for new benefits as much as I would like to see a lot of the old stuff go away.
Now that I have stepped on toes I will end my rant.
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Old 12-15-2013, 04:09 PM   #116
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I agree, Rick. Part of this is just poor advanced planning, much as we see in a lot of the state constitutions around the country. (Did you know that it's illegal for you to carry wire cutters around in your truck in Texas? Baggage from the state constitution.)

Meanwhile, as in many states, we ignore this stuff until we've got time to fiddle with it and work on improvements to attract new members. Hence this thread.


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Old 12-15-2013, 05:46 PM   #117
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A few years ago an attempt was made to upgrade the constitution and bylaws but it was not successful. Part of the problem stems from International officers not being in power long enough to make changes. If the next prez does not share the same agenda it is all over
Probably the way to change these things is one item at a time and it will be slow and then take a while for the benefits to show.
Maybe what the organization needs is a Working Group. Let me use Corps of Engineers as an example. Safety is a hot-button issue at Corps of Engineers, and every single fatality is rightly seen as a failure of the system. But the problem is, any Chief of Engineers holds the position for about three years, and then is replaced by the next general officer. Not a lot of continuity among leadership; each leader has his own priorities. Which are not helped by Congressional shenanigans that cut budgets just when we need to pay for improvements, but let's not dwell on what can't be fixed. Being responsive to the needs of the organization is a problem that CAN be fixed, with the right approach.

In response to the safety problem, CoE formulated Working Groups to address specific safety issues. I'm on the Fall Protection working group. We don't address folks tripping over loose carpet and such; it's about falls from heights where you might actually have time to say "Oh, my God!" twice before you go 'splat' and get to meet him in person. There are about half a dozen other working groups that each address very specific safety issues.

The relevant thing about the working group is its composition. Exactly one member is at Headquarters level, and that person is on the group specifically to do two things: (1) provide direction to make sure the group stays focused on the problem at hand; (2) make sure the solutions developed by the group actually get implemented throughout the organization. All the rest of the members are volunteers (surprisingly few of which were "voluntold") at the lowest possible level, those actually doing the dangerous work that could get them killed. And scattered over the entirely of the Corps of Engineers. In most cases, there aren't even two members on the working group from the same District. On my Working Group, we've got people from Portland, Rock Island, New Orleans, Tulsa, and others, all over the country. We meet just once a year for three days, and the rest of the time we communicate by phone and e-mail. And in the two years we've been doing this, we've been very productive and successful.

How is that relevant to WBCCI? If you've got a task that needs to be done, like completely overhauling the Constitution and Bylaws, upper management is exactly the wrong group to go about it.

WBCCI has a diverse membership. Many are retired, of course, but before they retired, they collectively did a lot of different jobs. I'm an engineer. For a large portion of my career, I wrote technical specifications for maintenance, repair, and improvements to navigation and flood control structures. There are other WBCCI members, who may not be club officers at ANY level, who specialized in Contract Law before they retired, or managed corporate accounts, or even administered NPOs. Or any of a thousand other jobs, many of which involved dealing with legal systems, bureaucracy, and organizations.

But the point is, the expertise to rewrite an NPO's constitution and bylaws effectively is out there, and already within the existing organization. Rather than getting club officers to do the task, get the in-house experts to do the task, in their own Working Group. Ask for volunteers. Evaluate the volunteers on their expertise, not on their relationship with existing club officers. Select the ones best suited to the task. Give them clear direction, and a reasonable due date, then step back and let them produce a product, without nudging their elbows at every turn.

And just to ensure that leadership's direction doesn't change before the end product is produced, get the Second or Third Veep to select the working group membership, with the end product due by the time that person becomes President, so that the new Constitution can be voted on during his presidential term. Then dissolve the working group until you need a different group to tackle a different task.

If it were me, the clear direction given would be, "Write the bare-bones minimum Constitution necessary for WBCCI to be legal, efficient, and responsive to the needs of the membership, in plain English rather than legalese." With zero emphasis on dress codes, badges, secret handshakes, or anything else that is mere elitist window-dressing.

First draft would ideally be to merely strike-through anything in the existing Constitution and Bylaws that does not directly contribute to the legality, efficiency, or responsiveness of the organization, without changing anything else just yet. They may find out that pruning away the deadwood is all that's needed. But if that's not enough, then they can move to second-draft phase, where they start changing the remaining text to meet the stated requirements.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:02 PM   #118
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Interesting.
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:07 PM   #119
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Tell you what: If you'd like to start a new thread about revising the constitution and by-laws as opposed to coming up with activities that attract new, younger members to the club, I can even help you out if you need it. We can start a brand-new thread called, say, "Toward Revising the WBCCI Constitution and By-Laws."

Otherwise, please focus your attention on adding activities or events or offerings that we might consider to attract those many (new) buyers of (new) Airstreams who are not joining the club!


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Old 12-16-2013, 08:35 PM   #120
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...snip...
please focus your attention on adding activities or events or offerings that we might consider to attract those many (new) buyers of (new) Airstreams who are not joining the club!


Lynn
Your premise (which I'm glad to work with) assumes (I think) that different events/offerings than those currently offered are required to draw those not joining. I admire where you're going with this - and - I think the reason you've needed to intervene so often on your question is possibly due to the myriad of non-events/offerings reasons members here assume have kept people from joining.

Having said that - here are some events/offerings that may (or may not) increase membership:

- weekend community service rallies (Fri night dinner/orientation, Saturday work day, Sunday breakfast, debrief, depart). Could be cleaning up parks, removing graffiti, visiting kids/elderly in hospitals, feeding the homeless, etc.

- mini caravans for charity; sort of like those walks for the cure, only you raise pledges by the mile driven in the caravan. Would likely be 1000 miles or less over a weekend (might be hard to do mutli-week caravans for the aspiring retirees :-) ).

- WBCCI JamFests - musicians have at it with some sessions recorded and made available to WBCCI members to download for free.

- WBCCI "Chopped" competitions. Regional winners compete for national slots. Recipes gathered annually for WBCCI member cookbooks (iPad, kindle, or paper at member's choice)

- Camping Training: everything you thought you knew but were afraid to admit you didn't. Or, "what you don't know actually CAN hurt you"

- regional rallies with Airstream technicians who do maintenance inspections and minor repairs for free, moderate repairs at a discount and service discounts of 20% at Jackson Center

- quarterly conference calls with Airstream executives. Here's what we like, here's what we don't. Fun new features to consider. Historical insights, etc.

- trailer maneuvering competition - prizes include upgrades installed at your local dealer.

- discounted ownership opportunities at Airstream parks.

Just a few thoughts....
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:40 PM   #121
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Exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for! Keep it up!

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Old 12-16-2013, 08:54 PM   #122
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Exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for! Keep it up!

Lynn
So why the frown? ;-)
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:54 PM   #123
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Might I humbly suggest that the "many (new) buyers of (new) Airstreams who are not joining the club!" are not doing so because of the activities the club offers, but the experience

They live a life style. Independent, adventuresome, exciting. An airstream is just a means to an adventure it is not about activities but the experience. It doesn't matter really what the activity is, it is the experience you share with your significant other or close friends. It is a mind set...... not a place, or thing, or activity but the path. You have to focus on the experience above all else, not the activity.

I apologize if this is perceived as off topic. If you try and sell a dog to a person looking for a jeep, most will not buy it, and those who do will either love the dog and take it for a ride in a jeep they get elsewhere or take it to the pound and get rid of it. But most will not take the dog in the first place since they really were looking for a jeep. Laugh, but it is just that simple and absurd.

In my humble opinion trying to sell the ACTIVE market share who buy a new airstream on activities is just .. well it just is. Activities are secondary, friendship, adventure, experience is primary. To be close with their family, to have fun with their friends, to live. Wally knew this. Wally sold this, not aluminum but adventure. That is how the WBCCI started....from a marketing campaign. They met on a caravan (designed to draw attention to airstream) and they decided to keep in touch. But now a days everyone is in touch, real time,via FB, twitter, google plus, instagram, pinterest, etc. Why do they need a club to do what they already do everyday?
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:03 PM   #124
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I don't think that's off-topic, Dave or Felicia (or Felicia or Dave). For many, it's only about the Airstream experience. Is there anything that you think the WBCCI could do that would enhance that experience or make the experience more intense for new buyers?

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Old 12-16-2013, 09:04 PM   #125
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MY BAD! I meant to use a smiley, but got it wrong.

Lynn

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So why the frown? ;-)
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:07 PM   #126
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MY BAD! I meant to use a smiley, but got it wrong.

Lynn
I know - I'm just playin with ya ;-)
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