CityVP 🐝 Manjit en Campus Design Thinking Member (Offline Learning Lab) • Trafalgar Leaders & Speakers 19/5/2016 · 1 min de lectura · ~100

The Individual

The Individual

The founder of Toastmasters, Ralph Smedley based his organization for the individual.  A college, while it sets individual exams is generally a tribal experience.   When we add social media, the tribal mindset simply overwhelms the idea of the individual. 

As a society there is a distinct bias towards the group and even in the discussion of individuality.  "Individual" or being undivided is in reality a difficult proposition, and this proposition has nothing at all to do with individualism. 

Ironically the best face of an entrepreneur often deals with the individual rather than the group, because in this setting it is a one-to-one customer relationship.   The best teachers also provide a one-to-one educational relationship, which is often disrupted and altered by educational policy.  The report cards I used to receive as a child were handwritten by each teacher rather than input into a computer according to a set system of evaluation.

There is a desire in us to achieve personal touch and to treat people as individuals, but it is desire that is systematically made difficult to achieve.  The promise of a college toastmasters club is that students have yet to face the world of work, where the group is a major force of values.  Even the wording "customer" does not guarantee recognition of the individual simply because we may talk of customer experience.

In a great Toastmasters club of any type, member experience is central.  This is because the governance system of a Toastmasters charter is based on private membership body.  In a non-profit organization, it is the members who are the owners.  This basic piece of governance is echoed in John Carver's Policy Governance model.  It is however often a forgotten reality at the grassroots level when we should be thinking in terms of the interests of members.

In a perfect world respect for the individual would be the norm, but in any organization type setting, cliques and tribes do form.  The group mentality wins over the individual.  Add that to the special interest groups that guide public education and it makes it tough to consider the value of serving an individual.  If there is one thing that a college toastmasters club can do that can make a great difference, it is to learn from the greatest entrepreneurs and greatest teachers about the personal touch that makes the individual important - and at Toastmasters where there is a self-paced self-learning imperative, and where every evaluation is an individual's own opinion - it is a marker on our individual leadership ability to ensure the club is dedicated to the individual, even if the group rules supreme everywhere else.