Vision – Putting an Idea into Concrete Terms
What do we need a vision
like C41/OT depends on communication in order to live its inside and
outside existence. For a club like C41/OT it is decisive to have its
internal positioning defined and fixed in its members' heads as
well as the external positioning in the awareness of non-members. "This
positioning settles where and how a serviceclub is to be retrieved in the
heads of potential members and the public."
This view is supported by Kurt Schmid, a communication's scientist as he
says: "If an extraordinary positioning is translated in an
extraordinary way, something fabulous happens. Communication strengthens
the positioning and the positioning strengthens the communication. A kind
of interaction between positioning and communication starts to take place.
That's the way brands are made, myths come into being."
And this takes us right to
the point: to be something extraordinary, something unmistakeable, which
in the heads of potential members is recognised undoubtedly and which in
the members' heads acts as a glue
and can be lived up to. We do not want to be a marketed brand, but we do
want to have a distinctive profile which is compatible with our
expectations and ideas for the future. In how far this makes us a myth
remains to be seen. Let us, for the moment, stick to our goal of gaining
new members in sufficient number and of
sufficient quality to enable
our club to further develop.
But what has up till now
kept us from gaining such a profile? Has there been no desire for it, did
it not make sense to us or was the club's idea not defined sufficiently?
But one thing remains for sure: in all the different countries we
encounter similar problems: it is hard to recruit new members and
difficult to motivate the stock of existing members and to push ahead an
Therefore I would like to
make you familiar with two thesis, which might contain an explanation for
the present situation within C41/OT and maybe also an approach to a
solution for the future. Among other things these two thesis have served
as a starting point for the definition of the vision. They were also the
basis for developing new thesis for a future positive development of C41/OT
which I will present to you further on.
About Thesis Number 1:
For a better understanding we compare the situation of C41/OT with the role of a son of a young, dynamic and strong father. Step by step the son takes over tasks and goals of his father. The son can even identify with these tasks and goals and goes into the father's succesful business. However, in terms of age, interests and requirements, the company's target group forms part of the father's world. It can –by no means- be classed as belonging to the son's usual environment.
It is easy to gather that
in this comparison Round Table embodies the role of the father, while C41/OT
has the role of the son, as in fact it has emerged from Round Table. But
let us come back to our example:
In the course of time an
alienation between father and son starts taking place, the father's part
of the company flourishes wheras the son's runs dry. In the areas, which
have been taken over by the son even the problem of finding new blood
arises, as these parts of the company do the same as the father's, being a
copy without any iniciative on its own.
We could pursue the example
of father and son a little longer, but I do not regard it as necessary,
because conclusions can be drawn already which translated to the situation
between C41/OT as son and Round Table as father could be expressed in the
Thesis Number 1
therefore runs: "Due to the
freely subordinating role of the son C41/OT towards the father Round Table
there has been no chance of building up own identities which could lead to
the son's independence."
C41/OT has taken over most of Round Table's goals and tasks
C41/OT could not develop its own objectives
Existing identities have predominantly emerged from taking over Round
Table memberships. 95% of C41/OT's members have directly come from Round
Most C41/OT's activities are tuned with Round Table. C41/OT has no topics
on its own which can be lived independently. For the most part or even
exclusively topics -if existing- are set by Round Table.
An own vision from which own identities could emerge is missing. Existing
(seeming) modes descend and have been taken over from Round Table.
Questions of strength, compellingness and attractiveness are not asked,
because as soon as activities take place the potential is covered by Round
Table. This leads to a deficit in self-confidence and a lack of
attractiveness for young subsequent Round Tablers and even external
We are hence dealing with a
situation whre the son, e.g. C41/OT has not yet gained his independence
and thus cannot build up his personal vial identity. The son lives but in
the father's shadow and in essence is not very much socially attractive,
being nothing but a bad copy of his father's and has no independent
self-aware personality of his own. This kind of comparison makes us
understand how sad our situation is.
Thesis Number 2:
"Most C41/OTs who still are in the so-called "active age" have not yet overcome the shock of not forming part of Round Table any more."
This explains why
especially even young C41/OT members tend to be relatively inactive, and
even shortly after joining the club many times are not present.
Furthermore, it gives us a hint to why there is no C41/OT identity to be
deducted. Round Table's identity cannot be overcome so easily, we drag it
around with us for some time being an expelled Old Tabler under shock who
in the absence of an alternative cannot build up an own new C41/OT
Wether you mean to follow
these inferences or not, all this leads inevitably to the claim of
clearing the situation, redifining the objectives and shaping the new C41/OT
But we are stilll in the
phase of analysing the situation. Therefore we should ask ourselves what
we want and what our goal is:
According to Simone
Arnheiter's study this is about positioning C41/OT within society which
enables C41/OT to live on and develop itself based on its social relevance
and attractiveness and thus in consequence helps solve the problem of new
The target of the
organisation "what are we here for?" and "what are our
goals?" is defined as a vision and only vaguely defined;
in general it has taken over the important parts from Round Table. "
One of the club's targets, among others, is to strengthen the awareness
that everyone (each member) has taken on commitments towards the public
and has to serve the public through social conduct or through activities
which have a positive effect on the common good."
Thus we put our reflections
as well as the targets set by us into more concrete terms. They should be
achieved by C41/OT and are the following:
increase the external attractiveness for new members
increase the internal attractiveness in order to
the member frequency
identity within the club
a better external presentation (facing the public)
deal with urgent topics of our times based on friendship and mutual help,
discuss them and act as opinion-formers furthermore assist where it
makes sense; in short this would mean:
face the problems of our times"
another target is to give the individual clubs the possibility of
defining attractive programmes (speaches, choice of topics, actions) by
improving the network and by activating the personnel potential. Among
other things, the following could emerge from this:
a stock-market for topics. A base for yearly programmes or main focus
programmes for individual or several clubs or as a programme package on a
a stock-market for people and ressources. Is to inlcude contributions on
people, speaches and topics on a national and international level. As a
follow-up we could achieve an improved crossover thematical discussion on
several current topics (like touring presentations, touring exhibitions,
etc.,...) in short:
"we are strong and comprehensive, because we are aware that we have
our own extensive potential in C41/OT."
As a sideline we would have
created two identities – had we already become aware of the above stated
and put it into practice in our clubs.
I am positively aware that this is not a short-term project and
that we are in need of several more bases. We from the group MIWT have
thus given our thoughts on it and packed them into a vision. This vision
is for us a prerequisite to make C41/OT more stable on the inside and more
attractive on the outside and therefore serves as the basis for the
VISION AND THESIS
Club 41 is a club of former Round Table members and their friends.
motto "adopt, adapt, improve" are binding to us.
We advocate to cultivate friendships within the club as well as on a
national and international clublevel.
We are neutral regarding politics and confession
Our activities are crossover activities: local, national, international.
We foster and support cultural and social works.
Our core issues are:
openness to the world
We are concerned actively with current topics and problems
The equality of all members is guaranteed, we use the familiar form of
Communication and diversity of professional and private interests are
important to us.
We believe that by drawing
up this vision and by its continuous and perpetual implementation and
update on a national and international level the following becomes evident:
The concepts of values and bases for decision are summoned up
Common features which caracterise C41/OT have been emphasised
Visions for the future are present
The organisation's targets become more transparent
for the members and for the public.
The responsibilities of the non-profit organisationn C41/OT in the
organisations' environment (competitors like Rotary, Lions, etc.,..)
A vision creates the
a vision enhances a wide range of performance measures.
A vision promotes change.
A vision provides a basis for a strategic plan.
A vision motivates individuals and facilitates the recruitment of talent.
A vision helps keep decision making in context.
Nothing remains to be added but the desire to translate all
this into our reality
Arnheiter Simone, diploma University of Innsbruck 6.11.98 Integrated
Concept for Communication
 Ibd., Schmid Kurt, The Role of Communication in Positioning from an Advertising Agency's Point of View
 Arnheiter Simone, ibid. Page 5 and following
 Demuth A. Unternehmensleitbild Ein-Stimmig, in the PR-magazine, issue no. 2, 1993, p. 13, diploma Arnheiter Simone, p. 66
 Lipton M, Demystifying the Development of an Organizational Vision. In Sloan Management Review, issue no. 4, vol. 37, 1966, p 84 f, in Diploma Arnheiter Simone, p. 66