From: sec-r03@ieee.org on behalf of George F McClure [galaxies@cfl.rr.com]
Sent: Sunday, March 19, 2006 2:07 PM
To: r3-excom2006@IEEE.ORG; sec-r03@IEEE.ORG
Cc: d.green@IEEE.ORG
Subject: R3 Director's Report
Region 3 Director’s Message
 
Last year, I had an eye-opening interaction with a member who said that he saw no value in the IEEE organization above the section level – he heard from Region 3 only when reports were late, and he thought there were no resources we had to offer to sections for smoother operations.  If he were right, this would be a stinging indictment, but the truth is that he did not know how the Region could help section volunteers – either because we had not communicated or he had not read the materials we offered.  Either way, this showed that we need to sharpen our processes to better support our volunteers and our membership at large, and to make the information more readily available..
 
Our January planning retreat was a big boost toward our goal of enhancing member value in IEEE.  There were nine initiatives identified that we will need your help with. I’ll mention the nine, then zero-in on a couple.
 
First, improve use of existing capabilities to deliver services more effectively to our members, sections, and chapters.  This includes renewed emphasis on the Region 3 Awards and Recognition program as a means of expressing appreciation to volunteer members and others for a job well done in promoting aspects of the engineering profession.
 
Second, improve the effectiveness of Region 3 Organization and Operations.  One innovation is the  R3 Help Desk concept contributed by Bill Marshall and being developed by him, to help provide answers to questions about section and chapter operations and to form a repository of such answers in a FAQ file.
 
Third, to avoid reinventing the wheel, capture our lessons learned in a digital archive for Knowledge Capture and Document Management.  Charles Lord has agreed to spearhead this effort.
 
Fourth, provide tools and training to enhance volunteer recruitment.
 
Fifth, continue our mentoring initiative through Leadership by Developing Others.  A CEO recently said industry can’t be bothered with mentoring – it is too labor intensive and his managers are not to devote time and effort to it.   http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114220403238296037.html To the extent this reflects general sentiment, our mentoring services assume added significance as a benefit for our members.
 
Sixth, recognizing our need for outreach, we have a membership development initiative, ably led by Lee Stogner.
 
Seventh, Region 3 was the birthplace for the Teacher In-Service Initiative that now forms a cornerstone of the IEEE pre-college initiative, and we will continue training members who desire to participate in that program to help secondary school teachers make math and science interesting so that students will be motivated to seek more knowledge in related fields.  This supports the national goals of innovation and competitiveness through the recommendations recently identified by the National Academy of Science, in “Rising Above the Gathering Storm”.  http://fermat.nap.edu/execsumm_pdf/11463 
 
Globalization, spurred by free-trade agreements, is a fact of life today.  The arrival of  the Information Age made possible by ubiquitous computing, low- or no-cost global communications, and the Internet has been called the Third Industrial Revolution. http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20060301faessay85209/alan-s-blinder/offshoring-the-next-industrial-revolution.html?mode=print
It is important that we, as engineering professionals, recognize and embrace the flat world reality, counseling our members on surviving and prospering in this environment – our eighth initiative, being led by Bob Duggan.
 
To improve our ability to follow-through on these important objectives, we have a ninth initiative, to enhance R3 capability to increase income.
 
Your support and assistance in any and all these initiatives is welcomed.
 
At Southeastcon in Memphis, you will hear more about a member survey conducted last year which guided our planning retreat.  Key among member needs that IEEE can satisfy are delivery of training, mentoring, leadership development, continuing education, and unemployment assistance.  Training that volunteers receive in IEEE duties can assist them on the regular job – it’s a risk-free way for them to gain experience in team-building and program management that their employers can benefit from.  All of these fit under our first initiative.
 
The reason for that survey was the decline in our U.S. membership – about 20 percent of our members fail to renew each year.  Recruiting new members is more difficult that retaining existing ones, but we need to do both.  Lee Stogner has passed to our 41 sections the information on lapsed members – who had not renewed by the end of February – so that their membership development chairs can arrange to contact them about their reasons for non-renewals.  At the same time, he has a goal to increase our Region 3 membership by 5 percent this year.  Past Director Jim Howard has issued a challenge for every Excom member to get five new members this year.  Beyond this, we continue the Senior Member elevation campaign where Region 3 led all other regions in exceeding our goal last year.  Statistics show that the retention rate for higher grade members (above member grade) is better than for member grade.

George F McClure
g.mcclure@ieee.org
1730 Shiloh Ln
Winter Park, FL 32789
407 647-5092
Fax 407 644-4076
Mobile 407 758-0321