Kistle Writes His Own Report Card: I Grade it a C-
Ed Koch, when he was Mayor of New York, used to lean out of his limo and shout "How'm I doin'?" to unsuspecting New Yorkers, to their, I suspect, surprise and consternation. David Kistle's latest post on his blog could be called "How I am doing", but there's not, note, a question-mark at the end. He's telling, not asking, how he's doing.
And there's plenty of room for surprise and consternation.
But let's start nice. David Kistle has posted to his blog twice in the last.. oh, hell, call it week! I believe all IABC blog readers are breathing a sigh of relief... this is certainly going in a much better direction!
Moreover, David blogged from Brussels, at EuroComm. He's promised, and we all look forward to, highlights from the conference, which is IABC Europe's flagship event.
But let's turn to the less nice.
David's last post, back home in the Twin Cities, is sort of a self-written report card about how well he is accomplishing his goals this year. I like this candor because most IABC chairmen are long gone before the membership can tot up what's been achieved for them or inflicted on them. But, if you are going to lay your goods out in public, they better be good.
David had three goals at the beginning of the year: growth for the association, visibility for the association, and a good transition to next year.
In his mid-term report card, he offers himself for grading in two of the three areas. Let's look...
In "Growth" he notes that 9 members have been accredited. I think that's wonderful news, and I applaud my friends who have achieved this.
The problem: this isn't "growth". IABC's membership level has been basically steady at 12,000 members (depends on how you count them) for 15 years. The goal is to boost that to 20,000 in five years. What I want to hear from a chairman is.. how well are we doing on that effort? How's the marketing going? Is recruitment up? Is retention up? Because, frankly, accreditation has zero... zero... relationship to growth.
Grade? C Yes, it's a high mark, but we have to curve the grade here. He's not starting with a good hand. [Clarification: No, the accreditations are not David's accomplishment, and therefore not his to claim. Still, we keep his grade at "C" because he's doing no better or worse than his predecessors.]
David stays with Growth for his second score. "We may expect a chapter to organise in Denmark before the board meets in February."
This knocked me out of my chair, because... whoa... I live here. We are 17 members in Denmark, almost all of whom know each other. I won't and can't speak for the group, but my informal poll this afternoon came back 100% with "What? That would be cool but.... who's leading this? No, I haven't heard a word about this..."
That bothered me, so I wrote David Kistle, Barbara Gibson (IABC Europe Regional Director), and Gretchen Hoover at IABC HQ to ask "what's the story?"
David hasn't responded.
Barbara told me that our new Danish chapter organizer would "reveal herself" at the appropriate time, but not until after the New Year. Well, suspense is fun in a thriller, but hardly useful here.
Gretchen, always honest, wrote "I think the regional board is just exploring the options for new chapters in places where we have several members." Which is exactly what I think happened... until it was turned into an accomplishment.
So... the Danish story has the Danish members scratching their heads. We'll join any chapter that gets set up for us, and if that helps David punch a ticket... great. Odd, though, that the Danish membership has to hear about a chapter formation on the chairman's website... and that the news is -- as far as I can make out from banging the pipes -- pure puffery.
Grade? F. As my drill instructor said "I don't give a crap about 'gonna do.'"
Finally, Dave shoots for Visability. David met with some folks from his home town. What they talked about would have been great to know. Did anyone learn anything? I wasn't there; perhaps IABC's visibility was lifted off the charts. But I don't see anything more here than any IABC chapter does once a month.
[Later post: Brian Kilgore asks if David met any business reporters in Brussels, or gave a speech there... surely more valuable than meeting his hometown team. Good point... Did he?]
Grade? Ok, a C. But it counts as a quiz, not a term paper.
In short, if this is a mid-term report card, David is getting a D+ in my book. But... extra credit for two blog posts in a week. Call it a C- And I am sure he can bring his grades up by summer.