Remind me again – Why am I doing this?

JustineWritten by: By Justine Eden

 

Ever found yourself doing something and wondering why you wanted to do this in the first place?  Or perhaps you agreed to do something as a favor to someone you respect, but ended up regretting getting involved?  I have.

Unfortunately my forays into doing “community” based endeavors have not always played out as I imagined.  I went in really excited – feeling it was an opportunity to contribute back to a community that I had lived in as well as get involved in a different sector that interested me.

While these ventures have been wonderful as far as meeting new people and building new friendships what’s surprised me is how often dysfunctional these organisations are.  Boards are usually made up of strong personalities use to being the “captain at the helm, calling the shots”.

I believe that when you are responsible for public funds the need for transparency and governance is absolute and that’s something I take very seriously.  From the way cash is collected and controlled through to the way funds are spent and what it is spent on – there has to be a clear objective that everyone is aware of and the majority agrees on.

Many community-based organisations are run by volunteers who may or may not have a business background, but still bring a myriad of skills that are valuable in every respect.  Discussions seem to take longer to reach a resolution and often you don’t get a consensus but I don’t think that is a bad thing, just sometimes frustrating.

There’s no doubt that most people have the best intentions, but too often hidden agendas and power plays seem to get in the way of appropriate “corporate citizen” behavior.  Many have been immersed in the organization for considerable periods of time and therefore struggle with the new and emerging landscape, where to remain viable you have to change.

There’s a lot of good being done, of course, but like anything, it has to resonate with you.  There needs to be a fit and a connection where you feel like you are making a contribution to the greater good.  For me, its early days and I’m not saying that I am totally giving up, but I have been left wondering if it just not for me……..