New PASS Board member Grant Fritchey just did his first post about his activities. He’s just getting started and getting ready for his first meeting, a busy and exciting time. He’s asked for feedback, so I added a comment to his post. I’ve been holding off on a post about Chapters to let him get going first, now – with two weeks under his belt – I thought I’d post some ideas for him. Maybe not all are good, or doable, but even a less than doable idea might spark him (or you) to do something event better. I did a quick search and found a few old posts that I think make sense to surface again. Grant, if you only have time to read a couple, I’d suggest SOME THOUGHTS ON RUNNING A CHAPTER and THOUGHTS ON A STATE OF THE CHAPTER STATEMENT (AND DOING MORE). Here’s the rest of the list:
And here’s my wish list:
- Report annually to the members on how Chapters are doing overall and individually. How many did we gain/lose? Which ones are growing? If we care about them, we should monitor how they are doing so we can help those failing, celebrate those succeeding, and share the lessons learned. If I had a business with 200+ stores/franchines/whatevers, I’d want to know – every month!
- Get a first class UI and email template for Chapters. It’s not expensive and it will get a lot of use. Clearly we care about how the Connector looks, why not the Chapter email?
- Celebrate and reward the speakers that support Chapters
- Provide liability insurance for Chapters (and SQLSaturday)
- Do whatever you can to reduce the time it takes to run a Chapter so they can use the time they have on the things only the local person can do
- Fix the disconnect (that I think is there) about sharing member lists between the Chapter, their local SQLSaturday, and PASS. Its one org, not three.
- Train and re-train and invest in Chapter leaders. Where’s the wiki? Where’s the 2 day class, the video? If you had a business with 200 branches, how would you grow leaders to manage them? Hand them the keys and say go?
- No Chapter should be a one person operation. Drive and challenge them to leverage volunteers, and require them to identify someone each year who can take over if they fall down
- More focus on networking. Make it about people as much as technology
- Don’t make a bunch of rules, make patterns. Show them ways to be successful, let the leaders continue to make it their own.
- Treat the Chapters Portfolio like a committee. Yes, Grant should make decisions (along with the Board, when needed), but find a small but diverse group to bounce ideas, argue, and even split up the work. You’ll get better results and be less tired too!
That’s probably too much. I bolded the two I think are most important.
Kudos to Grant for asking for feedback. It’s on us if we don’t provide it.