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2 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

Interesting choices of companies that changed and brought new customers and growth

  • Kodak peaked in 1996, bankruptcy in 2012 and the former Blue Chip stock was delisted from the NYSE
  • For Suzuki In November 2012, Suzuki announced that its US division would file for bankruptcy and would stop selling automobiles in the United States
  • Nintendo went from 18 Billion in sales in 2008 to 4 billion in sales in 2017

*  Kodak's main business was selling camera film.  In 1996, if you wanted to take photos, you bought film.  There were no digital cameras available to the consumer.  in 2002, the first cell phones that took photos were released.  By 2012, you could take fairly good photos on your cell phone.  Consumers had switched to digital cameras, including Single Lens Reflex cameras that took excellent quality photos, and taking photos with their cell phones.  Consumers were no longer buying film, their mainstay product.  Kodak tried to market Kodak-branded digital cameras but they weren't very successful at it.  The did declare bankruptcy to restructure.  They still exist but are a lot less engaged at the consumer level as they are at the business level.

* American Suzuki Motor Corp declared bankruptcy and shut down manufacturing in the US because their market niche was smaller cars with more basic features.  In 2012, the market in the US had definitively trended back up to larger vehicles, SUVs and Trucks - which had much better gas mileage ratings than previous versions and had the safety features that US law required and the bling that consumers wanted.  Suzuki could no longer compete.

* Nintendo was the king of at home video game consoles.  In 2008, a video game console was needed to play most video games.  Today, you can play those same video games on-line - on your phone or your computer.  No one needs video game consoles anymore. 

In each case, these companies were going the way of the buggy-whip.  They're main products no longer relevant in today's market.

The BSA has been heading the same direction as these companies.  They could continue down the same path making no changes because "it upsets existing customers" or they can make changes to try to keep the concern going.

Maybe a more apt list of companies to consider would be:

Nokia - from paper mills to mobile phones

Xerox - founded to manufacture and sell photographic paper

IBM - from typewriters, calculators and computer hardware to software and consulting

Fortune Brands - from tobacco to golf clubs, furniture and other varied consumer goods

3M - from mining to sandpaper to post-it notes, health care and electronics (among other varied businesses)

Also DuPont, Corning, GE, Monsanto - to name a few.

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Once again decline in participation in social organizations is not the same issue as changes in physical products for sale. It is a facile, shallow argument. I see why you use it, it is the language National keeps using but I think they are wrong too. 

@Col. Flagg has a point...if they are rolling the dice on this they really show no signs of that they had an organized plan. 

 

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4 hours ago, EmberMike said:

But when we're at a point where membership is falling fast enough to see a very real possible end to BSA scouting within this current generation of scouts, I guess anything is worth a try.

The end of BSA within the current generation of Scouts due to falling membership? I would be interested to see data to defend such a calamitous prediction. From what I have read, BSA has recently experienced a 2-4 percent drop in membership annually.

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1 hour ago, gblotter said:

The end of BSA within the current generation of Scouts due to falling membership? I would be interested to see data to defend such a calamitous prediction. From what I have read, BSA has recently experienced a 2-4 percent drop in membership annually.

We've lost a lot more than 2-4% some years. Some years lately it's been 6-7%, and as high as 8% one year as I recall. From 2012-2016 membership declined by 400,000 scouts (Cubs and Boy Scouts). When you can lose close to six-figure numbers in a year and membership is around 2 million, it doesn't take a whole lot of years to get us to a point where things really start to fall apart. And we don't have ot get to zero to close the doors. National probably can't maintain the business as we know it if we get to less than 500,000 scouts. 

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7 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

Currently BSA only reaches about 10% of available scout aged youth.  The CSE has pretty much stated he and key leadership is out of ideas on how to remedy that issue.  Honestly at that point he should have resigned and had some new management come in with a vision.  Rather than seriously examine that, determine what growing troops are doing to be successful, do lessons learned on what troops do to grow, they have decided to plunge ahead and basically fundamentally change what BSA is going forward.  

Putting aside the discussion on whether BSA should go coed (yes that's what's coming), to ignore how this fundamentally changes the organization and how it will deliver program is the definition of denial.

Around here, per our SE, it's under 5%.

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In each case, these companies were going the way of the buggy-whip.  They're main products no longer relevant in today's market.

A Kodak engineer invented the digital camera. 

AT&T (the original) decided in 1984 that it would get out of communications and become a manufacturer of general trade computers.  That's why a communications company bought the name - the new AT&T, formerly Southwest Bell Communications.

Landers, Frary and Clark - first in the world in consumer products of metal.  Then gone in a few years.

Westinghouse.

Western Electric

Soon, Sears.

It's complicated.  If it were easy, anyone could do it.  Does the talent exist at B.S.A.?  They were positive the New Scouting Program would cause a big change in membership.  It did - 1/3 loss in three years.  

 

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36 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

 

It's complicated.  If it were easy, anyone could do it.  Does the talent exist at B.S.A.?  They were positive the New Scouting Program would cause a big change in membership.  It did - 1/3 loss in three years.  

 

I'm afraid the numbers don't bear out the claim.  In 1972, there were 6,287,284 members.  A 1/3rd loss would bring that number down to 4,371,508 - the BSA didn't drop below that number until 1979 - 7 years later.

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2 hours ago, CalicoPenn said:

I'm afraid the numbers don't bear out the claim.  In 1972, there were 6,287,284 members.  A 1/3rd loss would bring that number down to 4,371,508 - the BSA didn't drop below that number until 1979 - 7 years later.

First, there are no audited numbers and a history of padding.  We lost a Scout Executive in 1926 over paper membership, the executive who left circa 2008 left 30% paper members (Council took the hit the next year as the new SE would not tolerate the practice, bless him.), and NBC reported an FBI investigation of membership padding to drive charitable contributions in 2005 (AKA "the Birmingham Scandal," wherein Ronnie Holmes got caught doing it again http://www.starnewsonline.com/news/20060603/probe-finds-alabama-boy-scout-group-inflated-membership-by-13000-youths/2 )

So if we accept BSA unaudited numbers (And what else do we have?), you are correct.  We lost only 25% by the end of 1976 and only 31% by the end of the last year of the ISP, 1978.  But as the goal was a big increase (Recall "Boy Power"?), not much to crow about.  

And the bleeding was stabilized, not stopped, when BSA went  BACK to the past with Bill. 

Cause and effect?  One can speculate.  But certainly the "new" did not correspond with improvement except in its title.

 

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21 hours ago, EmberMike said:

But current membership is not what the BSA is fully focused on, not should they be.

you're right, the 90% of boys who aren't in Boy Scouts and could use that moral barometer in their lives so they don't succumb to academic failure, drug and alcohol addiction, incarceration or sexual violence... should be their focus.  

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@EmberMike brought up an excellent (and debatable) point:

(a) What is the unsustainable membership point? 500,000? Is there logic behind that number?

(b) Before you hit that 'collapse' number is there a 'tipping point' number before that where other weirdness happens?

Can you have a traditional program that is smaller and sustainable? I think so.

(A lot of factors for the decline and it is WAY bigger than scouts. As a co-worker recently reminded me, don't forget child molesting scoutmasters. That stung a little, but can't help our numbers.)

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11 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

(Recall "Boy Power"?)

I do recall BoyPower ManPower, was a scout and we had pressure to recruit.  For those too young to remember......

Started about 1968, Boypower was intended to get one boy out every three in the U.S. into Scouting by the Bicentennial in 1976. In the end, it led to major scandals concerning paper units, mystery Scouts and diversion of government funds. Chicago led the way at the time, more paper scouts than anyone.  Combined with the 1973 program changes designed to appeal to minorities, It also caused a major drop in membership by 1980.

There have been other cheating scandals (Learning for Life is the latest) and other program efforts that didn't succeed, but this one was the granddaddy of them all

 

Image result for boypower manpower bsa

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23 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

 

@EmberMike brought up an excellent (and debatable) point:

(a) What is the unsustainable membership point? 500,000? Is there logic behind that number?

(b) Before you hit that 'collapse' number is there a 'tipping point' number before that where other weirdness happens?

Can you have a traditional program that is smaller and sustainable? I think so.

(A lot of factors for the decline and it is WAY bigger than scouts. As a co-worker recently reminded me, don't forget child molesting scoutmasters. That stung a little, but can't help our numbers.)

Can I interest you in a prime piece of property in lovely West Virginia??  Got some neat zip lines.  There is a this rather annoying balloon bond payment coming up, but maybe we can work through that.

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12 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

Can I interest you in a prime piece of property in lovely West Virginia??  Got some neat zip lines.  There is a this rather annoying balloon bond payment coming up, but maybe we can work through that.

China may be  interested.  In November, "China Energy Investment Corporation Limited signed an agreement (Memorandum of Understanding?) with the West Virginia Department of Commerce on an $83.7 billion plan to invest in shale gas development and chemical manufacturing projects in West Virginia. "

http://www.wsaz.com/content/news/China-Energy-signs-837-billion-West-Virginia-investment-agreement-456288953.html

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