Dave, VE3JX, has sent us a lengthy, thoughtful and welcomed reply to my last post: “Whiners, complainers and do-nothingers“ and I’ve taken some time to reflect on it before replying to his points.
Dave suggests (read the reply yourself as I’m paraphrasing and leaving a lot out for brevity’s sake) I tone down my complaints about Radio Amateurs of Canada.
He’s right of course. What I should do is quit writing and walk away. It would be better for all concerned expect of course the future of Amateur Radio in Canada. Besides what RAC doesn’t get is they should treasure and embrace their critics as we are still engaged. Hundreds, no thousands of other Canadian Hams have just given up in frustration and have gone silent.
Dave suggests it might be better if I and people like me did something positive to help correct the problems that plague RAC and “start or continue a positive discussion.” It’s a nice idea but Dave, like many others, may not understand what’s wrong. So let’s begin another journey into the heart of darkness as I see it.
Dave makes some very nice comments about my time as the VP of PR for RAC and I do thank Dave for adding these words as I didn’t hear much praise when I was there. If fact, one guy continually went out of his way to protect anything that was in place regardless of how broken and actively resisted and sabotaged anything that was offered that was new. Social media efforts and John, HK3C’s CQ Canada initiative come to mind. Frustrating to say the least but the ability to work together obviously wasn’t one of the requirements of being on the RAC leadership team.
And that’s at the heart of the issue as far as I’m concerned. RAC is a dysfunctional organization because of the lack of a functional empowering leadership team that knows the difference between serving the members as opposed to governing them.
ARES is falling apart across Canada for exactly the same reason. And essentially it comes down to a lack of talent at the top which causes great frustration among all those other talented and dedicated volunteers who find their efforts are frustrated – even sabotaged at every turn and eventually just leave never to be heard of again.
Dave suggests a club of clubs concept might be the answer. I would caution that RAC is already being run as club where all none members just aren’t represented. If RAC is to be truly a national organization it has to represent all Canadian Amateur Radio operators whether they are members or not. This is essential.
Here’s what I’d suggest:
- RAC proclaim itself the national organization that represents ALL Canadian amateurs (and not as some board members have declared only paid-up members which is an organizational model which just isn’t working)
- Develop a vision and mission statement and post it and put deadline dates on it
- Develop a list of the top 10 actions to be taken in 2015 and form committees empowered to proceed
- Reestablish our relationship with Industry Canada
- Give away the excellent digital The Canadian Amateur online and drop the print edition. In this way we’ll attract many, many more new members as nobody bought a RAC membership just to get TCA
- Fix the damn website. It’s a disgrace and has been for a decade
- Put more energy into social media (Facebook and Twitter) to attract younger people
- Open a video channel and allow upload by Hams videos of meetings, workshops, product reviews, contest activity and special events
- Fix ARES by empowering the bottom-down approach (clubs lead the way)
- Start with a clean slate of board and executives
Now number 10 is the major impediment to implementing points one to nine. With the numbers of volunteers who are quitting RAC continuing unabated it may not be long before the organization just fails.
Then we can go back to the drawing board and starting with a new group of folks, have a look at what needs to be done to create a truly national organization that represents the interests of all Canadian Radio Amateurs and my work here will be done.