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Global vs Local?
Last Post 27 Sep 2013 07:10 AM by Neil Hambly. 4 Replies.
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TJay Belt
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23 Sep 2013 08:46 AM  
With so much emphasis lately on the global reach and growth of PASS, how will you as a candidate balance the need to grow internationally and globally while still supporting the grass roots/smaller communities that struggle locally to gain and keep members energized and excited?
Ami Levin
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23 Sep 2013 11:08 AM  
Hi TJay,

You raise an important issue here.
As you correctly pointed out, the key to success is careful balance.

When resources are limited, global growth efforts may sometime come at the expense of other focus areas and vice-versa. I believe in setting clear goals and measurable milestones for each initiative. This way, resource allocations can be reconsidered frequently and the right adjustments can be made so that the end goals are achieved with minimal risk.
As a board member of a start-up company with very limited budgets and huge challenges, I have taken part in many very painful cuts and balancing acts that would make circus acrobats jealous.

However, there are many initiatives that can support both global and local efforts simultaneously. Focusing on those will make the balancing act much simpler. For example, establishing a speaker network platform to bring together speakers and local chapters can be used as efficiently both locally and globally. This supports a common goal of enriching the local PASS chapter meetings which is desired for all PASS chapters, wherever they may be.
There are many other such examples which you can see on my mission page at http://amilevin.com/?page_id=13 .

Thank you,

Ami Levin
Richard Douglas
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24 Sep 2013 09:13 AM  
Hi TJay,

Thanks for your questions on the forums.

To answer this really we need to look at and understand the levels of reach and engagement we are trying to achieve and exactly how we measure growth.

There are some key areas I would focus on:

* Getting our message out more effectively.
* Creating compelling content and support structures to help those entering the profession and looking to progress through it.
* Virtual chapters and Twinning
* Review duplicate memberships to accurately gauge membership and growth
* More effective content share and distribution

Getting our message out more effectively

To me this element of the question is about marketing, I see it working in two ways. The first is to invest more time and effort into existing social media channels to grow followers as I mentioned in today’s first Town Hall meeting we have reached saturation point with our current marketing channels. From there new growth initiatives will reach a wider audience. Of course not everybody at work has access to social media and so tweets and updates on channels like LinkedIn and Facebook might be lost in all the other noise. This means that other ways must be found to reach these people.


Creating compelling content and support structures to help those entering the profession and looking to progress through it.

There is a global IT skills shortage at the as a professional organization have an opportunity to combat this, so I would suggest that we should engage with Microsoft about creating new programs to engage with people who have either not chosen a career yet or are looking for a career change. This means contacting the departments that deal with education and unemployment and ask them to advertise our physical and virtual chapters through their unemployment offices, high schools, colleges and universities.

Once these people with our help have found employment they will tell others about the organization that enabled them to reach their goals. Thus adding the potential for further growth by infiltrating companies that might otherwise have not heard about PASS. This model could have a profound effect on local groups providing new members who are really keen to learn everything that they can. These new members would really benefit from networking that only physical events can provide


Use technology and virtual chapters to “spread the love” – or at least the content!

Virtual Chapters are an essential way of reaching people who do not have chapters near them or are unable to commit to a night that their local chapter meets. VC's are also a great way of expanding internationally. We are already starting to see VC's in different languages (Chinese Portuguese, Russian and Spanish), and this is something that I would like to see more of to expand into other territories. Once people experience a taste of what PASS can offer virtually they will be keen to transition to physical events be that via new SQL Saturday's or new local chapters.

In terms of keeping members energized and excited this really hits a number of core issues. Are all of these groups receiving enough support? In my application http://bit.ly/14CyXOo I suggested twinning chapters so that leaders can help to mentor each other. This can help to take the pressure off of Regional Mentors and provide more "from the trenches" advice about day to day running including attracting sponsors and speakers. I also talk about unifying backend systems to make finding quality content easier for our members.


Review duplicate memberships to accurately gauge membership and growth

Before we get to ahead of ourselves we need to take stock of where we are now. Like many people I have either changed jobs or have been acquired which has meant changes in my work email accounts. As a lot of companies do not allow access to webmail such as Hotmail and Gmail I had created new accounts at each of these companies. What is needed is some kind of regular deduplication of our membership information to eliminate duplicates and false positives on our growth analysis.


More effective content share and distribution

Finding speakers can be tricky. I am lucky in that there are a number of people in the UK who are willing to travel for the community and in fact both of the other EMEA applicants have both been kind enough to speak at my own chapter in the last few years. However, not everybody is that lucky. Because of this I believe that we need to work with PASS IT to build on the current systems that we have in order that when speakers submit sessions to and PASS event these are logged in a central database that any leader can access. The database should contain areas that the speaker would be willing to travel to and their areas of expertise. Thus providing the potential for a pool of experienced speakers to call on.

Of course the community should not and cannot afford to rely on experienced speakers alone. We need new blood and a way to encourage up and coming professionals a way to showcase their knowledge. Mentoring of these talented individuals is required, I see the Professional Development VC playing a pivotal role with it's ability to reach out to a wide audience and physical events supplementing with a more personal touch.
Allen Kinsel
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25 Sep 2013 05:32 AM  
This is a great question Tjay,

Often when I’m discussing PASS with community members this sort of comes up so I’m glad to see you tackle it head on

In my mind, its not one or the other Global vs local. It’s the same thing. For years PASS has underserved local Chapters (for instance) and in doing so created a void that needs filling. If we fill that void for existing local chapters and build up the infrastructure through technology & support in general we are at the same time satisfying the needs of ALL chapters and this is to the betterment of the entire community. A rising tide lifts all boats if you will.

More information about me and my platform can be found on my site
http://www.allenkinsel.com/pass-election
Neil Hambly
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Posts:11

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27 Sep 2013 07:10 AM  
Tjay
Thought invoking question, thanks for submitting it

For me it is simply a matter of ensuring we are focused on growth as an organisation in many different areas in which we have identified for growth as important in order for PASS to deliver on it mission
It is not some much a Local vs Global argument as one the is about prioritizing the efforts of our Volunteers to deliver on those objectives we have identified, having the structure & direction as well as the resources to make them successful

I believe that by placing our focus on strengthening our local community (grass roots) first and foremost, we can achieve the natural growth of this organization while still maintaining its core values & principles

It is true we will also have a need to focus on some specific regions and areas that are less developed or weaker than others, as well as being able to identify and push into some new uncharted waters, discovering if we can start new physical or virtual chapters, find those new leaders and volunteers to deliver more content and still encourage greater engagement of our existing members

Do we have the resources available to make this happen, if not what is missing and how do we bridge those gaps
What/where do we focus our efforts on first ?
I believe more collaboration with local volunteers and leaders is needed to achieve the widespread Growth we would like to see, but without this having negative impacting our existing chapter & events

More local discussions are needed to gain the required insights into the local needs, perhaps an increase in number of regional mentors to help with the growth in their regions and find new leaders and volunteers
For example EMEA has a large number of countries and potential new members, there are relatively few RM to support the existing local chapters and growth of new ones

Neil Hambly


Neil Hambly
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