stevedci

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About stevedci

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  1. "Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life." Manchurian Candidate
  2. stevedci

    NEW DCI Board of Directors

    motives seem pretty clear.
  3. stevedci

    Pioneer What Next?

    In 2006, DCI consider a comprehensive plan to reorganize itself, separating competition and governance and seperating participation from placement/competition. this plan was defeated by a single vote, with the "No" block driven by Hopkins -- parts of this plan were adopted piece meal in 2008. a key part that wasn't adopted in 2008 was that each year, each corps was subject to an 'evaluation' to ensure compliance and competence off the field... the criteria for those evaluations had been developed over the preceding decade as DCI started to evaluate and assistance corps on an emergency basis. this work was the starting point for what has become the evaluation processes that new Open Class corps must comport with. But in 2008, DCI adopted some of 2006 new governance struture on a piece meal basis - they separated competitive success from the governance structure, made membership subject to the vote of the current membership, and allowed board members to be recalled/removed by a simple majority - not super majority - vote of the membership, they DID NOT adopt the 'every corps must pass an annual evaluation' piece.. and Pioneer was a grandfathered member. One reason that some corps wanted this "subject to successful evaluation" clause was to be able to proactively address corps whose methods of operating posed organization wide liability risks without regard to competitive success or lack thereof.
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar's_number
  5. stevedci

    Corps Income/Revenue Stream

    couple of comments.... 1. i suspect that DCI has a pretty good handle on the duration and value of their customer live cycle and try to market to customers in ways to a) start the cycle sooner and b) increase the value creation points. i suspect that customer life cycle is, on average 2+ seasons. 2. it looks to me like dci presumes that more corps = more members = more potential butts in seats and stuff sold. there is probably some calculation based on historic transactions and data collected from members, that sheds light on how many tickets a member's family and friend can be expected to purchase and how those numbers change based on age of members and length of service. 3. to garfield's point on retaining - i suspect DCI would tell you that the time a member spends in corps has increased slightly and that attempts to lengthen the customer life cycle track this. 4.it also looks like dci is focused on getting 15-23 year olds - either in reality or by proxy. i think there may be a presumption that bottoms up pressure on scholastic band members, rather than it all being the band director downward. not sure i see lots of effort aimed at getting/keeping people who are not affiliated with someone involved in a corps to keep them coming once that friend/family is no longer involved.. dci may perceive a better return on engaging more under 20 years olds than trying to get a non-engaged 45 year-old to come to an event. 5. my take would be that DCI corps think that the job/role of dci is create more value, not allocate a fixed size pie. and i'm not sure that the internal discussion revolves around how to distribute some revenue pie. i think those discussions revolve around how do you make the revenue pie bigger? the idea that dci can support everyone who wants to run a drum corps is dead. it looks to me like dci provides a platform - critical mass of relevance, operational support, music industry legitimacy. grass-roots support - that affords a corps - OC or WC - the opportunity to seceed and the metrics to measure that success. 6. somewhere in all this i suspect is recognition that DCI's primary customer is a member/potential member. and those members have choices, as do the corps and as do family/friends. People choose to engage w/ drum corps international - a critical characteristic of the organization.
  6. stevedci

    Has the time come?

    ponder this as why there may be more to 150 size than bus size.... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar's_number
  7. we just finished the 2012 Project Persona survey for DCI... it's reasonable to assume that there are slightly more than 3200 performers in 22 world class corps.
  8. two things to consider.... 1. The essence of the drum corps experience for the members/performers 2. Rule of 150
  9. stevedci

    Friends of DCI

    couple of observations --- 1. I think there is a reasonable perspective that audience composition has shifted over past half decade to be more heavily weighted to those affilated with current performers. 2. I think there is a reasonable perspective that many parents/family of current performers have become transitory - once their affiliation with the performer is over, their affiliatiog with DCI and drum corps is over. 3. Items #1 and #2 seem to indicate that DCI's audience is shifting toward the audience profile seen at other scholastic-oriented pagentry events, such as those run by WGO or marching band shows - audiences dominated by friends and family, with little legacy partipant attendence. People show up because they have to, which may indicate that there are product issues with what DCI offers and how it delivers it. 3. A simple count of corps participating shows a delcine of nearly 50% since 2000. 4. Marching bands as a surrogate for corps, with respect to driving a customer base, may be more aspiration than reality. 4. Fewer corps = fewer potential audience members and fewer alumni, factored by declining interest of legacy participants likely equals fewer FODCI, as a trend.
  10. re: minutes having some extensive experience on boards of for-profit and not-for-profits, i can offer the observation that minutes tend to be very high-level summaries of what was occurred, not a detailed transcript. Indeed, organizations tend to keep the minutes brief and very high level and often, intentionally vague.
  11. stevedci

    So it's the big week

    let's see if we can smooth out the NPO/501c3 thinking here. a 501c3 is a tax status granted by the govt/irs on the presumption that the organization applying for that status is going to provide some service that would not be available unless the organization providing it had this status. We'll call these organizations "NPOS". These NPOs cannot run for the benefit of any sharholders, nor can there really be "shareholders". The generation of revenue and expediture of $$$$ is done in pursuit of fulfilling the mission, which is the reason they got this tax status in the first place. Charity is somewhat meaningless word in this discussions. But to the point of "charities give to the community", the drum corps ARE the community. Consider corps running bingo games - the games are generally somewhat seperate from the drum corps but the drum corps is the cause or charity that the bingo game supports. My take would be that all/nearly all corps have as a component of their mission/cause to use music/arts/performance to provide a life and education enhancing experience. Some folks may disagree with drum corps being called "charities" or "causes" or their mission. But what i think people likely disagree about is the social return on investment (SROI) that drum corps or any cause/charity delivers. The Blue Devils are not the soup kitchen operated by Sister Rosetta Stone. As a general observation, i thnk that corps undervalue what they offer participants - the market tells them that - since substantially more people audition than can be used. This of course sidesteps the quality issue - but top end corps see several hunderd more potential performers than thet can accomodate. At the same time, the corps want to value the output of their programs based on the cost to run/produce those programs -- which often leads to some serious issues.
  12. stevedci

    Changes in DCI?

    This is a long explanation -- but... the issue of directors of corps acting in their own interests has always been an issue in DCI goverance. maybe the stymie that it created will be looked back upon fondly as the golden era of DCI :-) from the beginning - 1972 - until 2008, indeed the board of director was constituted of those corps placing at certain levels. the levels changed over the years, but as a general rule, corps in the top 25 or 20 or 17 for 3 yeras running could attain Voting membership. there were lot's of issues w/ having the board selected by the contest judges which is what this did. but nonetheless, this persisted until 2008. in 1991, it was decided that there was a need for outside directors. so DCI added an Executive Committee which was comprised of 6 voting members (as CORPS not individuals) and 3 outside, non-affiliated members -- of the executive committee. there was some limitations placed on the Exec Committee, including no actions related to competition and then budget approval was retained by the full Board of Directors. In 1993 or so, it was determined that members of the executive committe were de jure, members of the Board of Directors. So your board was now comprised of the VotingMember corps (ranging from top 25 to top 20) and three outside directors. The exec committe pretty much functioned as the Board since board membership shifted annually and the degree to which corps directors could engage in DCI-specific issues was uneven. Even into the late 1990's, the outside directors were prohibited from voting on competitive issues, but that ulimately fell by the wayside, but as a general rule, because the Exec Committe had six corps as members, the exec committee would often stray into competition related issues, which i suspect was not a good use of their time. fast forward to 2005/2006 -- the exec committee and board decided that they needed to revamp the goverance structure (and touring and participation models) from the ground up. There were many goverance issues that needed to be addressed including pass-through liability to corps from DCI and the role of competition in determining the governing body. Hence an objective of the revamp was to seperate competition from governance. IN 2006, a fairly comprehensive proposal was made to address goverance, competition, touring and participation introduced, but not adopted. After some more fussing about, the bulk of the Membership-model and goverance structure from that comprehensive proposal were adopted in i think 2008? This led to the conversion of DCI into a Member-based organization, with corps being members. The Members then decided that instead of a Board of Directors comprised of outside directors, they wanted some number of Board seats reserved for Individuals that were affiliated with Members (the corps). I suspect that the possibility of corps-affiliated board members acting in the interests of their own and a select group of corps at the expense and counter to the rest of the Members was considered. I believe this is where DCI stands today - corps are members - corps have votes as Members - they vote on rules - they elect a Board of indivuduals which is supposed to represent the Membership.
  13. stevedci

    Changes in DCI?

    the by-laws of DCI are what they are. the degree to which corps directors elected as board members can balance their roles and fullfill their fudicary obligations is reasonably identified as a potential issue, which i suspect was foreseen by the Membership.
  14. stevedci

    Changes in DCI?

    the DCI Board of Directors is comprised of nine INDIVIDUALS, six of whom are affiliated with Member corps and three who are not. The Membership, as a body, elected these individuals who are supposed act in the best interests of the organization and the Membership, not any specific corps.
  15. stevedci

    Changes in DCI?

    A goverance clarifcation -- the board of directors of DCI is NOT comprised of CORPS, it is individuals who are supposed to act as representatives of the collective Membership, not as representatives of their respective corps. While Hopkins, Fiedler, Orwall, Arnold, Valenzuela and Glasgow are corps directors, they sit on the board as individuals, not corps representatives. Corps are Members, not of the board but of the collective Membership, and they designate someone to represent them as Members and as part of the collective Memberships. This is substantially different than pre-2008 DCI in which the Board was comprised of corps, not individuals. This may sound like a trivual distinction, but it is not.