News — January 01, 2000

Membership Strategy Forum Addresses Junior Chamber’s N

GROWTH is an absolute necessity; it is no longer an option! —2001 JCI President Georges A. Bouverat You attract bees with honey. You do not attract bees by sending a thousand other bees after them to aggressively recruit them to join a 
GROWTH is an absolute necessity; it is no longer an option! —2001 JCI President Georges A. Bouverat You attract bees with honey. You do not attract bees by sending a thousand other bees after them to aggressively recruit them to join a “honey-less” hive. It is 2001, and young people have different expectations and interests than 10 years ago. We need to fine-tune this organization and develop a package that is attractive to these potential new members. But most of all, if we tell them who we are and what we do, they will join. —Patrick W. Knight (age 28; 2001 Chapter President of the Coconut Grove Jaycees, Miami, Florida) Membership Strategy Forum Addresses Junior Chamber’s Number One Issue To discuss the complete reengineering of Junior Chamber’s membership growth and development policies, a Membership Strategy Forum was held at the JCI Headquarters on June 20–23, 2001, the week before the Midyear Executive Committee Meeting that received their recommendations. The objectives of the Forum were to: 1.Design a new membership strategy and policy, considering organizational consequences. 2.Produce new recruitment and retention modules. 3.Create a blueprint for LOMs and NOMs (minimum requirements). 4.Develop guidelines for quality and quantity. Change is a Business Opportunity JCI President Georges A. Bouverat warmly welcomed the Forum’s initiative and stressed the importance of their endeavor to Junior Chamber’s future: …Again welcome to our World Headquarters and remember that GROWTH is an absolute necessity; it is no longer an option! Warmest wishes for a very successful and fruitful deliberation as Entrepreneurs in Action! The Forum, masterfully led by Chairman Jo Krill from The Nether?lands, represented every Area and a wide selection of different types of NOMs and diverse, passionate opinions. The NOM Presidents on the Forum stressed how honored and excited they were to come to the JCI Headquarters and be selected for this important mission at this crucial time in Junior Chamber’s evolution. During the four-day meeting, the Forum analyzed and discussed 380 pages of ideas in position papers, as well as the views and analyses of contributing NOMs, LOMs and individual members, identifying the “hot issues” that had to be addressed. The subcommittees, created to deal with specific objectives separately, presented their results. The draft report listed 102 draft recommendations, which included minority opinions. Tough Balancing Act A highlight of the four-day intense meetings and plenary sessions was a high-energy training exercise led by JCI Executive Vice President Fernando Sanchez Arias from Venezuela. He divided members into two teams and challenged them to balance nails suspended in the air on top a single nail. He said this exercise could be solved in four minutes and three seconds (the record), or could take as long as three days. Although both teams came up with some very creative possible solutions, neither solved the puzzle correctly in the 15 minutes allowed. Yet all were delighted, entertained and enlightened from the exercise, which Sanchez said was to demonstrate they needed to think creatively, strategically, long-term and “outside of the box” to create the membership growth solutions Junior Chamber needs. The one nail upon which all the other nails must rest is Junior Chamber International—its values, Creed, corporate identity and history. In the extensive and intensive negotiations and discussions, the Forum used one litmus test for every proposal: will this idea help Junior Chamber grow? The Sky’s the Limit JCI Secretary General Benny Ellerbe urged the Forum to do whatever necessary to achieve growth: “You can make a difference; this Forum can make a difference. Come up with new ideas, new approaches to the way we do things and how we deal with challenges and growth problems. There are no sacred cows. The sky is the limit. Be honest and recommend anything that will help chapters grow. You were handpicked to be here, and to bring the history and experiences of your NOMs. Be creative. As Chairman Krill said, we must address how to attract members and whether we are attracting the right kind of members. Membership is the lifeblood of our organization.” Quality—A Hot Topic The issue of “quality” was one of the hottest topics, debated with often-intense emotion. The Forum agreed that focus on “quality” will lead to long-term, sustainable growth, but found it very challenging to arrive at a consensus on an exact definition of “quality.” Chairman Krill stressed that “quality” is not a matter of education or income: “’Quality’ Junior Chamber members are young people who are professionally-minded with a means of livelihood. They are members who feel a great responsibility in all questions concerning economical, political and social issues, who have the urge to shape their communities and their future, commit themselves, and are in a network that offers them great opportunities—JCI.” At the close of the forum Saturday night, Senior Director for Growth and Development Desmond Alufohai challenged each attending NOM President to take the dynamic proposals for growth and development hammered out and negotiated over the four days and sell them passionately, and be ambassadors of this experience in their national Junior Chambers. A final report will be submitted to General Assembly at the Barcelona JCI World Congress. Chairman Krill summarized the forum’s observations in his presentation to MYE: Forum Observations ? We became aware of our current position in the global society. ? We shared knowledge and experience about growth and development. ? We came up with strategic recommendations to the Executive Committee of JCI. ? Forum members became agents of change. Recommendation Highlights Strategy, Policy, and Organizational Consequences 1. Place strategic focus on Junior Chamber’s product. ? Provide the right environment for entrepreneurship development at JCI conferences and congresses to match JCI’s slogan, Entrepreneurs in Action. ? Request that the JCI Business Academy seek affiliation with a renowned business school. 2. Match identity with product and positioning in the market. ? Ask NOMs to adopt JCI’s corporate identity. ? Encourage JCI President to be the first ambassador of JCI. ? Install a media or press officer at JCI Headquarters. 3. Define Junior Chamber’s market and reach out to the target group. ? As JCI’s market, select people who are between 18 and 45, are professionally minded, and have a livelihood. (The JCI Executive Committee unanimously decided the target should be people between 18 and 40.) 4. Conduct SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analyses. ? Conduct SWOT analyses every three years at the JCI, NOM and LOM level. ? Research global trends and needs of young people. 5. Create attractive and relevant communications. ? Update the JCI website weekly. ? Always use the corporate design. ? Use the JCI website also as a marketing tool. 6. Ensure a healthy financial basis and fair dues system. ? Associate with global business partners. ? Reconsider current non-diversified dues system. 7. Use the abbreviation “JCI.” ? “JCI” does not need to be translated, avoids problems in areas of world where terms “Junior” or “Chamber” causes difficulties, and it is easier to brand globally, like BMW. 8. Provide long-range planning assistance for weaker NOMs. ? Consider employing regional assistants for growth and development. 9. Establish a JCI Development Council for three years. 10. Establish a training module for incoming JCI Vice Presidents and JCI Executive Vice Presidents. Recruitment and Retention 1. Encourage task forces at NOM and LOM levels. 2. Conduct marketing. ? Create four to five short marketing messages. ? Do corporate marketing through public media (such as ads on CNN). 3. Create an admission process to join Junior Chamber. ? Provide active mentoring by full members. ? Establish a provisional membership period of at least three months. ? Encourage NOMs to include a provisional membership period in their constitutions. ? Create “remote” induction programs (video, multimedia, on the website, etc.). 4. Promote partnership and networking. ? Promote partnerships with governments, NGOs and businesses. 5. Encourage diversity. ? Encourage LOMs to strive for diversity in membership and conduct a survey to ascertain their profile. 6. Provide training. ? Hold recruitment and retention workshops for LOM officers. 7. Introduce LOM and NOM recognition programs. 8. Encourage mid- and long-term recruitment plans. 9. Promote involvement by offering incentives. ? Encourage provisional and new members to be active in at least one committee or project. ? Ask chapters to monitor provisional members. 10. Provide good communications and a secretariat. ? Have a permanent secretariat (staff office). ? Appoint a secretary general and a marketing officer for two years to ensure continuity. ? Provide quality standards for communication. ? Introduce reporting system for LOMs. 11. Develop a sense of belonging. ? Give a welcome package to new members. ? Celebrate new members. 12. Have a membership database. 13. Have Youth Jaycees and Senior Membership programs. Blueprint for LOM: Minimum Requirements To be successful, a LOM needs to: 1. Have at least 25 members. 2. As target market, select people between 18 and 45 years of age. (The Executive Committee unanimously voted for the target market to be people between 18 and 40.) 3. Have a LOM President. 4. Enforce a one-year term of office. 5. Have a board of directors comprised by vice presidents, a treasurer, a secretary, director(s), a program officer, a membership officer and an immediate past president. 6. Set up committees for the four JCI Areas of Opportunity. 7. Collect dues to cover at least administrative costs. 8. Have a constitution and bylaws. 9. Communicate regularly with members. 10. Display the JCI logo at meetings and events. 11. Develop public relations activities. 12. Develop an admission procedure. 13. Be represented at regional and international functions. Blueprint for NOM: Minimum Requirements To be successful, a NOM needs to: 1. Conduct training for national and local officers. 2. Have incentive programs for growth and development. 3. Elect a NOM president. 4. Conduct one national convention. 5. Meet financial obligations to JCI. 6. Have an accurate membership database. 7. Have a short- and long-range planning committee. 8. Have a constitution and bylaws. 9. Display the JCI logo at meetings and events. 10. Have at least two chapters (25 members each). 11. Participate in JCI programs. 12. Send representatives to Area conferences and JCI congresses. 13. Strive to establish a national secretariat. 14. Develop public relation skills. 15. Conduct evaluation of NOM officers and LOMs. 16. Set minimum affiliation standards for LOMs. 17. Establish contacts with government, businesses and NGOs. Guidelines for “Quality” and Quantity 1. Recommend “Quality” before Quantity! ? Explain rationale of growth to NOMs and LOMs. ? Point out that growth is a fundamental requirement for an organization to survive, and that we need growth in quantity and “quality.” People attract people, and quality attracts quality. ? Create the desire to join. 2. Explain JCI’s view on quality. ? Focus on Entrepreneurs in Action slogan and opportunities. ? Stress attitude and motivation. ? Ensure members and prospective members are professionally minded. ? Encourage members to be willing to contribute and share the future. ? Focus on members’ involvement and commitment. ? Promote Junior Chamber’s return on members’ investment. 3. Reconsider monthly quantity targets. ? Growth targets: Yes ? Recruitment panic: No 4. Keep record of outstanding past members. ? Keep in mind that success fosters success. Forum’s Final Challenge Krill closed his presentation with a resounding challenge: There really is a world out there, and guess what? It is changing fast and permanently! JCI cannot be all things to all people. We need to focus on our target market, and be clear in telling them what a wonderful return on investment Junior Chamber membership delivers
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