As a member of Rotary International, I get to participate in many exciting projects, both locally and internationally. At the local level, we are embarking on our annual radio auction, which generates over $35,000 each year dedicated to funding community projects. www.washingtonrotary.com
This is one of several fundraising initiatives our club undertakes each year. Relying on the strong spirit of volunteerism and teamwork, everyone pulls together to make good things happen for our community.
And internationally, thanks to 25 years of hard work, Rotary and its partners, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are at the brink of eradicating polio. Two billion children in 122 countries have received the oral polio vaccine. Polio cases have plummeted by more than 99 percent, preventing 5 million instances of child paralysis and 250,000 deaths. And, Rotarians will not rest until the last 1 percent is eradicated. Rotarians are also dedicating time, money and leadership to provide clean water and promote literacy in third world countries.
And while all of this is great news, in 2010, Rotary International realized a need to become even more audacious in its initiatives and worldwide impact. "Bigger, Better, Bolder" became the slogan describing the change in attitude of thousands of members surveyed worldwide. Members wanted growing, vibrant, innovative clubs to take the work in their communities to ever more impactful levels.
So, how do we get from where we are to where we want to be? With 34,000 community based service clubs worldwide, and 1.2 million Rotary members, there are surely lots of opinions about how to become bigger, better and bolder. Rotary International's vision is about getting beyond symptoms to deal with root causes so that our impact can be sustainable.
Chatting with a fellow Rotarian and Past District Governor, we talked about how to define "bolder." The cool thing is that has been left up to each club to define, as each club has the opportunity to go through a club visioning process. Quality Coach!® Team Members Colleen Himmelberg, Dr. Pris Bass, and I are privileged to support club visioning, along with about 20 other trained facilitators in our district.
Clubs are facilitated through a process of looking out five years to determine what they want their club's impact to be in their respective communities, as well as worldwide. From the visioning input, clubs set big, audacious goals as they put in place their strategic plans. Club plans are broken down into bite-size pieces called action items and delegated amongst club members who are all experienced leaders in their own companies, communities and churches. Strong club identities are formed around their vision, as club members become energized and engaged in realizing their club's "bigger, better, bolder" vision.
This same bold process works for leaders and organizations of all shapes and sizes to engage leaders, employees and stakeholders in creating a bigger, better, bolder future together. Bolder thinking, bolder planning, and bolder actions are exactly what we need to bring about the systemic transformation that will make our organizations, communities, and the world at large work better for us all in the next decade.