I remember vividly 10 years ago when I first became a club officer, I worked my heart out to ensure we ‘beat’ the other clubs in the area. In fact, in one year we were recognised as the Top Club in the district.
Not long after, in another club, I experienced the other side. We were a young club, we dominated the social media space, we signed up a lot of new members but, we always struggled to retain members. I later learnt one of the reasons we failed to retain some members was that the mature members felt uncomfortable being in a club with predominantly young people. If only we collaborated with other clubs in the area, the organisation would have won if these members were well placed.
What was very helpful at that time to get by as a club officer was the area council. I would attend the meeting feeling lost and demotivated and would leave feeling clear and motivated to implement the next steps. Well, I couldn’t put my finger at what was motivating about these area council meetings until they were no longer happening. The collaboration between the clubs allowed all clubs to win.
When I was appointed Region Advisor, I was privileged to serve an amazing group of Public Relations Managers. We agreed we would get together on a Zoom call and they would collaborate on creating content for the year based on our calendar. That year, the districts in the region communicated the same message just in different languages and using different visuals that reflect their culture. That year, the region was the top performing in the world.
In my early days in Toastmasters, I was taught at a TLI that no club has a membership problem, we have public relations, service, culture challenges. I believe the organisation globally can improve our membership plight by collaborating with one another realising that if we all work together to share the one message of Toastmasters, all of Toastmasters wins. Let’s collaborate, not compete!
What are your views on collaboration and competition in the context of Toastmasters?