Last week was refreshing and enlightening to me in many ways. I believe anybody you ask, that was present would express those same ideas, to some degree. I’m all about “the big picture,” so I’ll start there.
The leadership, all the leadership at DCI was very open and forthcoming about the current status and how we got there. As I was telling Aaron, my assistant director, Monday morning, DCI, and by definition the entire activity, seems to be at a pivotal, generational defining crossroads.
To quickly digress, for perspective. 10 years ago Impulse, the other Open Class corps, and DCA actually began preliminary informal discussions to form a new association, breaking away from DCI. I was not a direct participant of those conversations, but present at many. Because of the political climate between the have and have not corps at the time, and what led up to that moment, two major decisions were made: find better ways to support Open Class corps, and allow World Corps to drive the direction of the activity, seemingly away from its recognizable foundations.
This is an overly simplistic summary, but really, the basics of what happened. When you look closely at the essence of the two decisions made, they seem contradictory, and they were, but looking at self interest, from all stakeholders, it seemed to solve most of the immediate problems, and it did, but only to create larger problems down the road.
One of which is…
No. Its not just semantics… (part 3?)
One of the activities we engaged in during the annual meetings last week was at the end of our DCI Family luncheon. Dan Acheson asked us to close our eyes and remember the 2007 season, and all that is was and how it felt.
Then Dan asked the room to reflect on the past season, 2017, and if any of us could imagine back in 2007, if any of us thought Drum Corps would look like 10 years into the future the way it turned out.
Nope. Not me, and I truly believe everyone in that room in 2007 didn’t even think there would be a meeting again, 10 years later, with, in practical terms, the same people.
Questions and challenges to the activity, like Sound Reinforcement, has helped draw out everyone, to almost a rawness, and a genuine honesty about each organization and the activity in general, to reach back and say, what are we doing?
Not sure how much more I’ll say about the meetings. I took about 12 full pages of handwritten notes. Directors got packets full of info. More emails from the DCI office regarding some discussion points that were formalized. I’ve been reaching out to a number of people and they’ve been reaching back.
DCI is a welcoming organization, and I’ve already cleared more than my share of hurdles, within DCI and outside DCI, but I felt my fair share of, who is this guy, moments.
What helps me, in these moments, and helps my organization is I am completely, to a fault, comfortable with myself and what I am about. Nothing slick, or talk for the sake of talk. I think the quality of conversations I had were a reflection of myself and everyone I spoke with being authentic about our shared vision and values.
DCI is a middle aged organization doing a lot of self reflection about who it is and who it wants to partner with these next 45 years. The criteria for new and re-emerging corps seems very challenging. Glad I am part of an organization that has already made the cut😃