Feedback or Fed-up?
During the last article I wrote about folks approaching officers to discuss the Association, and the positive consideration that brings to us. It's always a pleasure to hear something of support from a member. However, there remains another side of the issue that was discussed in our annual meeting, and it does require attention from all. Our communications need to become a full dialogue amongst the membership, not just a monologue from the leadership in this Association.
The Executive leaders at the meeting recognized and are willing to address their responsibilities to inform the membership of the substance we find to be important to the Association currently, and our direction to take for resolving the items we find, plus watch for prospective issues to determine import to members and how to address them. All of us are committing to try writing something to reach out to our Association with information, concerns and items of interest. There might be more to the difficulties, but I want to point out two issues for now.
As each new article gets started I go through an exercise - you may "know the drill":
I set my mind to some attitude of positive, stimulating and informing kind of status - put away troubles, clear the cobwebs, get into the AMCA activities (current and upcoming) and associate with some topics. The latter is usually the hard part. Unless you're writing fiction, you can't make this stuff up! So, even when I have taken days on the article, I sometimes read it over and think, "Who wants to read this nonsense?!" Getting the right topic, now that is the challenge.
- Medium: Chorister or Website
The first area of concern is the medium we utilize, and the coverage we expect from it. Another way to understand the problem is to state that we only have "X" number of readers for the Chorister, and "Y" number of visits to the Website for any given "article of address" sent to our membership (with "X" and "Y" currently being a very small percentage of the Association members). So as we send information, or ask feedback, we can expect little return for the effort - which makes for poor communications. The question is whether the means used to communicate is at fault, but we are now using both to cover basically the same information.
A plan was determined at the meeting which states simply:
Each chorus is to designate two individuals for receiving and sending information across the Internet (email) for AMCA.
These men will check the Website (probably twice each week) and bring information to the chorus from the Website. They can also collect return thoughts from the chorus and send them to the appropriate source for answering. The emphasis is placed on the Website due to the Chorister still being mailed. Items are available faster and cheaper on the Website. Also, and importantly, the Website is faster for massed connections to the Association.
Interactive: Getting a response!
The importance of the second issue currently remains insignificant to the majority. Each member must individually recognize an important part of communication is response, interaction - it must become reciprocal to become effective. Leaders feel that without feedback no one else is listening, or what they have to offer is irrelevant, and question if the direction they take is going the wrong way (at least for the general membership). In this scenario, one person complaining could become the singular important response that turns everyone's attention 180 degrees to the opposite, just because that person said something, even if, sadly, all indications earlier had determined that was the wrong direction. We need more involvement! We need to know what you want.
Send An Email
I empathize with two sides here, as a member and as an officer. In some ways the individual member has less to deal with if he criticizes and complains - leaving it to someone else to resolve after he calls the problem. Then, as an officer, he can state his case, follow the progress (or lack thereof) and know more of the resolve, even take some credit maybe. You can't play it safe though, you understand, or you just write a bunch of "politically correct" trash - like sound bites but dumber (because of the expanse).
Now here's my point for all to heed: You send me the items, the issues, the "inquiring minds want to know" ideas, and I'll do my best to accommodate your requests.
(See: Submit Polls | Submit Feedback)
Send An Email
That's it! Short and simple! Folks following these articles for any time have read about me seeking contributions for the website and the newsletter so we can have a stream of information running that will interest members and stimulate others. Fact is, we are not sure anybody gives a hoot out there.
Do you folks even want a newsletter? ... or a website?
Send An Email
Do you want these articles written? ... by anybody?
Do you want to hear from someone else?
Do you want to read any topic besides what we have been writing?
How It Should Work!
1. Choruses watch for news:Send An Email
So we start this trial process, which is to be implemented by the start of next fiscal year, to designate chorus members for watching the website and reporting to the chorus. The potential is there to make the system work for our advantage. We trust all choruses can find the volunteers to accommodate their chorus, and please contact me if this cannot happen in your chorus.
2. Officers deliver the news:Send An Email
As leaders try their hand at informing, and members respond to the information, we can build the foundation of "Good Fellowship" stronger, better. Thanks for your efforts, gentlemen!
3. Readers/Members Respond