No organization, either fraternal or private, can be successful, in the long term, without establishing well defined goals and objectives from which to direct the membership. Successful goals are those which are conceived with the participation of the membership and executed with their support.
Human nature dictates that a person will strive to achieve a goal if it is well defined, understood and accepted. He will not, however, endeavor to work if he has no idea what the ultimate purpose of his labors are.
A Lodge without defined and accepted goals is a Lodge without committed and enthusiastic members.
Establishing goals for your Lodge is a group process which should involve your entire roster. Naturally, some, principally your officers, are more important and should be brought into the process early for their participation, ideas and ultimate support. Others, the sideliners and inactive reserve, should be advised of the results of your labors and their input requested. Thus everyone is aware of the existing problems and the manner in which they are going to be resolved. What we are going to do, when it is going to be done and how it is going to be accomplished. Start the process of establishing goals for your Lodge by following this simple group process:
A. Assemble your officers and perhaps a few interested sideliners in a suitable meeting place, one that offers relaxation and comfort. Obtain and utilize a large flip chart and a handful of colored marking pens. Also provide some suitable refreshments to keep the assembled brethren contented.
B. With one man assigned to the chart, begin by asking each man individually – What in your view is the biggest problem existing within our Lodge? Allowing each participant to list only one response, go around the room and solicit an answer from every individual. Continue around the room numerous times until all perceived problems are listed. Remember that every man is different and each has an individual view on what the real problems truly are. Every response must be respected. To ridicule someones view will effectively remove him from the process and insure his ultimate opposition.
C. Once all the problems are listed, then the group should review the work accomplished and begin to list them in priority. Once completed,
you now have a listing of the perceived problems within your Lodge. Some problems will be minor and can be easily resolved by an immediate decision. Others will be major and require extensive plans and work to be achieved.
D. The solutions to these listed problems should be the foundation for the ultimate goals which the leadership of your Lodge should establish.
Allow your group to renew the problems and establish a few achievable goals, both short term and long term. Then communicate your goals and plans of action to the membership for their input and ultimate acceptance.
E. Stay on track, continue communicating your goals,
and announce all progress and/or problems that you have encountered.
What have you just accomplished? Think for a moment. You have begun team building, communicated through a group process, outlined what needs to be accomplished and achieved a buy in from both the present and future leadership and the membership. Everyone now knows, in writing, what direction that you and the future Masters of your Lodge are traveling. Additionally, they are aware of what is going to be required of them to accomplish the tasks at hand.
The following is just one example of setting proper goals and objectives for your Lodge. During your meetings, you and your team have concluded that the financial base for your Lodge has been eroded over the past few years and the team has determined that something must be done to correct this deficiency. Therefore, as a group,
you have set the following as a goal: Increase the Financial Resources of the Lodge by
$10,000 within three years.
Objective A. Review present spending to insure that all funds are now being utilized efficiently.
Objective B. Review the historical pattern of spending and saving to ascertain how you arrived at your present levels.
Objective C. Review all sources of income into your Lodge – dues, donations, rentals, dinners, social events,
candidate fees, etc., each as a percentage of total income.
Objective E. Determine what present spending can be reduced to assist in achieving the goal.
Objective F. Determine what fees can be raised and to what levels to achieve the goal.
Objective G. Communicate the findings of your team to the membership through the trestle board, special newsletters and at all meetings.
Objective H. Develop a plan of action with specific time frames for implementation of all fee increases and/or spending decreases that will meet the goal that your team has set.
Objective I. Bring the goals and objectives before the Lodge for full discussion and approval by a vote of the membership. The work of your team is now an official goal of the Lodge, fully approved,
and awaiting implementation.
Objective J. Continually review the plan of action and update it as the need arises to make sure that you and the future leaders are meeting the established goals of your Lodge.
The above is only an example of many such goals and objectives which your Lodge may wish to adopt. The important lesson to be learned is that your Lodge and its membership require specific direction if they are to be concerned and active.
Dont hesitate: Wade on in: the waters fine.
The magnificent Temple that was constructed by King Solomon was not accomplished without detailed and concise plans which outlined all the tasks that were required, when they were to be constructed and who was to do the work. Proper planning leads to concise execution and results in superior performance and ultimately user satisfaction. It is mandatory that you need to establish an overall extensive plan for your year that includes separate detailed plans for each of your terms activities and programs.
The planning process may be thought by some to be unnecessary and a waste of time. However, it is a short sighted view which, in many cases, will result in a severe decline in the quality of customer service provided within a Lodge.
There are all sorts of plans: some are short term which may relate to a program for a specific evening, and others are long term which may extend over a period of years. The important issue for you to be concerned with is that you and your Lodge have specific plans for every activity and every improvement that is desired, both short and long term.
Team building and establishing goals and objectives as outlined above are the beginning of the planmng process. You now have the officers and the Lodge communicating with one another for the purpose of improving your Lodge. Now you must begin the process of preparing plans for implementation.
Prior to embarking upon any task, you first must know where you are.
Then and only then can you plan which roads you must take and which vehicle you must ride to get you to your desired destination. It is easy to meet, discuss problems and then establish some goals and objectives. The hard part is to actively put them into effect.
You can talk all day about the trip you are going to take. The difficulty comes when you must decide where to go how to go and low much it is going to cost you. The results of the
problem sharing and goal setting meetings that you have held with your officers and members is the point of departure for the planning process.
Direction is more than setting your goals and objectives or developing extensive plans. Direction combines the above with specific guidance on completing assigned tasks or overseeing the work. Taking into consideration our present society and the fact that a Lodge is an assembly of volunteers, care must be given in the manner in which direction is given. It is easy to bark orders in an authoritarian manner. However,
little will be accomplished because your membership will soon return to their homes and find something else entertaining to do. Additionally the absence of direction will create a leadership vacuum and absolutely nothing will be accomplished.
Each task within a Lodge requires proper direction if the job is to be completed according to plan. When assigning a task to a member tell him in polite terms what you wish accomplished. Request his input, decide what path to take and strike an agreement as to what is going to be done. If a disagreement arises regarding the process,
praise him for his ideas but then inform him of the manner in which you would like the task to be completed. Use words such as That is a great idea but if you dont mind I would really like it done this way. In every instance when giving direction,
think about the best way to approach a Brother and ultimately obtain his support. Common courtesy and good manners is the honey that attracts those worker bees.
Direction can also come through a detailed explanation of what the requirements are for each job within a Lodge. Did you give your officers and Committee chairmen a job description of their duties and responsibilities? Verbal descriptions often times are insufficient to provide adequate direction. Call a meeting with your team and completely review each task within the Lodge and assign it to an individual.
Section 6 of this Handbook has excellent examples of job descriptions for your officers and committees. Use them where appropriate or change them to reflect the traditions of your Lodge, but above all,
commit the routine and required duties of each officer and committee member to writing. Finally, distribute the materials to those involved and make sure that they understand what is required of them.