As you may recall the Past Commodores Club delivered a letter to the Executive Committee asking to form a committee to look into changing the Bremerton Yacht Club Government by removing the Bridge from a Leadership role and re-assigning the Bridge to oversee Social Functions. The restructuring of the Executive Committee would then be tasked with more focused responsibilities and an Executive Chairman would be elected in the proposed model.
I responded to the letter by recommending that a Best Practices study needs to be performed to examine the management structures and systems of the Grand XIV Yacht Clubs, who most closely reflect our own business holdings. A best practices study can give us insight into what system demonstrates the best overall performance structure. From the information gathered an assessment could be made as to whether change is needed or whether we need to build upon practices already underway and improve them. To date the best practices study has not been undertaken and remains an opportunity vital to determining what changes would serve us.
A few weeks after receiving the letter the Audit was delivered which pointed out discrepancies regarding the Executive Committee, fiscal issues and inaction in regard to budgeted projects. I spent the next several months working with the Executive Committee and all interested key members in order to address the Audit. I am grateful for the wholehearted support and progress we have made this year and for that I thank those who actively participated to find solutions and address issues in a timely and efficient manner. A great deal of effort and progress was made evaluating past, current and future projects. How we generate projects, implement them and budgeting for them was also discussed.
A Pilot Program was designed to electronically gather and share information between various committees with a focus on Project Management. This Information and Gathering System should go a long way to simplify the amount of material the Executive Committee has to evaluate so that they can make sense out of what was a bewildering amount of confusing data handed out at the start of a meeting with just minutes to digest and make sense of it. Additionally, I asked that a business calendar be created with red line items submitted by the various Committee members showing time sensitive dates such as taxes, DNR, leases and insurance issues to be clearly indicated. The aformentioned and more can be added to the calendar.
These programs and many others were introduced to address the challenges touched on by the audit and identified by all of those participating during our own analysis of Club Government.
I remained optimistic and definitive in stating that we have demonstrated and proved that Club Government is working efficiently and responsibly. My hope was that it would dampen the call to remove the longstanding Bridge model from its traditional Leadership role, but this did not happen. During the last General Membership Meeting I spoke about my reservations with the plan presented by the Restructuring Committee. I have been informed by the Committee that the intent with the proposed model is to provide the Club with a governing structure with a focus on business led by a Board Chairman who is groomed for that area of responsibility without distractions such as club socials etc.
The problem with this concept is that, a Committee that meets once a month to manage the club cannot govern the Club for the rest of the 29 days in between. It has been and will continue to be my position that a Best Practices study should be implemented prior to considering let alone implementing radical change to the present form of government.
The Grand XIV has a variety of models to consider, several of which have the Bridge serving on the Board without the Social duties assigned to them.
Other Clubs have a model such as the one advanced by the Restructuring Committee and they appear to work well as far as club management, but lose the engagement of the General Membership. It should not go unoticed that many of the Grand Fourteen clubs admire our current model.
The advantage of Commodore as Leader of the Organization are many, the amount of responsibility placed upon this individual may at first glance be considerable but "fire makes steel" and by being engaged at every level ensures maximum opportunity for the chosen and elected individual to evaluate and make the best possible decisions he or she can in accordance with the level of engagement that comes with ownership in the club through leadership, devotion, action and hard work in a hands on setting. The Grand XIV social calendar allows this individual to further enhance his/her decision making by being able to discuss with and formulate solutions encountered by like individuals in a myriad of instances mirroring situations found in their own organizations and thereby further cements a close working and social relationship with those clubs which provides so much more opportunity to enjoy the lifestyle we now enjoy and celebrate.
Some members are grappling with considering a change or course of action which provides the best possible degree of success in pursuit of strengthening the health and welfare of the Club which will propel us into the future.
The Restructuring Committee has obviously spent a lot of time honing their vision for the future of this club, now in order for you to make your own determination as to whether or not change is needed you must ask yourself, is what we have working and how can we improve upon the actions and systems we have in place and has the Committee satisfied those questions?
I thank you for your support, your thoughtful responses and most of all for your friendship, kindness and sincerity.
All the best,
Commodore Don Hardgrove