March 15, 2015
What is the purpose of Landscape Ontario?
LO Executive Director
I recently read a book on the science of motivation. The research says that motivation is fuelled by autonomy, mastery and especially purpose. It outlines that we should constantly articulate “why” our organization is important.
Over the years I have observed members communicate our purpose in many ways:
“We are club for mutual improvement.”
“We exist to grow a prosperous, professional, ethical, recognized, valued and contribution-oriented industry.”
“Our purpose is to advance the industry.”
“Our purpose is to educate, and promote our industry.”
“Our purpose is to support each other.”
“We exist to be prosperity partners.”
“We are in the business of enhancing lives.”
“We are stewards of creation.”
“We are a green force for beauty.”
All these purpose statements are valid and communicate why we exist. Even though there are many different ways of communicating purpose, the best way is through action.
Landscape Ontario is a collective of individuals. Landscape Ontario is “you.” Together we have a job to do. As LO members, we have assumed responsibility to take collective and individual action. Our job is to grow a prosperous, professional, ethical recognized, valued and contribution-oriented industry. Our job is to raise awareness for the economic, environmental, health, recreational, therapeutic, life-style and spiritual benefits of our industry. Our job is to enhance lives by what we do and who we are.
There is a saying, “Be the change you want to see.” Recently, I came across a slogan adopted by a school in the U.S.
It says, “I am the change.” What a wonderful statement. Perhaps we should amend it to, “I am the change — I am Landscape Ontario.” The industry will continue to change for the better because our members inspire others through their actions. As your staff, we are constantly inspired by your integrity, industry pride, honesty, respect, trust, character, professionalism, competence and contribution ethic. It is no wonder we have such a vibrant, engaged and successful organization.
We enjoyed successful net membership growth this year (six per cent). However, each year we cancel approximately 150 members. Some members leave because they retire, or because of business failure. Others leave because they see no value. Some leave because they feel the dues are too high. Many become members simply for the discount on trucks and equipment. Once they receive the benefit, they leave. Years ago we mounted a very successful membership campaign based on discounts. After a few years, most of those new members vanished. This underscores why it is so important to sell membership based on purpose. Discounts are important. Purpose is essential.
Scholarship challengeLeaving a positive legacy motivates many of our members. Mark Cullen is one of those. He recently challenged LO to raise $100,000 per year to distribute as scholarships. He has also dedicated three of his Toronto Star columns in February to promoting careers in horticulture.
Mark’s challenge came with $30,000 a year of his own money. This has motivated the Designer Sector Group, Unilock, Teresa Matamoros, Russ Loney, Bob Allen, Bernie Wolfe and some of the chapters. We are up to $75,000. Consider taking the challenge. You choose the amount. You develop the criteria. You choose the school. You choose whom you want the scholarship named after. There is nothing that beats a gift of legacy.
Contact me if you are interested at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Property update and Listening TourMost of you know we are in the middle of a real estate deal. We are selling 23 acres of our 48-acre property. If everything goes according to plan, we will close the deal on Mar. 31, 2015.
This means we will have expanded resources to accelerate activities related to our purpose. In keeping with tradition, we are seeking input from our membership on how to best use the resources for the collective benefit.
President Dave Braun has already started a Listening Tour. Please let your views be known. Consider this question, “What is the one thing that Landscape Ontario can do to realize our vision of a prosperous, professional, ethical, recognized, valued and contribution-oriented industry?”
Although there are many actions and activities necessary, we are asking you to focus on one. This will give us a real sense of priority. Send me your answer.
Tony DiGiovanni may be reached at email@example.com.