Posted by Daniel VANKOV
The Rotary Club of Brisbane was, is and should continue to be the motor behind major community initiatives in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia and beyond. Our duty as members of the Club is to ensure that it will not only continue to that but also to expand its impact.
 
It is not easy to identify key strengths and weaknesses on which we can build. For a human a simple mirror does the job but for an entity it is hard to observe from the inside. We had to create proper mirror for the Club to have a look at itself.
 
Launched in 2016, the Queensland University of Technology "Ideas Factory" provides future business leaders, Executive MBAs and MBAs, with an opportunity to leverage their experience, insight and collective efforts to solve real world industry problems. At the Rotary Club of Brisbane we quickly recognised the potential synergies. Are not those future leaders our target group or the people we would like to see as members? We seized the opportunity and challenged a room full of people with the question:
 
How do we promote community engagement amongst Brisbane CBD professionals through the Rotary Club of Brisbane?
 
23 participants, divided in five groups and supported by two facilitators and four Rotarians, pushed their collective brain power to the limit for a day. All involved sacrificed their weekend to make sure the Rotary Club of Brisbane will prevail in its mission. A structured process ensured that participants arrive at a result to offer. Club summary, which includes membership data, club history, club strategy and other relevant information was made available to them well in advance. President Daniel presented Rotary in general and the Club in particular. He also had to answer quite a few tricky questions which paved the way for fruitful and creative work later on.
 
President Daniel briefs the QUT Ideas Factory on the problem at hand.
 
Each of the five groups had its own "cave" to look for the "light". Our Rotary team had the task to move between the groups and answer all questions that came up in the working process. The results were impressive. Luckily they were also video recorded and are currently being shown to the Rotary Club of Brisbane members one per regular meeting. As a result every meeting we learn something new about what the world around us thinks and believes both about Rotary and about our Club.
David Ferguson from QUT gives one of the 5 detailed and insightful presentations of findings.
 
Even if that may sound as a good end to the exercise, actually it is just the beginning. What was learned will be turned into a comprehensive Strategy plan for the Club. A strategy consultant has been recruited to assist. She will be working in close cooperation with 1) our President-Elect and President-Nominee to embed their views and aspirations for the forthcoming two years, 2) the Ideas Factory participants themselves and 3) all Club members as well as some that have resigned. We will grow together with the people we serve!