Monday, November 24, 2008

Thoughts for EO Leadership

This post was in response to a question that was posed to the Entrepreneurs' Organization Group on LinkedIn:

EO friends: Did EO Management respond fast enough to the economic crisis? Or did it fail its members?

I did not expect much from EO Global Leadership in recent weeks. The majority of the value that I get and have gotten from EO has been from forum, the #1 EO membership value, and my local chapter.

I am an ardent supporter of EO, primarily at the local level.

I am from EO Detroit, at the epicenter of the current financial crisis. Our membership has experienced substantial casualties and we are having an incredibly difficult time renewing our sponsors in the current economic environment (If NASCAR is having trouble retaining sponsorship, how can we expect to maintain our current level of sponsorship?).

I personally derive 99% of my value from EO from local activities. I believe that the 2009 renewal cycle will serve as a watershed for EO. I often find EO Global's priorities out of alignment with the needs of the local chapters;,even though a disproportionate amount our dues fund EO Global initiatives that provide little perceived value to the local chapters and their membership. It often feels like taxation without representation.

I believe that EO Global's leadership will be dramatically tested in the next 6 months. It will take a lot of courage, but EO Global needs to reassess their budgets, business processes, and goals. A complete review of the operations of the organization are in order and a true sign of leadership would be a rebate of our global dues and/or a reduction of dues in 2009 / 2010.

Following Hurricane Katrina, I read a great article about how the City of New Orleans was using technology to vastly improve the building permit process. A link to the article is provided below, I hope EO Global leadership reads it and implements the same kind of dramatic process reeingineering for EO:

City Hall Gets More Efficient, Despite a Hurricane (or Two)

EO Global leadership has a tough task at hand, but everyone is compromising and adjusting their business practices in today's environment.

There are very few "True Statesman"
The true statesman's art is to be able to judge the way of life of his nation and to know which institutions will preserve it and which will destroy it. This is a delicate business and requires a special knowledge of the particular customs of a nation and their relation to its whole way of life.
Jean-Jacques Rousseu
Politics and The Arts
Introduction XXIX

The question to the EO Board is: Are you a true statesman or merely a politician?

It is our time to lead!

1 comment:

  1. EO Leadership can learn from ADA CEO:

    From Larry Hausner, Chief Executive Officer, American Diabetes Association


    I'm sure you've all seen the headlines about the economic turbulence, so it should come as no surprise that the American Diabetes Association is feeling some of the effects of the economy.

    This is not the first time the American Diabetes Association has weathered economic downturns, and our ability to adapt has kept us delivering on our mission since 1940. We are an Association that is financially sound, and we intend to continue our strong record of accomplishing so many good things for people with diabetes.

    But we would be irresponsible if we did not make some adjustments to accommodate financial realities. At our Board of Directors meeting last week, we discussed the current situation and what needs to be done in 2009 to be sure that we continue to deliver on our mission. A conservative 2009 budget was approved, which includes an assumption that our revenue will only grow by a small amount in 2009 and our expenses will go down by 1% from prior year.

    In the rest of this message, you will find additional information about our financial results in 2008 and our challenge for 2009. However, our immediate task is to reduce 2008 spending in the last month of the year and revise our 2009 budget to stay within the Board approved limits.

    2008 Spending

    Travel: Effective immediately, we are asking budget managers to cancel all non-meeting travel so we can realize additional savings in travel.

    Holiday Party: Given the economic reality, we can not justify spending money on holiday celebrations, either at the home office or in the field. Divisions wanting to celebrate with their staffs are encouraged to do so through potlucks or other ways that do not incur cost for the Association.

    Additional Savings: We encourage all budget managers to look for additional savings that do not effect revenue or mission delivery . . .

    Thank you.

    Larry Hausner
    Chief Executive Officer, American Diabetes Association