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All comments by Steve Moese
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I am aware, Don. It is one thing for the CEO/ED to be accountable to the Board, and another for the Board to be meddling in day to day operations. I am unaware of any other organization that is run that way. Delegation is necessary.
The fact that the Board has endowed itself with complete power does not make it right nor even best practice. Sure would be good to have a governance expert counsel what changes are necessary.
an hour ago
Steve Moese edited this comment an hour ago
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Bravo Kevin - the forum was created precisely for sharing what works and speculating on what might be beneficial to clubs and teachers.

There is pent up dissatisfaction. Some will express same. I will choose to read and learn from those who offer positive questions and answers.

Thank you for this post.

What questions do you have?
2 hours ago
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If the Board of Governors are to represent their Districts, then there should be ample concrete evidence of the work we do for and with the District to make known the needs of players, teachers and club managers, as well as Units and Districts. We, not the BoD, are best placed to represent the ACBL Bridge Ecosystem.

If the Board of Governors simply believes their appointment is the license to provide their own opinion without the homework necessary to represent their key stakeholders, then we have an ineffective Board at best and a dysfunctional Board at worst.

If the BoD already believes they can represent every stakeholder without help, and without shirking their fiduciary duty to the ACBL, then the BoG serves a purely legal need - demonstrating the answerability of the BoD to the Membership. This need would hardly be worth the effort required by BoG members for effective change.

Where to start:
1) Clear definition of governance role the BoD plays.
2) Clear definition of the role the CEO or Executive Director including decision authority.
3) Clear definition of business priority for the next 3-5 years.
4) Clear definition of the deliverables required of the Board of Governors to ensure the ACBL and its ecosystem achieve those goals.
5) BoG can be the source of business innovation for clubs and teachers, Units and Districts, were the BoG charged and empowered to do so.


My Comments:
Today it appears the BoD believe they can and should govern anything. If so, this is grossly dysfunctional. The role of the Board and the CEO should be separate. The BoD sets long range goals, governs the balance sheet, and defines policy and SOPs. They stay out of day to day decisions and budget management for operations. That is the province of the CEO/ED. My opinion on the size and composition of the board is else site.

The CEO/ED executes against aligned and sufficient goals, defines business direction and emphasis, and enables innovation to bring the ecosystem into the future. The Board MUST NOT fetter the hands of the CEO/ED.

The BoG becomes the source of FACTS about the ecosystem. These facts today are severely limited by the design of the BoG meeting. This is purposeful to ensure the legal requirements under NY State NP Law are met. Today, there is no evidence that the BoG believes it has responsibility inside the meeting room two hours three times a year. Sorry, that's much worse than an insufficient bid. It is beyond ridicule.

Finally, I request a year by year record for the past 15 years of all Motions for reconsideration and all Floor Motions brought by the BoG. The statistics are simple:

How many BoG motions were made at each meeting.
How many BoG motions were rejected at the following BoD meeting
How many BoG motions were accepted by the BoD at any following BoD meeting.

These facts are absolutely necessary to understand whether the current arrangement is responsive and effective.

We face a situation where the BoD can easily say, yes, the current situation is effective - we have duly considered all motions and found them defective for substantive reasons - the BoG clearly doesn't have the information we have. There is likely truth in that position because one thing the BoG is starved for is sufficient information at the granularity we need to better serve our stakeholders.

The BoG can clearly say “no, the BoD is arrogant and simply ignores our inputs.” That in itself is dysfunctional. But the lack of valid information is real.

What's missing? REAL DIALOG AND ACTIONABLE FACTS SHARED BETWEEN THE TWO GROUPS. Now that's what we need to create.

The need for GROWTH is obvious. Growth is a function of daily operations. The BoG should encourage best practice information sharing, technology development, member recruitment, teacher development, and anything else that benefits from coordinated collaborative learning. The BoD should not be involved in this work. The CEO and the BoG should and can.

All it requires is direction and commitment.

As for commitment consider the pig. In a bacon and eggs breakfast the chicken is aligned but the pig is committed. We need pigs not chickens.
5 hours ago
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Yes, Ed. There are many variants.
8 hours ago
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Ace = 2, K = 1 many schemes are possible.
Steps: 0, 1, 2, 3K, AK, 4…. (2N = 3K).

Precision uses 0-2, 3, 4, ….
13 hours ago
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Back up. Minor bug caused unintended crash. Excellent work by BW team.
https://bridgewinners.com/forums/browse/clubs-and-teachers/
13 hours ago
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Uh, 2-1 point steps are control steps.
14 hours ago
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Thanks Adam and everyone who helped fix the bug!!
17 hours ago
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Yes. Help engaged.
June 16
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Len, the point I want to make is if we instill a fundamental thirst for answers to “why?” Newbies will be better set to engage effective self directed learning. The reason so many players beyond newbies appear to make these errors is prima facie evidence they weren’t taught properly or didn’t ask the right questions in the first place.

The WHY is so much more important than the what.
June 16
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Yes, and I like 1 - 1 - 1 - P here.
June 16
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Clue or solution, Gary?
June 16
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1) Failing to plan (declaring or defending)
2) Failing to observe
3) Failing to concentrate
4) Failing to count - more generally gathering and using the available information
5) Failing to create inferences based on logic.
6) Failing to see how “Resulting” on any one hand does NOT reflect good bridge thinking.
7) Failing to follow the line with “best” probability of success.
8) Not recognizing they need to think more deeply about all possible chances. Not knowing how to estimate chances in the first place.
9) Playing way too fast.
10) Allowing negative emotions interfere with thinking and partnership harmony
11) Failing to forget the last hand before playing the next
12) Failing to attend to all 13 tricks in the hand.
13) Failing to concentrate on making oneself better instead of blaming others for bad results.
14) Failing to “play up” at every opportunity.
15) Failing to ask experienced players for help. More generally, Failing to invest in self improvement.
All the rest is a distraction.
June 16
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I hope Bret Kunin sees this. Pizza IS a NJ advantage. Recruit!!!!

While the Greeks coined the word “ambrosia” the Italians showed them the possibility, and NJ nailed it. Anything west of the Delaware is an imposter. That means you, Chicago!
June 16
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Lack of imagination can often lead to misplaced fear.
June 16
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Dunno. Half a board?? Whole Board??
June 16
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A problem to solve that involves:
Logic
Counting
Information
Odds or probability; risk and uncertainty
Visualization
Creativity
And a real time limit.

Now if math conjures reams of pencil and paper homework, rote memorization, obscure useless equations that don’t relate to daily life, failure, and several other negative experiences because of poor classroom methods, you are right.

On the other hand, there is great beauty in, say, Einstein’s thought experiments that allowed him to devise special and general relativity. That’s the exciting side of math many fail to see. That’s what I think about when it comes to bridge, except the visualizations are much less important and are done for delight by the problem solver.

Perhaps truth is in ones perspective, and you’ve given us fair warning that math is far from a universal positive among our future members. Thanks for that.
June 16
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Yes, Ed, thanks for catching my error!
June 15
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That might buy air time. Then of course there's agency cost and production cost - consider another factor of 10. Can't be just words and talking heads. Can't be cell phone video quality. Cost per member could be more than $200 for 20 seconds one time. Do you think its worth it? I don't. Members won't either. Advertising campaigns cost $$$$. We're not there yet. Anywhere from 3-8% of gross income goes to advertising consumer goods. These manufacturers are at the top of the scale buyers (they get best rates). We will have to spend much much more to break through. It takes at least 4.5 impressions for a commercial to have its intended impact. This is why publicity and word of mouth are important - we simply do not have a business model that supports such spending.

Think of your table fee. Of $102 collected at Honors, $1 goes to the sanction fees. The rest covers costs and profits. So on a normal day, the ACBL gets 1% of the gross.

Pricing flexibility lies with the business owner. Price elasticity depends entirely on the services and experience provided.

I could go on, but from the top of my head, there needs to be some realism about what money goes where today, and how the current pricing structure we have is stifling growth by failing to adequately fund new member recruiting in the entire zone.

We can continue what we have today, with diverse and inconsistent advertising on the District and Unit level, or make a choice to create a meaningful brand for our clubs, with appropriate standards that must be met to retain one's sanction.

We can explore whether a two tier sanction process for 1) Full Service / Luxury Clubs and 2) for Price Sensitive / Bare Bones clubs make sense, and charge accordingly - providing fewer tools and benefits to one and more to the other.

We also face the madness that four distinct businesses set prices - ACBL for NABCs and associated side games, Districts for District run regionals, Units for Unit run Regionals and Unit run STaCs, and clubs for their games. Do you see the way this causes immediate conflict and tamps price down to our current least common denominator state?

Marketing Strategy 101: Growth Consumes CASH.

Yes it is true that there are clubs where one can play for $1 to $23+. Under our current structure there is no centralized pricing governance or input. Is that a strength or weakness?
June 15
Steve Moese edited this comment June 16
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1N - 2N
3N - 6N

There is a famous bridge bidding non-sequence where a master responds to the student's 1NT opening with 2N, natural and invitational. When the student raises to 3, the master bids 6NT which makes easily.

As far as I know there is no law against improvising. While there is much innuendo and supposition about what responder here knew or didn't, the actual agreement was explained.

Knowing now that the explanation was gratuitous and not invited, I'd slap a procedural penalty on opener. A big one.

3N in Precision can be bid with a strong balanced hand or a minimum 1 opener with 8+ tricks (running suit, usually but not necessarily a minor). Responder is learning in the real world.

The result stands, but a big PP for opener.
June 15
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