Friday, January 18, 2013

How do we build a strong MCF- Part 7- The tricks.

To anticipate the tricks we need to know a little about organisational tactics to prevent change of status quo. So let us go back to my days in PICA. Ref: Here. Lets see what we can learn from my experience there.

The first thing I observed about the AGM there is that they always have a tournament on the same day. The idea of course is to rush through the AGM since the participants are eager to play. I suppose the same results can be achieved by a good makan.

Now, is that a problem? Think about it. 30 years and we still do not have a clear Vision. 30 years and we are still unclear about the rules, the role of the committee members etc etc.

Lets use a chess analogy here. We are supposed to be playing classical chess. Study deeply the position and see the best way forward etc etc. But instead we play blitz. Play by pattern. And what is the pattern we have been used to for 30 years? Yes, one that doesn't work and so we are in deep decline.

So lets have a good AGM. Lets not rush this. Lets see what is wrong and find ways to fix this. Lets play classical chess and not blitz. What is the rush?

What else can we learn from my time in PICA? Lets look at the only postmortem that I remember us ever having. After the event which I thought had serious flaws I was surprised that the postmortem was just about members praising each other. There were no efforts to look at how to improve. So that was the culture there. To improve we need to look at our weaknesses and that is not easy if we cannot set aside our egos. We see this at the National level too. Over time we see people claiming to be Ferrari's when they are not. People thinking they can raise GMs when they have not even managed to train U8's successfully etc etc.

But we need to look at things realistically or else we cannot improve. Too much empty praise leads to self delusion.

And so the other trick will be to attack you personally. To make it very painful for you to raise issues to discuss or to pin point shortcomings. Only false praise is acceptable "discussion" to them.

And then there are the technical tricks. The old committee under ROS will say that they have one vote each. Actually they do not. The constitution only gives the votes to committee members voted in under COS regulations. The first AGM is to vote in the first COS committee. See the constitution again. Here. If you are in doubt, clarify with COS. Better still, invite an officer from COS to witness the AGM.

So what else can they do? They can also not give you clear guidelines on how to submit your resolutions. Why do you think that may be so? With the resolutions you can limit their powers. With the resolutions you can give instructions that they have to follow. With the resolutions you regain your position as boss of MCF. Now why do you think they will give up the authority they have stolen from you with only the use of gentle persuasion? What does the evidence say? This is only a fraction of the powers duly vested in you as the State Affiliates at the AGM. Here.

There is one more trick I can think of right now. This happened during the PICA AGM 2009. The voting was by secret ballot. Now this is what the AGM can also decide on. Open voting or closed. The AGM is the highest authority so don't let them tell you otherwise. Anyway this was what I think happened during the PICA AGM. I went in with the belief that we had the votes to win. And then the voting was done by secret ballot. And I lost by one vote. I have always wondered if some people who were supposed to be in Team B actually voted the other way. What they really wanted was just a foot into the committee. Food for thought yes? So in retrospect I think it would have been better if the voting was open. At least then we know who stands where especially if they are going to be voted into the same committee, don't you think?

And so status quo can be kept in many ways. So stay vigilant. All we want is an improved MCF that can lead us on the road to success again. So please keep that in mind.

In my next post I will talk more about the committee positions and the skill sets needed to advance us further.

Note: This is just my experience for what it's worth and you can choose to use it or not. But I hope you do. Lets not repeat past mistakes if it's at all possible. So do look at this as my personal postmortem freely given to you with no conditions or expectation. Use whatever you think is useful for the benefit of Malaysian chess. See you again soon.

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