Friday is the day I pick up Joseph, my grandson, from school. I ask him how his day has been, what he learned and what he might be able to teach me. I have learned many things from him but following one of his recent history lessons he informed me, “You must know your history because it affects your future”.
It got me thinking about our own Society and how we need to develop in a way that guarantees and enhances our future, and, perhaps, even our survival, on an international basis. The more I thought, the more concerned I became before drawing the following conclusions.
Taking the 60 years of FCSI’s history into consideration and repeating all that is current and right at the time has always been ill advised. We must never be guilty of repeating the past without continuously identifying and overcoming its mistakes, or identifying its successes, if we are to reflect the ever increasing and different needs of tomorrow
I liken our Society to an engine where the old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” should never apply. It needs regular maintenance or it will break down, which will become more a frequent occurrence until it is too late and it will be consigned to the scrap yard.
To ensure this situation never occurs we must question ourselves as responsible members of this great Society. We need to get involved with its future and the legacy we will ultimately leave to the next generation and our long-term successors
My membership commenced in 1981 and, having served as chair of EAME and as president of FCSI Worldwide, my historical memory acknowledges occasions when boards fail to respond, perhaps due to time or monetary constraints. However, boards are made up of dedicated volunteers who also need to run businesses, and who need input from the membership if they are going to succeed.
History again reminds me there are those who concern themselves with only “what is not being done for them”, who continually ask what benefits their membership provides, but rarely, if ever, propose alternative ideas and suggestions to their boards.
Yet a single suggestion that sets us in a different, and better, direction could become more critical as time passes. Certainly, it is the responsibility of each of the boards to be creative, to listen and react to the membership, to direct the Society and constantly consider the impact of their decisions
But do we, as members, argue that we are too busy, suggest that this is what the boards are for, that the Society is fine as it is and there is no need for maintenance? I sincerely hope not. Any organisation relies on involvement and change. What you get out of any Society is, at the very least, equal to what you put in. We are equally reliant upon each other and our future succession depends on our attention to our past.
This is my own personal reality check, which I believe will resonate with other members whatever category of membership and level of responsibility they enjoy. Are we getting everything right? Could we be doing it better? In my opinion the answer is ‘no’ to the first question and ‘yes’ to the second and I would like to engage with you to look at the future with an ever-watchful eye
on the past.
As for Joseph, who is 11 years of age, well, I will always look forward to hearing his teachings, but I will listen especially to his wisdom.
Ken Winch FFCSI is director of Ken Winch Design. He can be contacted at: KenWinchDesign@hotmail.com