This is a quote from the comedy, “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare. One might argue that the former applies in the case of 4th Dimension Toastmasters Club.
A club that recently celebrated achieving ten out of ten (10/10) distinguished club points. This (DCP) was for the 11th consecutive year, can only have been born this way.
Having chartered a corporate club in my lifetime. I know that it is no easy feat. To understand better what has made this corporate club achieve such outstanding results. I had a conversation with some of the leaders of this club.
- Mandy Hoffeldt who is the 2015/2016 Club President chuckles at the idea of being born great. Mrs Hoffeldt admits that while it would be wonderful to see it that way, the club success can be attributed to the support structure built into the running of the club.
- Mandy says she was new to the toastmasters space when she took on the role of President. Daunted by what she had taken on, she soon realised that there was absolutely nothing to be afraid of. Toastmasters was a space where people were truly vested to support her, in her role. When you have support, you become dedicated to giving it your best shot. It also pushed her to grow as a leader, and has been able to take those skills and apply them to her career and personal life. This kind of teaching is priceless!”
The club Chartered on the 19th December 2002 ONLY 5 members – Named Dimension Data. It was led by Regina Martins. She says of these first few months, corporate clubs had not been in existence for very long and we were exploring new territory by daring to start this club. We knew the benefits of Toastmasters and were committed. It was this commitment that saw them through.
Challenges/ Hiccups/ Teething
One of the biggest challenges corporate clubs experience is member retention. The interest spikes and as time passes, numbers dwindle, impacting the lifespan of these clubs.
- Balekane Mokoditoa, 2016/2017 VPPR humorously points out that “it helps to provide some snacks and bites.” Jokes aside, Richard Riche, a name synonymous with the club, shares that in the most challenging times, the club leadership had to pull together and come up with innovative ways to address the challenge of member retention. It seems food was one of the solutions.
- Richard believes that “innovation extends itself from how we run our meetings, whether that involves injecting vigor/verve into each meeting, to how we find ways to make the member feel that they matter. At the end of the day, it is all about the member.”
I had the fortune of experiencing their meetings and I can attest to this spirit of innovation that is member-focused. I remember being invited to sit-in on the evaluation session AND being encouraged to make a contribution. This simple act left me feeling like my contribution mattered.
A growing club
One wonders what is in store for Fourth Dimension in the next Toastmasters year.
- Audrey Mphela, who is the 2016/2017 club President remarks that whilst challenges in the economic climate have certainly had an impact, they have not hindered the progress of this club. She smiled and with a twinkle in her eye retorted, “4th Dimension lives the adage that the person who really wants to do something finds a way.” She was always confident that with the help of her committee, they will find a way to ensure that this club keeps growing from strength to strength. …..and it did.
4th Dimension is proof that greatness comes from consistent hard work, commitment and resilience to see a vision through no matter the stumbling blocks along the way.
Article written by: Balekane Mokoditoa
For more information, please contact the 2016/2017 VPPR, Balekane Mokoditoa on 0741819404.