COC purpose and direction - What are thoughts?

COC purpose and direction - What are thoughts?
« on: June 15, 2015, 02:25:54 PM »
For our next COC meeting this month, we as Chapter Reps, need to think about why we are together, what we want to accomplish, and how to do this.  Following are my thoughts.  Please consider sharing your thoughts.

Neta - Cuplet Fern Chapter

COC – the Strategic Plan states our objective is to facilitate communication:  FNPS-COC, COC – Chapter Rep, Chapter Reps – Members.

Is this what you think is our purpose? Do you think we're doing this?  How can we do it better?  I’m struggling with this myself.  Some chapters have indicated they don’t need the state.  Why is FNPS irrelevant to them.  How can we be relevant to each other? Also, why aren’t more Chapter Reps participating on meeting calls and initiatives?  How do we improve this?  There’s talk about sharing what other chapters do well in order to help other chapters.  I think Julie tried to facilitate this by having each chapter report what they’re doing at the meetings.  But, I got feedback this was a waste of time.  I think the sharing of ideas is good, not the “we had a field to so and so” which is pretty regular and routine.  We all do that.  How can we share the good ideas to promote a cause/process/whatever. I “think” the “Sabal Minor” is a vehicle to share chapter info but don’t think the chapters use it this way.  Would it help to form small committees to solve some of these issues?  Maybe a small committee (5 people) “How can we best share effective chapter strategies (whatever they are) with other chapters”.  Maybe another small committee (5 people) “How would the reps like the COC Officers to communicate back to COC what happened at the Board meeting”.  Small Committee “How can Chapter Reps best communicate to their members and their Board”. Just biting off small chunks of the Elephant.  Get many people involved on different procedures.  Small Committee to identify two new initiatives to work on?  These Committee members must contact other chapters for input, digest their survey, maybe recruit some reps who will participate on the initiatives, and make a recommendation to the COC.

Leadership Training – to start, a small Committee to survey Reps.  Make a list of what the Chapter Reps want training on, how do they want to receive it – face to face, DVD, online?  How long should it be – all day or a weekend, where should it be held – same one regionally, a road show? Should each region assemble a training session (not FNPS)? Who should teach it?

Meetings – need to be more efficient, agenda should be meaningful to reps, add time frames to agenda items.  Do reps want more face to face meetings vs online?  How to do this?  Logistically, this is tough to do with such a big state.

Would like your input.
Thanks, Neta

Re: COC purpose and direction - What are thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2015, 07:41:44 PM »
So Many good questions here, Neta.   I'll just tackle one.
I agree with your point that reporting on regular standard Chapter activities during GoTo meetings can be time consuming and not particularly productive. I do value giving everyone a chance to say something, however.   I would like to suggest that the round the table time be focused on a particular topic which is known well in advance of the meeting so that it can be discussed locally.   For instance; What is the area of deepest knowledge within your Chapter; Botany? Landscaping? Environmental Advocacy? etc, Or, What kind of talented new volunteer does your chapter need the most?

Re: COC purpose and direction - What are thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2015, 08:59:43 PM »
Thanks Ellen.  Good idea.

Focusing on one topic sounds more effective, that is sharing and learning from others.


Richard Brownscombe

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Re: COC purpose and direction - What are thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2015, 11:58:05 AM »
Thank you, Neta, as I think this is very important as we begin our second year. I'm wildly happy about bringing the brochure into being statewide, and value that, but I think this "Initiative" and the problems around doing 3 of them, points us toward what is better. As one person put it, my Board does not want me volunteering for the state (FNPS) when we have so much need for volunteers in our Chapter.

To me, that says that it is important to align any current Council initiative or effort very closely with what Chapters most need right now. We need to deliver some pretty direct benefits, and perhaps not take on anything so big (or not needed by all the Chapters) as the brochure. The question becomes: what benefits Chapters by communicating and having a Council together? If there was no FNPS state, what would Chapters miss, or want from it?

Partly, we would miss just hearing what other Chapters do and how they struggle with similar issues. That helps some. On the other hand, over-long check-ins (as you both point out) don't really get at that, and can even sound a little like bragging or be a little discouraging (e.g., to hear that a Chapter grosses $15,000 at a sale). Ellen's on the right track with a topic-based check in. I like those topics.

I hope we can have this important discussion when we are together in person in August. Making choices for what the Council is to do is like choosing a direction and destination for a ship. We can send it on an exploration across the ocean uncertain, but let's not run in circles or drift. We really need to help conservation statewide, urgently.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 12:01:47 PM by Richard Brownscomb »
Richard Brownscombe
Broward Chapter