Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Change in Agility Organizations

Today on this blog action day we are talking about things that would improve your favorite agility organization.  Read more blogs on improving your agility organization here.  For me this is about change and how can we effect it.  For example, can I get my agility organization to change from metal jumps to something safer?  Could I get my agility organization to change jump heights so my little 13" dog can jump 12" instead of 16"? 

Change is a very complicated thing.  Change can be expensive. Change is often difficult because it not only can hurt the bottom line of a company, you also have personal egos and "it's worked in the past, why change" attitudes. 
Change trickles down and impacts organizations that support the "parent" organization.  The cost of making the change may be too much for smaller groups to meet the standards of the parent organization and resistance can be a huge barrier. 

In business change is a balancing act, change happens when:
  • The loss of revenue to the organization motivates change to occur. 
  • A business anticipates the needs of the customer and provides a service that results in getting a bigger piece of the pie.
The pie is power, the pie is income, the pie is cherry!
As an agility competitor, it is your right to try out each organization to find the one that works for you.  As an agility organization, it is that organizations responsibility to decide who their customer is and respond to that customer's needs.

Change does not occur when we stand around and complain.  Change within an organization is going to happen ONLY when that organization feels the pressure (complaining is like a mosquito buzzing around your head, action is that mosquito biting you and you killing it).  For example, rubberized contacts.  I personally stopped going to shows that didn't have them.  I know many of my friends did the same.  Pretty soon, groups in our area that had rubberized contacts were getting larger entries and groups that didn't have them started to see their entries fall.  I can't think of one group in my area that does not have rubberized contacts may have taken a while for the change to occur, but occur it did.

My favorite agility organization is USDAA.  I compete there for many reasons, but sometimes I don't like the rules.  One example is 22" weave poles at Nationals last year.  I could have said, "I'm not going."  If enough people did that, we'd see 24" weave poles in no time.  But unlike rubberized contacts, I didn't feel strongly enough to force change. I went and enjoyed myself and came home to my 24" poles.

Mostly I want my dog running happy and safe.  If I don't like what a club has to offer, I'll let the club know why I won't trial with them. Sure I'll miss out on some fun trials, but by not participating and communicating clearly is the only way organizations/clubs will spend the $$ to make those changes we'd all like to see.

So bottom line.  If you'd like your favorite organization to change, make it happen starting with the clubs that form the foundation of the organization. Money speaks way louder than complaints.


Diana said...

Well written!!

Elf said...

Good point--it's so much easier to complain than to actually do anything, though! ;-)