Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Volunteer Management: The Final Frontier

I remember reading an article sometime ago, or maybe an opinion piece from Susan J Ellis about mentions of “volunteering” in popular media for example movies and TV shows. Susan had spotted a few examples and had asked people to submit their own. You will have to find this somewhere on Energize I expect as I am only recalling by memory and am in a lazy blogging mood so you’ll have to find it!! :-)

I am not sure what brought it to mind tonight. But I thought I’d have a little bit of fun and find places where Volunteer Managers could get a mention.

The most obvious place to start is Star Trek. If memory serves me right there is no money and thus no one is paid for anything. Ah….but there’s a question – if you do work and are not paid for it…are you a volunteer? Only if you “volunteer” to do that work right? Let’s have that Star Trek Debate another day. Because I could go on just like Dimitry Chernikov does in his blog http://dmitrychernikov.com/blog/star-trek/

“In one episode of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 Captain Sisko describes Earth as “paradise.” It is a paradise in which there is no such thing as money, and people don’t get paid for doing things. In the same episode we see Sisko’s father’s restaurant, but the workings of his business remain mysterious. The problem is that without the price system and money serving as a unit of account it is impossible to rationally allocate resources and capital goods in particular to their most valued uses. The difficulty lies in the fact that the price system is an emergent property of the market, arising as a result of entrepreneurial competition for capital, though, of course, there is nothing magical to it: we can clearly identify the source from which that property emerges, viz., the recognition by the individual members of society of the benefits of social cooperation and division of labor, and can even trace its evolution from a tiny two or three-person market to one in which social cooperation has become worldwide. “

I digress. So here is how we can write VM into a star Trek Episode.

From Star Trek the Next Generation

Scene – The Bridge

Captain: Number one!
Number one: Aye Captain
Captain: Have you noticed anything about Worf right now
Number One: Yes – he appears to be crying
Captain: Thought as much. Mr. Worf
Worf: Yes Captain
Captain: My ready room now! Number one – you have the bridge
Number one: Aye sir

Captain and Worf enter ready room

Captain: Mr. Worf. You have been my head of security for many years and I have never seen you so upset. What is the matter?
Worf: Sorry captain. I must compose myself. Today is Universal Security Head Day and even though I normally keep my emotions in check it appears that everyone on this ship had forgotton the day that celebrates my profession and I am a little sorry about that.
Captain: you are passionate about your sector Worf!
Worf: Yes sir and I feel we will never be recognised for what we do. I still don’t think that we receive enough training and resources and we don’t have a high retention rate
Captain: could that be due to the high danger element in the job Worf?
Worf: Perhaps – but we Klingons are passionate about our profession!
Captain: But I’ve never seen you cry!
Worf: Perhaps today is a good day to cry!
Captain: Now snap out of it! Your day will come. Please see Mr. Data in the Holodeck at 0200 hours and he will take you on a history tour of the Volunteer Management profession
Worf: Volunteer Management?
Captain: Yes – now the most sought after and respected profession in 8 quadrants. But it wasn’t always so. Do you now that once upon a time the volunteer management sector wasn’t even recognised by some key leaders in Volunteerism?
Worf: No!
Captain: Yes.
Worf: I keep advocating for the profession but sometimes I feel like giving up
Captain: Don’t give up! Make a difference!
Worf: I take it the odds are against us and the situation’s grim.

Captain: You could say that.

Worf: If Spock were here, he’d say that I was an irrational, illogical being for going on a mission like this... Sounds like fun!


  1. I can't believe it, but the Hot Topic you refer to was way back in 2003!

    Here's the link
    Andy Fryar - OzVPM

  2. You are the Mastermind of Volunteerism Andy!


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