Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Re: BSA Organiztion/National
Re: BSA Organiztion/National
Tue, 27 Apr 1999 14:36:31 -0400
<Steven G. Tyler wrote>
With all due respect, Mike, all the reasons you've listed are a poor
excuse for a national organization *not* to have an e-mail address.
Exactly the same weak excuses could be made for not having a published
snail-mail address (all those messages, many of which should be to the
councils, etc., etc.).
Except, Steven, that the BSA's line of communication involves
snail-mail. The BSA wants to maintain it's current line of
communication, which puts the primary contact a lot closer to you an
me than National. If the BSA were to publish an email address, the
folks at the local council would suddenly find themselves blind-sided.
Instead of hearing about problems from the local volunteers, they'd
hear about them from National. That means every conversation you have
with a local council professional will start with "Why didn't you come
to me first?"
The bottom line is that all large organizations have, or will soon
have to develop, the ability to sort and respond to incoming e-mail.
You may be right -- much of the incoming mail may need to be referred
out to the appropriate council, but hiring a staff person to screen
the incoming mail, with a series of automated responses available
(including an option to autoforward to the appropriate councils),
would pare the flood down.
Most large organizations DO NOT rely on local field personnel to
handle day-to-day business. Most large organizations are extremely
centralized and don't even have local field personnel in some areas.
These organizations have no choice but to hire someone to screen email
because there's no one else to talk to! The BSA is extremely
DECENTRALIZED and relies on its local representatives to handle
whatever comes up.
What was left could be routed to the on-staff professionals for
response, spread amongst the staff to avoid overwhelming any one
person. Yes, this might eventually require an extra staff person or
two, but the increased good will generated would be well worth the
cost, IMHO. The very same logic applies to the local councils.
And just what is National supposed to do with a bunch of emails asking
about the availability of Boy Scout Handbooks in Scranton, PA or where
are the troops in Bellingham, WA. The BSA has hired and trained
individuals and placed them in Scranton and Bellingham to provide
personal, direct answers to those questions.
Enough excuses! It's time for national and the councils to bite the
bullet and prepare to join the rest of the wired world. Their
head-in-the-sand attitude is becoming a real embarrassment and source
of irritation to the vast number of Scouters who've discovered e-mail.
Steven, what is the first thing you would do with an email address for
National BSA? Most likely you would send them an email containing a
question that is extremely important to you. Now, ask yourself how
long you are willing to wait for a response. 2 days? 5 days? A week?
Longer? Finally, ask yourself is there isn't SOMEONE at your local
council who could answer that question a lot faster. That's what the
BSA has had for most of its life, and it's a communication system that
works well. For the most part, the BSA HAS discovered email, they just
want to maintain their traditional communication system so that THOSE
WHO SERVE ARE AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE TO THOSE BEING SERVED!!!!
The BSA would not be able to serve you or your Scouts any better with
an email address than McDonalds would be able to serve you if you had
to order everything through their corporate headquarters!
A. J. Mako, email@example.com , Scoutmaster Troop 381
Home of the Unofficial Win95 Boy Scout Desktop Theme,
Old Portage District, Great Trail Council, BSA
"I used to be an Eagle (C-7-97), but I'll always be an Eagle (1981)"