The commissioner corps is off to a roaring start in 2015. As of February 1, 124 councils are live on Commissioner Tools with the remainder of our councils to follow as we move forward. You will see ample coverage of the Tools launch elsewhere in this issue and on the national website, but now is a good time for a reminder about some of the core reasons behind Commissioner Tools.
In designing the Tools, we continually asked about the needs of unit commissioners and how we could make their role easier and more rewarding. Commissioners told us that we needed a better tool than UVTS to measure unit visits, and that technology should help us communicate the needs of those units within the district and council. We crafted a “simple and unified” technology platform to make unit visits more effective. The Tools eliminates a lot of paperwork while streamlining the planning process. The planning process now results in a coordinated Unit Service Plan that captures what we need for each unit to be successful. At the same time, you need a wealth of information to serve your unit. That information is now readily available to our volunteers through Tools, alleviating the need to go through your local council office for information.
The 2015 Journey to Excellence standards for unit service have been integrated with Tools and have been revised to focus on areas that matter. Unit retention is a separate criterion, recognizing that it is our most fundamental measure of success. Another JTE standard measures the number of unit visits (now called contacts), but more significantly encourages a detailed assessment to help the unit develop the Unit Service Plan. The 3-to-1 unit-to-commissioner ratio has served us well, but it is time to more directly focus on how many units have been contacted. As a result, you will see less focus on the familiar 3-to-1 ratio. The JTE standard now focuses on number and quality of unit contacts, and not the number of commissioners.
In the coming months, you will see new and enhanced resources to support Tools. We are in the process of revising all of the support publications, general and subject matter training courses, and College of Commissioner Science courses to reflect the arrival of Tools and the new JTE standards.
The commissioner mission of retaining our units remains the same. We still want to focus on Four Things that we know will drive unit retention:
- Drive improvement in Journey to Excellence performance.
- Contact units and record the data in Commissioner Tools.
- Identify and link unit needs to the resources of the district and council.
- Renew that unit’s charter!
We welcome your feedback on these and many other tools, methods, and resources. I hope that you share my enthusiasm about commissioner service in 2015 and beyond.