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  #1  
Old 05-16-2019, 01:29 PM
martha1872 martha1872 is offline
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Maintaining relevancy in a changing world

In light of a recent thread, I'd like to engage brains in a discussion about affecting organizational change. The previous thread outlined various reasons alumni of a particular group are disenchanted and disgusted with the state of their organization. Through various means, a small group has retained a significant level of power. I'm sure that's true for many organizations too. Not all agree with the direction that this group has been going in though. Concerns are...

1) Increasingly heavy focus on recruitment performance to the detriment of the member experience.

2) Lack of well-rounded opportunities for members resulting in poor affinity to the organization and poor retention among all alumni.

3) Fear of retribution from those in charge if concerns are vocalized and do not align with the philosophy/strategy being used.

4) Odd exchanges of power between international executive board and executive office staff. No boundaries or clear parameters within which each entity operates.

5) Lack of transparency around financial status, especially in light of declining campus enrollments, heavy investments in projects.

6) Negative media attention due to recruitment strategy and lack of desirable qualities outside of appearance.

There were a number of alumni that were upset and clearly had been for some time. Each of them has obviously engaged in conversations with others of the same mindset. All felt equally hopeless to make it better.

So the question for all...in light of increasing scrutiny from the public and universities and a struggle to remain relevant, how do alumni effectively band together to address such organizational dysfunction to the betterment of the group?

Go...
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  #2  
Old 05-16-2019, 03:52 PM
Rod D Rod D is offline
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If you're not involved, you have no standing to complain. Most (80%) are not and thus things are dominated by the 20% that are. So get involved and make something happen.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:09 PM
Curly95 Curly95 is offline
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Originally Posted by Rod D View Post
If you're not involved, you have no standing to complain. Most (80%) are not and thus things are dominated by the 20% that are. So get involved and make something happen.
I am generally not one to comment BUT this is incredibly dismissive and in no way furthers the conversation. I urge you to stay quietly uninvolved and to let people who have actual constructive ideas do the sharing.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:13 PM
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DGTess DGTess is offline
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From my (limited) experience - and this is with another group, not my GLO - the key is to be able to present plans. Without a concrete go-forward option, or several, the powers that be are not willing to develop the "how to" needed to do anything but what they already know.

Sometimes, even a well-crafted plan, with the who-will-do-what-and-when, is not enough. But I've found lack of that plan will fail every time.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:39 PM
Theta1234 Theta1234 is offline
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DGTess—I could not have said it any better. Over the years, I’ve experienced that the best way to create change is to objectively identify an issue—bonus points if you can phrase it in a way that no one seems personally responsible for the problem—and then offer concrete solutions. You can start with some generalized solutions and then follow up with the detailed plans. This allows others to jump in and share their voice, but it doesn’t require creativity on the part of the listener.

People tend to dismiss complainers, but they listen to problem solvers.
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:48 AM
Rod D Rod D is offline
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Originally Posted by Curly95 View Post
I am generally not one to comment BUT this is incredibly dismissive and in no way furthers the conversation. I urge you to stay quietly uninvolved and to let people who have actual constructive ideas do the sharing.
What are you talking about. All I said was stop complaining (the 80%) and get involved (the 20%) to make a change. Sitting on the sideline complaining gets you knowwhere. Give me a break.
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  #7  
Old 05-17-2019, 06:43 AM
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SWTXBelle SWTXBelle is offline
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Those "complaining" are involved; it is indeed dismissive to assume otherwise. Anyone following this controversy knows this. Awaiting "Well, actually . . ."
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:03 PM
bevinpiphi bevinpiphi is offline
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What are you talking about. All I said was stop complaining (the 80%) and get involved (the 20%) to make a change. Sitting on the sideline complaining gets you knowwhere. Give me a break.
Ok. so. What do you do when the 20% are the ones who decide who can be appointed to involvement?
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:47 PM
Rod D Rod D is offline
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Ok. so. What do you do when the 20% are the ones who decide who can be appointed to involvement?
Well you have an uphill battle. You need to work your bylaws. Challenge incumbents at election time -- use proxies. It's definitely hard. You have to ask yourself whether the organization is worth it.
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:48 PM
Rod D Rod D is offline
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Originally Posted by SWTXBelle View Post
Those "complaining" are involved; it is indeed dismissive to assume otherwise. Anyone following this controversy knows this. Awaiting "Well, actually . . ."
You do realize this was a generic post about organizational change. The controversy wasn't hardly mentioned and had been deleted.
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  #11  
Old 05-18-2019, 06:57 AM
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SWTXBelle SWTXBelle is offline
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And there it is. Different wording, but there it is.

And it was NOT a generic post - it very specifically referenced the previous thread. To quote " In light of a recent thread, I'd like to engage brains in a discussion about affecting organizational change. The previous thread outlined various reasons alumni of a particular group are disenchanted and disgusted with the state of their organization. Through various means, a small group has retained a significant level of power. I'm sure that's true for many organizations too. Not all agree with the direction that this group has been going in though. Concerns are.." and then the specific concerns are mentioned.

But let's pretend that yes, it was just a general "how can we make change" post. My point that those outlining the need for change in any group are the 20% still stands. The 80% (where do these percentages come from?) are not cognizant of the need, or are simply apathetic. While I did indeed make an allusion to a specific controversy (which I didn't name, and yet which everyone knew), the post wasn't merely about it, but was in fact more general, if not generic. It truly "wasn't hardly mentioned" (sic).
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Last edited by SWTXBelle; 05-18-2019 at 10:59 AM.
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  #12  
Old 05-19-2019, 05:12 PM
Cheerio Cheerio is offline
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If you're not involved, you have no standing to complain. Most (80%) are not and thus things are dominated by the 20% that are. So get involved and make something happen.
Sometimes "being involved" in the highest levels of a fraternal organization means paying a monetary price, in the form of yearly mandatory personal contributions to each of the philanthropic arms of an organization. This mandatory financial outlay can discourage and detract otherwise highly involved, qualified and capable fraternal members who desire higher office within their org but lack the financial means to be eligible.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:16 PM
Theta1234 Theta1234 is offline
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Cheerio—how right you are. This is true for most non-profit groups. At the higher levels of leadership or board membership, it is typically expected that you are making a certain level of financial contribution. I can see both sides of the issue. However, as the former ED of a non-profit, I viewed a financial contribution as “putting your money where your mouth is” and essential to any leadership role in the organization. After reading some of the above comments, I feel like I should question some of my former beliefs about what would make a good board member.
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  #14  
Old 05-20-2019, 09:58 AM
fraternitynik fraternitynik is offline
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Having read this, here are some thoughts on how to "get involved," because I think most of us are caught up in this outdated presumption that we need permission from that small group of leaders or fraternity/sorority professionals to be involved.

1) Consider writing on Medium or encouraging students to set up accounts on GreekChat etc. Too much of the communication around fraternities/sororities is dominated by special interests (leadership, campus professionals, vendor companies) or the news media. Vocalizing problems AND solutions will help students feel confident.

2) Work with a local chapter or volunteer to understand and create cheat sheets regarding your organizations governing processes. - For example - In my fraternity, any chapter can submit a constitutional amendment at any time and the organization must distribute it to all chapters for a vote within 60 days. That is basically an unknown concept among our members, but beats the heck out of hoping a committee will approve an amendment to be voted on at Convention.

3) Advocate for free association - The best way to do this is to encourage chapters to identify a real niche. In my professional fraternity experience and time as an adviser, I can say that I've turned around 2-3 chapters just by getting their minds off of the 50-60-point checklists o' leadership they need to complete for their campus and by encouraging them to find 1-2 things which make them truly unique and to pursue those entirely. They actually start paying attention to why they are recruiting people.

4) Voice opposition to "general" statements. Almost every time the NIC says that "we" support something, I am the little bugger that asks when they polled the membership. My fraternity has reversed its policy of endorsing legislation and our Grand Council changed an ageist bylaw in part because I and a few other members sent emails and tweets at the right time. Our leaders are obsessed with their public image - I promise you that something as simple as a tweet from a knowledgeable member has exceptional power.

Just some thoughts. They may sound stupid, but the gist is Help students understand where they do have power to teach them to become leaders. We don't become leaders by marking good deeds off of a checklist and talking trash behind "nationals" back.
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  #15  
Old 05-20-2019, 10:55 AM
Rod D Rod D is offline
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Originally Posted by Cheerio View Post
Sometimes "being involved" in the highest levels of a fraternal organization means paying a monetary price, in the form of yearly mandatory personal contributions to each of the philanthropic arms of an organization. This mandatory financial outlay can discourage and detract otherwise highly involved, qualified and capable fraternal members who desire higher office within their org but lack the financial means to be eligible.
It can. And at some point you'll need to determine if the organization is worth the time, effort, and financial cost.
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