The Growth of the Professional Organization for SQL Server
The Professional Association For SQL Server (PASS) Election Committee needs to review its nomination process. It needs to be more transparent so the members can make better decision as to who to choose to be in the Board of Directors. The future of PASS is in the hands of this team. What path the organization decides to tackle will be decided upon by them.
The interview of Brent Ozar with one of the candidates has opened more than the door to a one man’s mind. It has rather exposed what could be lying beneath the organization goals for the future. Obviously the nomination of this gentleman to the Board of Directors bespeaks of something beyond the obvious. The PASS as an organization is now trying to cross some demarcation which is currently not discernible. We could only smell some hints. You all know by now that I am talking about Matt Morollo (Twitter) who is nominated to the Board of Directors of PASS. This gentleman’s position is very clear in the syllogism he posted at his Twitter stream: “A core charter for PASS is about growth; MEDIA & Marketing is the solution.” On which basis did he draw that conclusion from? Do growth and media go hand in hand? What aspect of growth is he trying to consider? Has there been a “problem” pertaining to growth of the organization that “media & marketing” can solve?
Any organization similar to the structure of the PASS organization needs some sort of marketing. Media plays an important role in the promotion of the organization’s objectives. But is it right to let marketing and media drive the growth?
Did anyone conduct a study beforehand that will attest Mr. Morollo’s notion, that, indeed, “media & marketing will drive growth of PASS”? When you find “media & marketing” and “growth” in a single sentence, it is very difficult to elicit the meaning it is trying to convey. Is PASS trying to become a “Media Company”? Or is it attempting to reinvent itself as B2B Organization?
PASS has been running successful events. I am not sure if injecting “Media Organization Philosophy” is the right thing to do to advance PASS fundamental principles of “helping its members Connect, Share, and Learn“.
It is true that the “core charter for PASS is about growth”; but the context of that growth must be spelled out beyond media and marketing. The pursuit of Growth that the organization is striving for should only be driven by its fundamental ideals:
Help Members to Connect
Connection is the lifeblood of any organization. It is the principle that binds the individuals together to form one body. Without this connection the organization will not thrive. The organization must keep all channels of communication open to maintain connection. Social networks and other tools provide opportunities for such communication to take place. All members must be engaged in some form of communication whether in blog, twitter, or any other means. This also means reaching out to people who are not aware of the existence of the organization. So is this where “media” comes in? I’d say, No. Conducting quality events like Code Camps, SQLSaturdays, User Group Meetings, and the like will make this happen more effectively than spamming people with meaningless scribbles and annoying graphics such as the event flyers that media companies send for conferences.
Help Members to Share
If connection is the lifeblood of any organization, the passion to help one another is the vitality that secure the foundation of the organization. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, so they say. That wholeness is guaranteed as long as the individuals are always willing to share in any way that contributes to the attainment of the goals of the organization. Sharing in the context of the PASS organization does not only connote sharing of technical knowledge among its members. Sharing must be encouraged to go all out beyond the walls of the organization. SQL Server as a technology has evolved and is evolving toward advancement. This progress has caught significant attentions in the database industry. Reaching out to as many people as possible in every opportunity is an important ingredient to growth. Share knowledge to those who need it and create the opportunity of needing such knowledge.
Help Members to Learn
The beckon of PASS is its ability to provide quality and proper learning to its members. There is always that need to connect when there is always the need to learn. This is how civilization has thrived and advanced. It is natural for individuals to seek some sort of knowledge. This characteristics happen to be natural to SQL Professionals as well. Challenges in the workplaces push one to seek solutions; and, the process necessitates the need to learn. What is better place to look for answers or solutions than in a group of people sharing common needs, common values, and common goals.
These three primordial principles define the very existence of the Professional Organization for SQL Server. The core charter of the organization is about growth; but growth is not the end itself. PASS is an organic group sustained by the cohesion of real human relationships and driven by the need to learn and the spirit of sharing. When these elements are factored in, “media and marketing” becomes irrelevant.
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