Freemasonry in the Age of Quality Service

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There are many changes sweeping the globe in the 1990s. Some affect us at work others affect us at home, and some may be relevant for us as Freemasons. This can be particularly true if we are prepared to look at our Craft from a slightly different perspective. Paul Fletcher, PSGW and WM of Lodge Burns St David No 534, does just this.

The Epidemic Of Quality

The business world is currently experiencing an “epidemic of quality it is made absolutely clear to businesses that their survival is dependant upon providing quality service. Quality service is the means of retaining existing and attracting new ones.

  • If, as Freemasons, we shift our perspective slightly we can then see the members of our Lodges as our customers and the millions of men who are not Masons as potential customers. With this new perspective we can see our lodges as providing a service filling the needs of certain individuals to socialise with people of similar interests or to contribute to the local community in a particular way.
If we adopt this new perspective we are then in a position to participate in the Epidemic of Quality.

Quality Service and Existing Customers

Falling membership and poor attendance may be linked directly quality in our Lodges.

Today’s customer may not be prepared to return month after to sit through meetings which are not conducted in a professional manner where the principal players are not competent in their allotted tasks, where the catering is of a lesser standard than the local hamburger shop, where toasts are poorly proposed and responses are interminable where little is done to contribute to the well being of the local community, and where the image of the organization in the community is nonexistent or, if it does exist is negative

There are a number of components which make up the fabric of a typical Lodge which can be readily identified as potentially contributing to a poor level of service. They are: conduct of meetings, ritual, level of dues, catering, speech craft. If we review each of those with the perspective of quality, it should follow that if we lift our game in each of those areas and provide a quality service we will have a greater chance of retaining our existing customers.

Quality Service and Potential Customer

Our potential customers, the vast  majority of the male community not Masons, are now far more selective in almost every facet of their lives. They expect a higher level of service. For years now service providers such as licensed clubs have raised the expectations of our potential customers in terms of building accommodation, the quality of food, the quality of entertainment, the involvement of all the members of a family and value for money. As a result  our potential customers come to us with a level of expectation in each of those areas which our halls and our meeting rarely able to meet. Nevertheless, rather than predicting the inevitable decline of the Craft due to our failure to hold existing members or attract new members, we should pursue every possible avenue in which we  can improve the quality of our product. The  prospect of failure will soon recede. There is a simple process by which the members of a Lodge can set about improving the quality of their lodge. One structured way to do this is to:
  • Examine the quality of the present level of service in each of the components of our Lodge
  • Determine what is a reasonable level of quality for our customers to expect in each of those areas.
  • Home in on areas where there is a marked gap between the quality of the service we provide and the quality of the service our customers expect and set a new, higher standard for ourselves in each area.
  • Determine ways to bridge the gap and achieve the new higher standard.
  • Act to eliminate the quality gap. Having gone through this process once and moved the quality of service up to the new, higher standard, we can again set standards of quality for ourselves which are a little higher still. This will result in each Lodge being in a state of con­tinual im­provement. In the end we will be providing top quality service in every area.
The Challenge of Quality Service

The challenge of providing quality service is there for each Lodge in the jurisdiction. It is one challenge set for my brethren in my current term as Worshipful Master. It is possible to lift our standards. It is possible to retain all our customers. It is possible to recruit new ones.

One way to achieve these goals and to ensure our long term survival is to get infected with the epidemic of quality.

Masonic Education Grand Registry of Manitoba