The Office of the Seneschal - Kingdom of Lochac

From the Kingdom Seneschal

February 2013

Warm Greetings to all of Lochac, from Catherine de Arc, Lochac Seneschal!

The Point of Reports

I've heard it said that reports are a waste of time. I disagree.

Reports achieve many things for the person reporting, for their group, and for the Kingdom:

  1. Reports show that the person reporting is still around. Sounds silly but a missed report is often the first sign that an officer has fallen off the radar. You'd be surprised how rarely the rest of the group mentions it and often they're quite relieved that someone else has noticed their problem.
  2. Reports invite people to ask questions they might not ask and to report minor issues they might not bother to mention if they hadn't been prompted by the report. This can mean we get things sorted sooner and with less fallout.
  3. Reports may the first time we realise that someone who thinks they're doing the right thing is actually doing the wrong thing. Again, it's better if we can sort this out before things go really pear-shaped, or too many other people notice.
  4. Reports sometimes note very good ideas that can be spread to the rest of the Kingdom that we would not otherwise hear about.
  5. Reports make the officer writing them think about what they've done, where they're at and what they plan to do before the next report. It's easy to get nowhere if you don't plan to go anywhere else.
  6. Reports are good for bringing people to wider notice. Just mentioning the names of people who report to you or people helping with your office can be immensely helpful background when it comes time to sort out an issue involving them or when it's time to appoint the next officer or even when the local baronage or Royalty (who also see the reports) are considering who to give awards to.
  7. Reports cover us by providing some assurance that all groups are keeping to the basic standards in the various offices and following the rules that keep us out of trouble with the authorities.
  8. Reports are communication. Most of us like talking to others who do what we do. It can make a very big difference when things go wrong if you've formed a relationship when things were going right.
  9. Reports can create change. One group having a problem is usually a problem with that group. Multiple groups having the same problem indicates a problem with the system and that may require law changes, handbook changes, group discussions on mailing lists, classes at events, and creating better systems.

By collecting useful data from all over the Kingdom and improving communication reporting can make the Kingdom bigger, faster and stronger.

.. And by encouraging group officers to think about themselves and their groups, it can make the groups bigger, faster and stronger.

Not a bad use of a little time each quarter.

 

In service,

Catherine de Arc

Pelican, Baroness, Cockatrice, Prometheus, Taillefer, Rose Leaf, AoA
Lochac Seneschal

Previous Columns