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MattR

Setting the tone with a new CSE

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1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

I don't even see how this impacts just about anything I do either.  Say we reduce all the above salaries and then pass all the savings on the Scouts.  That does what - reduce the national budget by 5 million a year?

5 million more to pay off past transgressions that current Scouters didnt do. 5 million more to create marketing material to show potential scout parents the value of scouts and to encourage more boys to join. 

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29 minutes ago, David CO said:

It's just you.

@David CO, I don't believe @ParkMan is alone. We all might have salary envy, until we're the guy asked to put in 80 hour work weeks and risk reputation while being in a national spotlight.

15 minutes ago, TMSM said:

5 million more to pay off past transgressions that current Scouters didnt do. 5 million more to create marketing material to show potential scout parents the value of scouts and to encourage more boys to join. 

If those personnel leave for better pastures, it might saddle us with 5 times as much in financial loss due to decisions made by the inept exec who would think a 90K salary is a big deal.

Unfortunately, the only folks in a position to know if execs earned their keep are the board.

Some of these positions were "earned" through a career of drawing 5 million-dollar donors per year.

And that could be a source of the real problem. A million-dollar donor, doesn't necessarily have the vision for what their contribution should look like. Most, would not want it to look like a bunch of fiscally conservative bean counters tightening belts. A few decades ago, some would want it to look like teams of lawyers defending the American way all the way to the supreme court. I'm not sure any donor envisions their contributions as fending off suits brought on by changing statutes of limitations. And we see at SBR that donors known for building envision their bronze statute somewhere on the property.

Needless to say, someone caught up in litigation, mortgaging capital, and donor appeasement is not going to be thinking much about program.

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My concern is the number of pros receiving said salaries, the upshot being many of them are performing duties that contribute very little benefit to units in the field.  Executive level busy work.

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36 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

My concern is the number of pros receiving said salaries, the upshot being many of them are performing duties that contribute very little benefit to units in the field.  Executive level busy work.

Again - my suggestion is that we focus on the problems that we they need to solve.

To help, here are the positions on that list:

  • Chief Scout Executive
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Technology Officer
  • General Counsel
  • Deputy Chief Scout Executive
  • Asst. Chief Scout Executive of Development
  • Asst. Chief Scout Executive of Outdoor Adventures
  • Director of Human Resources
  • Director of Information Technology
  • Director of Marketing
  • Director of Outdoor Adventures
  • Director of Supply
  • Director of Support Services
  • Director of the National Jamboree
  • Director of the Summit
  • Director of Philanthropy
  • Director of Government and Community Relations
  • 2 Regional Directors (not sure where the other two are)

Many of these I can see would have little to no impact on unit serving people.  (i.e., General Counsel, Human Resources, Development, and Philanthropy).  But for the others, what do you think that their departments need to be doing that is not being done?

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8 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Again - my suggestion is that we focus on the problems that we they need to solve.

To help, here are the positions on that list:

  • Chief Scout Executive
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Technology Officer
  • General Counsel
  • Deputy Chief Scout Executive
  • Asst. Chief Scout Executive of Development
  • Asst. Chief Scout Executive of Outdoor Adventures
  • Director of Human Resources
  • Director of Information Technology
  • Director of Marketing
  • Director of Outdoor Adventures
  • Director of Supply
  • Director of Support Services
  • Director of the National Jamboree
  • Director of the Summit
  • Director of Philanthropy
  • Director of Government and Community Relations
  • 2 Regional Directors (not sure where the other two are)

Many of these I can see would have little to no impact on unit serving people.  (i.e., General Counsel, Human Resources, Development, and Philanthropy).  But for the others, what do you think that their departments need to be doing that is not being done?

Most of these are essential services at an executive level.  My contention is these functions are staffed with too many high paid managers and not enough worker bees.   Also, some of these departments are quite inefficient and need a shake up in what they do and how they do it. 

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Is it possible that your list is a list of problems we need to solve?

In the business world, a string of losing seasons seldom produces  continued tenure, much less raises, for the top management.  (I live east of Cleveland, and few seem to want to be Mayor of Cleveland.  The "opposition" to the incumbent Mayor last election consisted of two convicted criminals - a grafter who served his prison sentence for taking bribes and a chronic drunk driver.  The incumbent easily "won."  "Victory," a "New Beginning," etc.  is proclaimed every 2-3 years as the population, physical safety, and average standard of living falls. ) 

In wilderness survival, the consensus is that admitting there is a problem is a precondition for doing anything to improve odds of survival.

 

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16 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

Most of these are essential services at an executive level.  My contention is these functions are staffed with too many high paid managers and not enough worker bees.   Also, some of these departments are quite inefficient and need a shake up in what they do and how they do it. 

What problems do you think they need to solve that they are not?  Why do you think that they are inefficient?  Why do they need a shake up?

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3 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

What problems do you think they need to solve that they are not?  Why do you think that they are inefficient?  Why do they need a shake up?

We are mortgaging HA bases, numbers continuing to decline, fees are increasing and we are headed to bankruptcy.  .... Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

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17 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

What problems do you think they need to solve that they are not?  Why do you think that they are inefficient?  Why do they need a shake up?

I believe @Eagle1993 hit the nail on the head.

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It is not  enough that they preside over steady failure?

OK

1. I believe that good unit-level program, and nothing else, attracts youth customers for BSA and for Scouting.  BSA seems to focus on everything else, including to the detriment of program.  The first question before anything new is adopted or anything is discontinued should be, "How will this impact sales?"  We need BSA leader who focus on program or we need Scouting to leave BSA.

2. BSA seems to believe that easily obtained "bling" is the key to membership growth, even as making bling easier to obtain tracks declining membership.  5-7 times as many "Eagles"; summer camp merit badge mills; merit badge  "colleges";  OA for ALL.   It may not be causing membership decline, but it is not correcting it.  It is, rather, the pursuit of illusion.  We need sane and honest leadership at BSA or we need to leave BSA,

3. BSA focuses on $$ to meet payroll, and risks to that $$$ $$ $,  to the near total exclusion of concern for any other factor.  So, in the four Ohio councils that I have studied since 1981, volunteer positions in the district and council within the gift of the paid Scouters increasingly go to the sources of the biggest donations (See "Good Volunteer") without consideration of performance.  Staff payroll is important, but the obsession is short-sighted.  No customers is the end of the jobs as surely as lack of revenue from begging.     Our Museum account, for which I was Treasurer, went short $2,000 donated to support the Museum.  There was no inquiry.  I was told, "Not to worry. " (I did not worry.  I resigned.)  Gifts to the museum of Scout memorabilia have been sold off to fund payroll. What was that "Trustworthy" thing?  We need leadership at BSA and councils that is trustworthy or we need to leave BSA, lest we be as tainted as they already are.  

4. For years, lack of adult volunteers has crippled program.  I see no effort to correct this shortage.  Instead, BSA absolutely discourages direct recruiting of adults who do not have youth in the program, even though adults with children no longer in the program are disproportionately volunteers beyond Cubbing.  This is not explained; simply decreed.  (I am told enforcement is uneven.)  Some YPT theory? My friends in Canada, India, Australia, and the Philippines find this policy bizarre.  It is, and it needs to change.  We need more adults. (Donors are, of course, aggressively recruited. I do get monthly appeals for $$$, including "estate planning opportunities." 💀 )

5. Most of the officials at BSA are unfamiliar with the substance of BSA program "methods."  I have officially asked three times  for guidance on what BSA wants me to teach about the Patrol Method at the district, council, and area levels, because the training syllabii do not approach covering the topic.  They have  not done so for over thirty years - closer to forty-five. BSA is unable to define the Patrol Method since Marc Griffin left Information Delivery several years ago ( and he ran out of time to correct the problem before being transferred, eventually to Salt Lake City to try and save LDS membership).  BSA is too busy with things other than Scouting - things less important to BSA survival, much less important to Scouting.  I tried to discuss with our SE why Leadership, formerly though to be an aspect of citizenship, was a separate "Goal" now.  He was totally confused.  He could not distinguish methods from goals and did not understand the methods.  Leading a "business" that you do not understand produces Sears. It too peddled off assets before the end.

6. Membership figures in BSA are often false.  Our just-previous SE, an honorable man, had to take a 30% membership hit his first year when he closed down numerous fake units. My home council's first "Executive" was fired over this issue decades ago when 25% of the membership is fake.  The FBI has formally investigated phony membership figures from other councils.  Membership numbers once drove United Way contributions, motivating lying about membership.  It's called "Digging deep for Scouting"  because the liar pays the registration fees to improve his performance metrics.  When I tried to recognize the SMs of my district's two oldest troops some years ago, I found they, and their troops, had been dead for years.  I could not get the crooked DE fired but I got a new DE.  We now have units in one suburb for sure that have not had advancement in many years - none, but they re-register with exactly five youth and three adults every year. I am assured they do not meet.   I went to there "meting place" one "meeting night" and found only the janitor, who knew nothing about Scouits.  Competent, honest leaders demand that the "numbers" be reliable so they can make rational decisions.  The recognition of that need motivated our immediately-past, and honorable, SE to chop heads when the fraudulent numbers did not immediately stop as he had demanded.  Good for him!  Accurate performance numbers are NOT essentia for "pretend" leadership.

 

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16 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

...  But for the others, what do you think that their departments need to be doing that is not being done?

Definitely a productive question (at least more so than "vote the bums out".)

  • Info tech ... put forums on the front burner. Work more ever more closely with volunteer pool.
  • Marketing ... even leaner font guide.
  • Jambo ... sell big-zip tickets to visitors. Let college presidents (aside from WVU?) know that 25,000 youth -- most with academic aspirations -- will be in one place one week. Ask them what they would like to do about it?
  • Supply ... until finances improve: print every document -- including Scouter and Boy's Life -- in black-and-white. Handbook for girls? The line to the young ladies should have been "Make due until we make money." Sell our literature at the WSJ trading post. SMs were telling me they were disappointed to not see it.
  • Summit ... drop the name. Or, rather, use it for the best gathering location for scouts in each district, council, area, and region. Change the goal to developing properties for mini-summits (erstwhile known as summer camp) in every state.

I could go on. But, to earn their keep, we need lot's of thought towards ensuring that anybody can scout well within 30 miles of home anywhere in this country. If we don't get it, don't worry, those positions will hit the skids as scouting under different organizations begins to rise to the fore.

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2 hours ago, ParkMan said:

Again - my suggestion is that we focus on the problems that we they need to solve.

To help, here are the positions on that list:

  • Chief Scout Executive
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Technology Officer
  • General Counsel
  • Deputy Chief Scout Executive
  • Asst. Chief Scout Executive of Development
  • Asst. Chief Scout Executive of Outdoor Adventures
  • Director of Human Resources
  • Director of Information Technology
  • Director of Marketing
  • Director of Outdoor Adventures
  • Director of Supply
  • Director of Support Services
  • Director of the National Jamboree
  • Director of the Summit
  • Director of Philanthropy
  • Director of Government and Community Relations
  • 2 Regional Directors (not sure where the other two are)

Many of these I can see would have little to no impact on unit serving people.  (i.e., General Counsel, Human Resources, Development, and Philanthropy).  But for the others, what do you think that their departments need to be doing that is not being done?

I would be intrigued to know what these folks actually do on a daily basis to support the units and grow Scouting?  Also, for every one of these there are the minions that do the actual stuff.  Sure the average is $322 K annually for this staff, but how many other staff does this in fact spawn?

What does the Director of National Jamboree do the other 3 years?  What exactly doe the CSE and Director of Outdoor Adventures do?  Maybe High Adventure bases, but those all also have GM's, wonder what value they bring and how many new members (you know the actual youth) this brings or members their efforts retain.

I worked for a company, about 1 billion of so in sales, we had 12 locations (a distributor business) and handled about 40K orders daily.  Our overall executive load was easily 1/2 of this, and no high end retirement plans.  Point is I am sure these folks are busy, but what are they actually busy doing to drive sales (more youth)?  Do they even have an idea what that work entails?  When I ran one of our sites I would be out on the floor picking orders daily, seeing what our customers were ordering, working with the staff who actually did the front line work each and every day.

On what do they do, this is the same question we ask about our DE when, on the rare occasion, actually have a question and may need some support...crickets...unless it's about Benjamins.  Then he's all in.

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On 1/1/2020 at 9:03 AM, Jameson76 said:

Interesting. I really have mixed feelings on that list. I know one of the board members. Both his sons were in my troop when I was SM. On the other hand, why is the Director of Program (or Director of the Keeper of the Flame, not sure of his/her title) not paid enough to get on this list? Who on that list owns how the program reaches the aims? As others have mentioned, the amount of money isn't nearly as big a problem as how it's spent. I completely respect that things like marketing and IT are important, but someone has to own the core reason of the organization. Shouldn't they be top dog?

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