Thursday, March 26, 2009

Meetings and Governance

I have had several meetings this week. Big volunteer led, policy setting type meetings. As I look back on them, I see two things that would have made the meetings much better.

First, is clearer governance. It would have been great if all parties at each meeting were familiar with the current policies and governance areas. I don't blame them for not being familiar though. We have done a poor job of organizing them in an easy to read and understand manner, as well as updating them as times have changed.

Do yourself and your volunteers a favor. Put everything in plain English in easy to find places on your website. And don't be late on updating documents and policies as they need it. Change is easier incrementally.

The second issue I had was the use of Robert's Rules. Being near the center of government, it seems as if I have too many people in meetings who know Robert's Rules. However, I think these ancient rules sometimes hinder actually getting things done. I wish I could just stand up, take over, spell out the issue and have people vote. It would save time, shrink confusion, and get it done.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Creating Volunteers

So, I keep getting tagged to post on a bunch of topics. Thank goodness, because I have been bad about posting. This is good incentive. Here is the latest.

Peggy Hoffman has asked me to share five short-term, ad-hoc volunteer jobs I’d love to have.

I am not going to lie, this took a long time to figure out. There are some volunteer things out there that I wish I did, like the Big Brother program. But I wanted to come up with a few that I am not sure are even out there.

1. Watching TV pilots for potential new shows
2. Being part of the committee that chooses the future World Cup sites
3. Review start-up business plans for Angel investors or VCs
4. Some sort of wine tasting volunteer
5. Teach real life skills to professional athletes - I think I could keep them out of trouble.

**I started writing this post a month ago, but just now finished it. I actually forgot I had started it until I did my last post. Sorry Peggy.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Little Something Extra

I recently ordered a bunch of custom apparel to recognize our volunteers. In the shipment, I got 1 extra of something I ordered as well as 1 extra custom piece I didn't order. In the box was a slick postcard saying:
Here's an extra surprise! As a special thank you, we've included an extra item or tow for you. Thank you for your business.

I am sure the extra items I got were mistakes or overruns. But talk about a way to make lemonade out of lemons.

This was the first time I used this company. Do you think I will use them again? You bet. 2 days after I placed the order, I received an email offer from the same company offering one of the items I bought for $5 cheaper than the price I paid. I was a little bummed, but I sent an email and they gave me the cheaper price.

A little something extra goes a long way. And if you can turn one of your mistakes into something extra for a member/customer, even better.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Totally Random Thoughts for this Snowy March Day

I have been thinking I need to post something, but nothing in my head has warranted a full post. So, I am putting together a few random thoughts today.

Somehow I have started getting Details magazine. I didn't subscribe or ask for it, but I started getting it. What a crappy magazine. This month's issue has its first piece of actual content on page 80. Page 80!!! Useless.

I have put a few things for sale on Craigslist. I can't believe how many scam responses I got. People wanting me to ship to Africa for an extra $50. Really?

What is with it the TV networks? We aren't that far into the season and we are getting reruns? The networks wonder why ratings are down and people are watching online. Maybe because their content isn't fresh enough.

NFL free agency is in full swing. The Redskins are back to their old ways of spending lots of cash. It will be interesting to see how the season plays out.

I know I had a few more, so I may post again if I can remember them.