Change for New Era Rotary Leadership?

      Comments Off on Change for New Era Rotary Leadership?

Rotary definitely has the brainpower, new neural discoveries have the tools and millennials have new era service suggestions. Together we’re armed with a new question!

Our new question, How are you smart? replaces the traditional question, How smart are you?  The new question relies on multiple intelligences and a rebooted idea of IQ as fluid, not fixed, impacts our service initiatives. See trailer below!

Armed with these new insights, the Edmonton Strathcona Rotary Rotarian in District 5370, known as “The Friendly Club” launched an initiative to increase members and include more young guests.  After a brief introductory session to start a buzz for this idea, several Rotarians suggested we invite guests to another interactive session with the brain in mind.

We scheduled our older and younger participant mix for a special inter-generational brainstorming session on April 24th.


See our trailer here

With integrated ages in the session, we surveyed our multiple intelligences, tossed in a dose of serotonin, the brain’s wellbeing chemical, and enjoyed a growth mindset outcome together! Over lunch we planned service project ideas that engaged multiple intelligences from within each team.

From the outset we expected fun interactions as teams designed service opportunities for a new era, all while discovering how each team member is smart. Supported by our club members, energized by younger guests, and facilitated by Ellen Weber, we began to co-lead our club into open spaces for new members to find meaning with us.

Here’s the skinny:  We …

  1. Identified a question that will interest participants of all ages and backgrounds. Questions will differ from club to club, but ours was tested out ahead for interest across ages and backgrounds. What question will connect diverse generations and backgrounds with service they might engage together at your club?

  2. Connected our question to service possibilities by inviting each diverse team of 8 or so members to develop a service project that would use the multiple intelligences their group represented.

  3. Shared service project ideas from each and discussed how these would draw from the unique intelligences of each participant in that team.

  4. Enriched our Rotary club with a list of service projects generated during this session. Rather than topics that would all be rolled out – instead we used the list to guide future service being considered. The list ensures we gather projects more suited to our new era, which is vastly different in nature than the era when Rotary was founded.

With less than an hour and about 65 member + guests to engage, we stopped there. Members left with a practical takeaway after identifying their multiple intelligences and spotting strengths and weaker areas. We also discussed strategies for strengthening each intelligence by using it more on any day.

Next we will take every service topic submitted by teams, and plan the second session around the notion of barriers to change from within our brains! Emphasis remains on fun, service and incredible Rotary brainpower for both of these!