Posted by John Borst on Apr 22, 2019
June 30, 2019 is nearly here and with it the end of if this Rotary year. But something else associated with Rotary ends too,Rotary International's current Strategic Plan.
Disclaimer: The above is the personal opinion of the author and its presence here does done mean it has been endorsed by either District 5550 or The Rotary Club of Dryden.                                                                      
 
 
In June 2018 the Board of Directors approved Four Priorities which come into play in July of this year and beyond.  Although the summary document on My Rotary only uses the word “Priorities” they are the embodiment of Four Strategies by which Rotary will move forward for the next five years.
 
Dr. Francis “Tusu” Tusubira, Rotary Club of Kampala-North, Uganda compares the change that is about to begin with the metaphor of the Butterfly moving from the caterpillar stage to a chrysalis to a fully formed Butterfly. He describes it as a transformation which is both “evolutionary” and “revolutionary”. And that is exactly what Rotary’s next five-year Strategic plan is.
 
Before delving into the plan take nine minutes and watch and listen to Tusu describe the plan.
 
 
 
The first and most visible change is a move from three strategies to four. Just as the butterfly stands on four legs these are the four legs upon which Rotary will stand for the next five years.
 
 
The strategies are much broader in expression yet much more personal. They not only give direction to the national, zone, district and club levels but they speak to each of us as Rotarians in a way that the previous three strategies did not.
 
Collectively as individual Rotarians we are not going to be able to ignore what happens regionally or internationally as each Strategy is transformed into action.  
 
In my opinion, the Strategy with the potential to be most revolutionary is number four. In Strategy Four we are asked to be “innovative” and show a “willingness to take risk.” Rotary International demonstrates that with in its next two bullets when it states that it is going to transform its governance structure. We all know it is too slow, cumbersome and possesses structural defaults which maintain a systemic bias towards its original male base. Are we willing to apply the same thinking at the district and club levels?
 
Next month my club will be revising and updating its Strategic Plan. In the model of strategic planning in which I was trained one is asked to consider two questions (in this case about Rotary) before one considers its vision/mission - beliefs and parameters. One question I think a club needs to ask is, “Do we believe in the direction Rotary International is taking us with its Strategic Plan?”
 
A District plan should reflect the organization’s plan and the Club a reflection of both. I’m excited by this plan. I like where Rotary wants us to go but I am concerned how well we will follow. Not all caterpillars make it to the chrysalis stage and not all butterflies emerge from the chrysalis. For years now we have been the Monarch butterfly, mysteriously dying off in droves. We know we must do something more environmentally sound to regenerate and save the Monarchs. It is the same thinking we must apply to Rotary.
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