MEETING: Consider Work Processes When Looking For Answers by: Leanne Hoagland-Smith (August 26, 2015 to September 1, 2015)
PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE - Laine Kohama, President 2015-2016
August 26th, 2015
Aloha Rotary E-Club members and fellow Rotarians!
Aloha Rotary Ohana (Family),
This week I attended the President Meeting where we went over Global grants, Centennial Project, get togethers for the East Side clubs, teaming up with another club for Ayman’s membership meeting, and more. Overall it was a great meeting and we all got a lot done and had a great time. Thank you to Sandy and the East Side Presidents for celebrating my Birthday : )
Currently I’m at Berkeley getting ready for the Rotary Young Professional Summit. Thank you to those that sent it questions I could ask and discuss with the other Rotarians. We have a good representation of folks from Hawaii. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll report back next week.
Lastly it was great to see Garry and other wonderful Rotarians at the East Honolulu social. It was a great turn out and a majority of the people there were non Rotarians.
Have a great week everyone!
East Honolulu Rotary Social
SPEAKER: Consider Work Processes When Looking for Answers
By: Leanne Hoagland-Smith and published on the Post-Tribune
This past week I had the opportunity to tour the new Urschel Laboratories Inc. located in the Coffee Creek complex in Chesterton.
Urschel Laboratories, thanks to CEO Rick Urschel and Chairman Bob Urschel, opened their new manufacturing facility to the Valparaiso and Chesterton Rotary clubs. Rotarians had a guided tour of this state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.
The privately owned company that started in 1910 is the leading global manufacturer in food-cutting technology. Where other manufacturing firms have adopted the assembly line approach, Urschel Labs remains one of the few where one person is responsible for assembling each machine. This process for them has allowed Urschel Labs to maintain its high standards without having a separate quality control department.
Urschel is unique in that they have taken control of their manufacturing processes to ensure there are "no dog processes." Other manufacturing businesses, as well as non-manufacturing businesses, could learn from this forward thinking business.
Mid-size to small businesses, to quote Michael Gerber, author of "The E-Myth," spend too much time working in the businesses instead of on the business. During the tour, Bob Urschel shared where Urschel's application of the "lost wax" casting process has allowed them to cast their parts even though they were told back in the 1970s they would not be successful. Bob's father realized to improve their quality he had to rethink their processes.
Documented processes are essential from hiring to invoicing to shipping to inventory control along with safety. Without those processes being documented, errors increase from inaccurate billing to return goods because of quality issues.
Far too often I hear from businesses they do not have time to document their processes. These are the same firms that complain about "dumb employees" to demanding customers to shrinking profits.
Yes, documenting processes take time. When executive leadership demonstrates forward thinking, as demonstrated by Urschel Laboratories, they begin to move ahead of the flow instead of in or behind it.
The other reason for eliminating "dog processes" is for that future action of "For Sale." Acquiring businesses want turn-key operations much like those homeowners who want move-in ready. When processes are documented, this allows the acquiring leadership to see there has been an effort made to improve quality and reduce costs. Additionally, documenting processes makes it easier to train new employees.
If your small business has not invested the time to document its processes, now is the time to start, especially if you are thinking of selling your business or wanting to improve the bottom line.
Depending upon the complexity of your business, the time frame for this action may range from several months to even a year. However, once completed, you will discover increased productivity to profitability.
Leanne Hoagland-Smith is an author, speaker and executive coach. Her weekly column explores issues that impact the bottom line of firms with fewer than 100 employees. She can be reached at 219-508-2859.
Building Connections with Young Professionals
By Jeris Gaston, Rotaract Club of Birmingham, Alabama, USA
At the recent Rotary International Convention in São Paulo, Brazil, there were several breakout sessions geared toward the next generation of Rotarians. The one that stood out the most for me was “thirtysomething: How Clubs/Districts Can Provide Rotary Experiences for Young Professionals,” moderated by John Smola, a past president of my club, and Christa Papavasiliou, of the Rotaract Club of Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
A panel discussed the challenges and opportunities of allowing younger Rotarians into clubs worldwide. Throughout the question-and-answer segment that followed, there was quite a discussion about how to engage young professionals. Many great ideas were suggested, such as creating community-based Rotaract clubs or local satellite e-clubs to recruit members, as well as not being afraid to let younger members bring new ideas and energy to the club. Throughout this discussion, I couldn’t help but think of a program my own club started five years ago that allowed us to partner with our sponsor club, the Rotary Club of Birmingham, and bridge the gap between the young professionals in our club and Rotary.
My club has the privilege of being one of the largest community-based Rotaract clubs in the world. With almost 300 members, we have our own challenges but also amazing opportunities to lead our members to one day become Rotarians. The program we started in partnership with our sponsor club is called “Professional Partners.” It began purely as a membership development initiative, allowing our members to make connections with Rotarians who are also established leaders in our city. What has evolved is a program that not only establishes a direct personal connection between our members and Rotarians, but also develops leaders and fosters a strong sense of what it means to be a Rotarian.
The program starts each fall and lasts nine months. Each member of our Rotaract club who applies and is selected for the program is paired with a Rotarian from our sponsor club. There are minimum meeting requirements, but each pair is allowed to cater these meetings to their schedules and convenience. While flexible, the program is built around our club’s motto of Learn-Socialize-Serve, with events focused on each of these areas.
We typically try to pair unrelated industries, so that lawyers, accountants, and business-minded individuals are meeting with someone not in their field to further discussions. Also, each mentor and mentee is encouraged to bring the other to their respective meetings. At the end of the term, we have an informal gathering of all the participants to share ideas and network further. Each year, without fail, we get positive feedback from both sides, but overwhelmingly the Rotarians mention that they gained far more from the program than they had expected.
It doesn’t take a 300-member club to start a program like Professional Partners, and it seems to me this could be duplicated in clubs all around the globe. In many districts, the number of Rotaractors who become Rotarians remains small. While clubs encourage Rotaractors to join through their words, they may not encourage them through their actions. With all of that untapped potential, it is crucial, I believe, for clubs to follow the Rotary Club of Birmingham’s lead and embrace programs like Professional Partners. What if every Rotary club developed twenty Rotaractors each year through a similar program? It might not be the ultimate solution, but it is one way to strengthen connections with thirtysomethings in the community and invest in the future of your club.
August is Membership and New Club Development Month. Throughout the month, we will be running a series of blog posts on membership. We are also collecting stories from members about why they joined — and are proud to stay in — Rotary. Tell us your story on Facebook.
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