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Subject: Path Forward
Message-ID: <>
From: "Jeff Killeen - Chapter Marketing" <>
Date: 6 Apr 94 07:31:00 EST
Lines: 61

Take it FWIW but here is my take on what needs to happen to move forward. 

DECUS is both a business and a society and as a result we need things that
facilitate both activities and relationships.  Activities are things that have
an end result.  Relationships are things you build over time.  IMHO the
relationship part of DECUS was working and the activities part was in trouble.
In hindsight I believe the BOD in San Francisco was responding to the fact our
activities had problems.  We can argue the extent of those problems but in all
but the most extreme cases everyone has acknowledged some level of problems
existed - it is only the level of problems we disagree about.  At the core IMO
of what the BOD addressed was the reasonable observation that DECUS had
reached the point where the preservation of relationships took priority over
the need to change and fix activities.  The way the BOD addressed this issue
was to restructure the activities in such a way that the relationship side of
the Chapter would not impede their normal and healthy development.  I believe
the BOD was correct in recognizing that delivery mechanisms for activities
have fundamental problems if they are entangled in relationship mechanisms. 
We all value our relationships to the point that we are willing to give them
the highest priority - even at the expense of results. 

In fixing the activities, which I believe the BOD has basically done, they
broke the relationship side of the society.  I believe this was accidental
collateral damage.  Knowing the folks on the BOD I don't think any of them
would conscientiously want to devalue DECUS as a society.  The job of the BOD
today is to rebuild the relationship side of the house.  The challenge of the
BOD is to do this without falling back into the trap of having activities
become primarily a relationship building mechanism rather than end result

The first step is to realize is much of the debate has been fueled but looking
at only one side of the issue.  One group focuses on the need to fix the
activities and as result the problem set they are trying to address is defined
by the efficient "result" needs of the Chapter.  The other group sees the
relationship side of the Chapter is being broken and attacks the activity
fixes because of the damage being done to the relationship side of the
Chapter.  What is needed is a recognition of that the activity/result side of
the Chapter needed to be fixed and those solutions should be viewed
independently of what now needs to be done to repair the relationship side of
the Chapter. 

The second and most important critical step is to recognize that while forums
are very much a needed activity enabling mechanism they are _not_ a
replacement for SIGs and LUGs.  In fact if they try to become that replacement
mechanism the Chapter will fall back into the trap outlined above.  Therefore
that first step would be to reconstitute SIGs and recognize that for
relationship build reasons we should not have an arms length relationship with
the LUGs.  This does not mean returning to the old SIG mission of being the
hub of Chapter activities.  This does not mean returning to the old LUG
relationship of parent and child.  What it does mean is recognizing that these
groups had a special galvanizing force on the Chapter that is unique and that
while they aren't the hub of activities anymore it is in the Chapter's best
interest to integrate them and give them a formal existence. 

Terms like givers, takers, membership, customer, society, and training
organization are somewhat clumsy and simplistic ways of expressing the duality
in the nature of DECUS.  We are both a Society and a Business.  The Society
cannot exist unless sound business decisions are made in the wider context of
the marketplace.  The Chapter will not be special without its social aspects.
What is needed today is a recognition that different mechanisms are needed for
each side of the house and each side of the house should be kept equally

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