Russel Winder's Website

BCS - The EGM Saga Now Over

So the BCS EGM called by Len Keighly et al. is over and the resolutions all went against him and his group that chose to challenge the actions being taken by the BCS Trustee Board and the CEO. No doubt the Trustee Board and CEO will publicize this widely as a huge vindication, but is it really? Only 32% of the members voted, which means 68% didn't care about the result. So the whole thing was about as interesting to the electorate as a local government election.

What I did find mildly interesting was that whilst around 75% of votes cast were for the Trustee Board and CEO on all but one of the resolutions, for the one that really mattered (Resolution 3) only 62% of votes were for them. So although the resolution to terminate further spending on the transformation until full account was taken was defeated there was clearly less support than for all the other resolutions.

Personally, I was in two minds about the whole thing:

  1. The BCS needed a revamp. Due to the success of ECDL and other ventures the BCS has clawed its way out of the quagmire of some years ago where it was nigh on destitute, and is now relatively flush. It's image though remained the old one which was looking tired. I am not a great fan of the brand, but I am pleased there is a new one.
  2. I had little confidence in the Trustee Board and CEO. The way the CEO and Trustee Board managed the whole revamping thing with the members showed significant condescension. Worse the way the Trustee Board and CEO have handled their side of the EGM campaign has involved throwing members money at a campaign of vitriol against the people who called the EGM. This really irked me. So I guess I am not unhappy about the actual outcome as it means the evolution of the BCS will continue. I just hope that the Trustee Board and CEO will learn a lesson from this. The BCS is a membership organization, as well as being a business that generates income. It's members matter. For the last 15 years or so, the BCS has been managed as though the members didn't matter at all.

A particular hobby horse of mine is the members magazine, which I think is very poor. Compare "IT Now" from BCS with "Physics World" from the Institute of Physics. I flick through "Physics World" and generally read some of the articles. I flick through "IT Now" and immediately consign it to the recycling. Thus, apart from having some postnominals, what do I get for my membership fee? Recycling.

OK so I could attend specialist group meetings and branch meetings, and very occasionally I do. However far too few are actually interesting to me, and all to often they happen on a Thursday. I can't do Thursday evening. Actually, somewhat like Arthur Dent, I still haven't got the hang of Thursdays.

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