The informal movement

In 90 minutes or so, I’m going to be standing in front of a group of Dayton marketing professionals and presenting a “Big Idea.” This isn’t the Dayton Ad Club (now, unfortunately mis-monikered as the “Greater Dayton Advertising Association) or the Dayton Chapter of the American Marketing Association or the IABC (I can’t even remember what those initials stand for) or the…. countless other “formal” organizations with chapters, bylaws and tax IDs, but an ad hoc group founded by my friend David E Bowman. The “Dayton Marketing Community” is open to all, without dues, a set agenda, or all the rest of the trappings of formality- it’s basically just an online hub facilitated by Ning.

Like minded people, getting together, to get something done. As David said, we don’t have to ask permission to have a meeting.

It’s the same thing Dr. Ervin has done with his Oregon Arts District initiative. He didn’t ask permission, he just did it.

The Pinewood Park Athletic Association probably started the same way. Like-minded people coming together.

The highly organized campaign to elect our president, for all its structure and process, still felt ad hoc to many. The message boards are still there, but they aren’t as alive as they used to be.

Some efforts are carried by momentum, some by shared vision, some by an immediate purpose, but the question I ask today is- are all the trappings of formality really what gives a movement status? Is ad hoc the new way to get things done?

I think about this a lot, when I come to things like the Dayton Priority Board system, which seems to run parallel to the neighborhood organizations. I think about this when we look at unions and management battling for position, when both should be more worried about survival (car companies and firefighters/city hall for example).

Institutions are places of higher learning- and places we send crazy people people who can’t cope with regular day-to-day life within societies norms (to be PC). I find the dual use of the word almost ironic.

I’d like to hear your thoughts- do formal organizations always get more done?

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