Rotaweek 02-Aug-2015

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Sun 02-Aug-2013



In the 1930s, Ole Kirk Christiansen, a Danish carpenter, had a wooden sign hanging on his wall that read, Det bedste er ikke for godt: "Only the best is good enough." Today, Christiansen is remembered as the inventor of Lego, the colorful plastic bricks beloved by children around the world. But in the early days of the Lego company, its signature product was a wooden duck – one built to the highest standards, out of aged beech, with three coats of clear varnish. Lego's company history tells how Christiansen used his ducks to teach a lesson in quality to his son, Godtfred Kirk:

One evening, when I came into the office, I said to my father: "It's been a good day today, Dad. We've earned a little more." "Oh," said Dad, "what do you mean?" "Well, I've just been to the station with two boxes of our toy ducks for the Danish Co op. Normally they get three coats of varnish, but since it's for the Co-op, I only gave them two. So I saved the business a bit of money." He looked at me in dismay. "Godtfred, fetch those boxes back. Unpack them and give the ducks another coat of varnish. You're not going to bed until the work's done – and you'll do it all on your own." There was no arguing with Dad. And it was a lesson for me about what quality meant.

Today, Lego's quality standards are legendary, and its products are the most popular toys in the world: Lego pieces outnumber humans 86 to 1.

We all recognize that this success stems directly from Lego's business practices – its insistence on quality, efficiency, and innovation. I compare this with our efforts in governance and accountability in Rotary, and realize that sometimes we fall short of the standards expected.

The leaders at the Rotary International, zone, district, and club levels have to maintain the highest standards in governance. The RI president and directors must serve the membership in a meaningful manner; zone leaders must deliver on the investment Rotary makes in them; district leaders must provide dynamic leadership in the district and focus on transparency in accounting and timely reporting of financials; and club leaders must adhere to proper reporting functions and get their clubs onto Rotary Club Central.

Just as Christiansen refused to consider sending a lesser product to any of his clients, so should we refuse to consider giving a lesser effort to any of our work. We must always demand the best of ourselves – in our professional lives, and especially in our Rotary work.

For in Rotary, what is our product? It is not wooden ducks or plastic bricks. It is education, water, health, and peace. It is hope, and it is life itself. For this work, only our best is good enough. I ask you all to remember this – and to do your very best to Be a Gift to the World.

K.R. "Ravi" Ravindran
RI President 2015-16




The Rotary Foundation has traditionally used a few annual goals to guide its planning for the next Rotary year. However, there is a more comprehensive plan in place for the current Rotary year. At their October 2014 meeting, the Trustees utilized the spirit of the RI strategic plan by approving four priorities to stay in place for the next three years:

1. End polio, now and forever.

2. Strengthen Rotarians' knowledge, engagement, and financial support of The Rotary Foundation.

3. Increase the quality and impact of Rotary's humanitarian service effort through Foundation grants and the six areas of focus.

4. Enhance the image and awareness of the Foundation's record of achievements, particularly the success of PolioPlus and its 100-year record of doing good in the world.

In addition to the agreed four priorities for the next three years, the Trustees also approved four measurable goals for each of the priorities. Therefore, we now have 16 measurable goals to guide our efforts. The goals can be changed each year as progress is made on achievement of the priorities, but for the current year our course is set – and for the first time, it is measurable!

I will be sharing some of the goals with you in future editions, but it is worth noting that the advent of measurable goals for the Foundation came at a propitious time. RI President K.R. Ravindran is a proponent of key performance indicators (KPIs) for the work of Rotarians in leadership positions, and the new measurable goals made it much easier to develop some KPIs for our regional Rotary Foundation coordinators and endowment/major gift advisers. The KPIs are still an experiment, and they will need refinement and development, but they are a step in the right direction as we try to take a longer look ahead each year!

Ray Klinginsmith
Chair Rotary Foundation 2014-15


Ian H.S. Riseley, of the Rotary Club of Sandringham, Victoria, Australia, is the selection of the Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International in 2017-18. He will become the president-nominee on 1 October if no other candidates challenge him.

Riseley says that meaningful partnerships with corporations and other organizations are crucial to Rotary’s future.

“We have the programs and personnel and others have available resources,” says Riseley. “Doing good in the world is everyone’s goal. We must learn from the experience of the polio eradication program to maximize our public awareness exposure for future partnerships.”

Riseley is a practicing accountant and principal of Ian Riseley and Co., which specializes in advising local and international businesses, and has a strong interest in international affairs. He received the AusAID Peacebuilder Award from the Australian government in 2002 in recognition of his work in Timor-Leste. He also received the Order of Australia medal in 2006 for service to the Australian community.

“Governments see Rotary as positive representatives of a civil society,” he says. “We should work with them to advocate for peace and conflict resolution, just as we are advocating for polio eradication.”

A member since 1978, Riseley has served Rotary as treasurer, director, trustee, RI Board Executive Committee member, task force member, committee member and chair, and district governor.

He is also a former member of the Australian Polio Eradication Private Sector Campaign and a recipient of The Rotary Foundation’s Service Award for a Polio-Free World. He and his wife, Juliet, are Multiple Paul Harris Fellows, Major Donors, and Bequest Society members.

The Nominating Committee’s members are Ann-Britt Åsebol, Rotary Club of Falun-Kopparvågen, Sweden; John T. Blount, Rotary Club of Sebastopol, California, USA; Hee-Byung Chae, Rotary Club of Seoul West, Seoul, Korea; Serge Gouteyron, Rotary Club of Valenciennes-Denain aérodrome Nord, France; Frederick W. Hahn Jr., Rotary Club of Independence, Missouri, USA; Stuart B. Heal, Rotary Club of Cromwell, New Zealand; Paul Knyff, Rotary Club of Weesp (Vechtstreek-Noord), Netherlands; Masahiro Kuroda, Rotary Club of Hachinohe South, Aomori, Japan; Anne L. Matthews (chair), Rotary Club of Columbia East, South Carolina, USA; Michael D. McCullough, Rotary Club of Trenton, Michigan, USA; David D. Morgan, Rotary Club of Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan, Wales; Gideon M. Peiper, Rotary Club of Ramat Hasharon, Israel; José Alfredo Sepúlveda, Rotary Club of Pachuca Plata, Hidalgo, Mexico; P.C. Thomas, Rotary Club of Nilgiris West, Tamil Nadu, India; Alceu Antimo Vezozzo, Rotary Club of Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil; and C. Grant Wilkins, Rotary Club of Denver, Colorado, USA.

Source: Ryan Hyland, Rotary International


Dr Dipak R. Sarbadhikari
PP RC Calcutta, RID 3291
Curator Rotary Archives


Dr Dipak R. Sarbadhikari
PP RC Calcutta, RID 3291, India

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