Flexibility is the key


Every well-meaning Rotarian wants her club to be a vibrant one. Though different people may have varying definitions of a vibrant club, there is no denying that a club where members are happy will always remain a vibrant one.

The key to members’ satisfaction lies in meeting their expectations. More precisely, the value they perceive in their membership. Many have expressed that Rotary has become expensive over the years. While I endorse that we need to be mindful of wasteful expenditure, it is also true that all of us spend much more on seemingly less important things. So where is the catch? I feel the more important resource that members want to spend wisely is not their money, but their time.

Clubs have to be flexible to cater to this need. Over the last few years, clubs have been empowered to take decisions on several things which were earlier governed by a single rule. It is no more ‘one size fits all’. The attendance requirement, meeting frequency, nature of meetings, type of clubs, classification of members and several other such issues, where the clubs now have the choice of making changes that suit them best, require suitable decisions.

Are we really leveraging this new arsenal that we have or are we still stuck in the belief that change is bad? I urge clubs to take a relook at what the members want and whether the club is nimble enough to meet those needs. It could be the meeting timings or location or the roles that people have been assigned or the different rituals which several clubs that I have seen, are inclined to practice.

Progress starts with the realisation that change may be necessary. Let us decide to reinvent our clubs, so that the time that members devote to Rotary becomes worthwhile. Flexibility is the key. When the winds of change blow across, we either remain flexible and grow or remain stiff and break. The choice is ours and is an easy one to make.

A S Venkatesh
RI Director, 2021–23

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