65 ideas to increase dog show entries

In my day job, I help organisations to solve their problems and to improve performance. Time after time, the best ideas for improvement come from the staff in the organisation, not from their senior managers and rarely from Head Office. The trick is to find a way to tap into people’s knowledge, experience and enthusiasm.

At last weekend’s Southern Dachshund Association Committee meeting we had a discussion about how to increase dog show entries and we asked everyone to write their ideas on Post-It Notes under 3 headings:

  • What could the club do?
  • What could the KC do?
  • What could the General Championship Shows do?

Within 10 minutes we had 65 ideas on Post-Its. There were roughly the same number of ideas under each heading, which I think is a reflection of how open-minded and creative our Committee was. Of course, they weren’t all different, but the duplicates often reflected the common and strongly held views of our Committee members. The ideas were sorted into themed clusters.

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For our club:

  • How to encourage new people to join the club
  • How to make newcomers more welcome at our shows
  • How to select judges that will draw a good entry
  • How to collaborate with other Dachshund Breed Clubs

For the KC:

  • How to allocate CCs to Breed Clubs
  • How to change entry classifications
  • How to improve the approval of judges
  • How to address the perception of nepotism

For General Championship Shows:

  • How to work more collaboratively with Breed Clubs
  • How to improve the exhibitor experience at a show
  • How to improve value for money
  • How to appoint judges that will attract a better entry

Some of the ideas were more aspirational – good ideas, but harder to implement – while others were very practical and could be implemented quickly.

I’m not going to share the specific ideas here as that would be a breach of Committee confidentiality, but you can be sure that SDA will be doing its bit to implement the best ideas.

Linus Pauling, the US scientist said: “the best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas“. What is clear from our Committee is that there is no shortage of ideas, if only you ask the right people, in the right way.

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