Uncle Dave’s Handy Dandy Guide to Organisational Reform (Living History).
So, you want to reform your Living History Group? This is a surprisingly difficult activity. However if you follow this Uncle Dave’s Handy Dandy Guide, you will be well on your way to Organisational reform without the unpleasantness of being compared to a ruthless Dictator with an unholy lust for Power.
Step 1. Idea
So you have an idea on how to reorganise your club? Good for you! All great visions commence with an idea. You should write down your idea and share it with everyone else in your club. “But Uncle Dave”, I hear you cry, “I hardly ever see everyone in my club!” Fear not! There have been remarkable advancements in Information Technology in recent years. By use of the telephone, e-mail, and social media it should be relatively easy for you to communicate your ideas to the rest of your club.
Step 2. Discussion
It is very important to give everyone in your club an opportunity to discuss the merits of your cunning plan. This works best if you write down the merits of your cunning plan, and send them out to everyone. Importantly give people a bit of time to think over your proposals. Be very careful to make sure that everyone in your club has an opportunity to discuss your proposals, even if you think that they may not support it. Letting people who disagree with your plan be part of the process is inconvenient, but is considered to be an important part of the democratic process and Freedom of Speech.
Step 3. Voting
After you have let your club members discuss your proposals, call for a vote. This involves giving everyone in your club advance notice of the vote. Thirty days is often typical for this sort of thing. In your notice make sure that you make it clear exactly what the members are voting for or against. Remember that IT stuff? E-mail, social media and telephones can be used to distribute information about the vote to all the members. More importantly, people who are unable to be at the vote can use these methods to cast a ballot in the matter. Under no circumstances should you disenfranchise any of your club members because you don’t like them, you think that they’ll vote the wrong way, or you just like to begin all your speeches with the words “I know that I speak without fear of contradiction”.
Disenfranchising club members by withholding information about the proposed reforms, and then preventing them from being able to vote on the issue is a rookie mistake! It makes you look like you are engaging in an Emperor Palpatine like grab for power to the punters, and just puts people off. Also, remember to keep your henchmen on a tight leash! For example, do not allow them to send messages to potential opponents talking about shooting them, and then send out an e-mail to everyone else mocking the victim and their wife for being afraid. This sort of behaviour will make you seem less like a wise Statesman, and more like a super villain who can’t control their minions.
Step 4. Appointments
So, you’ve got your reforms passed and created nice new Office Bearer positions for you and your minions. Good work! Now don’t stuff this up by getting cocky. Don’t do something stupid like getting yourself elected El Prezidente For Life in a secret election for positions that half your club don’t even know have been created! Remember the mantra, disenfranchising the members is bad! You have to bear in mind that disenfranchised members are likely to react in much the same way as startled villagers who have just watched the mad scientist unveil the monster. Before you know it, there are flaming torches, pitchforks, and castles getting stormed.
Just be patient. Send out the nominations at the same time as the information about the reforms, again 30 days or so. People will probably just vote for you if you’re being open and honest. They may get a bit suspicious of your motives if you just show up one day wearing the Imperial Purple and proclaiming that you are The State following some secret vote they never heard of.
Step 5. Advertising
One you and your cronies have created positions of power for yourselves, and had yourselves successfully installed in them, you may want to advertise the fact. You are at the pinnacle of your power, and should make the most of it. Send out copies of the minutes as soon as possible! Let people see how many people voted for your reforms and yourself. Answer questions, promote debate, and take every opportunity to appear wise, temperate, and farsighted.
Do not, under any circumstances, go to all the trouble of getting yourself into a position of power, then spend months refusing to supply minutes and reports to members. Don’t ignore e-mail from the punters asking what’s going on, or giving them evasive non-answers! People will realise that you’re trying to con them when after three months they’re still trying to find out what’s been going on.
You are El Prezedente For Life! Be bountiful and Presidential for your people. They should love you! Make them love you! Don’t mess about with skulking in shadows, afraid to give people a straight answer for fear that they’ll realise that you rigged the whole thing. Get out there and dazzle them!
So there you go. How to reform an Organisation according to dear old Uncle Dave. I hope that this guide has helped you bring glory to your seizure of power. Remember! Use the IT available! Don’t disenfranchise the members! Don’t hold secret meetings! And advertise your success! Follow this simple five step plan, and you too can successfully reform an organisation!