New Business Practices

In this episode, I’m discussing change, and how it affects all of us in the BSA. Just as you are forced to evaluate and improve your practices on the local level, we must do the same on the national level. For the past few months, the National Council has been in the early phases of a transition to an entirely new way of creating, storing, and publishing information. While change on this scale is not easy, it represents growth and movement toward a more modern, effective, and productive way of working.

How is your council doing business differently? What new processes and procedures have you found that work well in your council during these changing times? What best practices have you put into place that turn convention on its ear? I’d like to hear your thoughts … please use the comments feature to share your ideas.

9 thoughts on “New Business Practices

  1. How’s it working to ourtsource the registuar to the National Office? It sure is nice to have a local registuar that I can talk to to help sort out the many complex issues that arise with documenting registration, training, and advancement.

    • This is only an option for those councils that want it. It is outsourcing the data entry. There still has to be someone in the council to coordinate & to answer questions.

  2. Not a very comforting message considering it is encouraging out sourcing, which could cost most of us or jobs.

  3. This sounds like a wonderful breath of fresh air for both the speed and cost of providing information for volunteers and professionals so that it is accessible when, where, and how it can best be utilized!!

  4. Hi Wayne,

    I comment as a volunteer.

    Key business practice: Volunteer led, professionally-guided.

    My Council has recognized a substantial amount of previously unused expertise, and a general desire by volunteers to ensure the Council meets our high quality standards. This has led in less than a years time to process improvements, growth of our Campmaster Corps, re-opening one of our camps to Webelos Resident Camping, development of a shooting sports program, and formation of a robust Technology Team. These initiatives have promoted inclusion and brought to bear a diverse set of resources.

    This is more than just use of volunteer labor to reduce costs or provide feedback — professionals and volunteers are partners in all major initiatives. As an example, the Popcorn Program materials were reviewed and playtested by volunteers, resulting in a “Volunteer Optimized” stamp on the program guide. This signifies volunteer feedback has been solicited and applied, that the information a volunteer needs should be in the materials, and that work has been done to streamline the process to show value for a volunteer’s time.

    I credit our Scout Executive for recognizing this opportunity, and I credit both the volunteers and professionals of my Council for tirelessly working as brand ambassadors in their everyday lives. Through the “volunteer led, professionally guided” approach, there is opportunity for broad participation and folks look positively on the results.


  5. Social media seems to be picking up. Facebook pages and groups keep Scouts, parents, and volunteers connected in the virtual world. A big question is how does social media interact within the youth protection guidelines? Also printing event flyers on the backs of recruitment flyers has increased attendance at our council activities. Just some ideas…
    Georgia DE

  6. Wayne,
    For a council who has not had a registrar since April 2012 the national registration services has been great. It took a bit to get used to however the process is very clean. They key is getting the applications sent down with all the proper information that is required on a youth and adult application. It has been nice to involve commissioners in the ownership of this process.

    Shared services is a key phrase here in Michigan. When you recognize where you can share services, you can then reinvest that money into more boots on the ground to support the local unit.

    Thanks for this months message!

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