Length: 2409 words (6.9 double-spaced pages)
Robin Hood and his Band of Merry Men had a successful first year. With new recruits pouring in from the furthest outreaches of England, Robin had met his objective of strengthening in number. Although he was satisfied with the size of the organization, he has realized necessary preparations had not been made to accommodate the now over abundance of members of his organization. Many challenges now face Robin such as a lack of provisions and lack of funds to support the band, but he cannot lose focus of their original foundation of "Robbing from the rich and giving to the poor". In addition they have to stay focused on their long term goal to remove Prince John from power by freeing King Richard from his imprisonment in Austria. Robin Hood has to form structure within his organization so that it can continue to grow and prosper.
Following are opportunities:
A fixed transit tax could be implemented to immediately increase revenues.
Accept the invitation from the Barons to join them in their quest to collect the ransom that would release King Richard the Lionhearted from his jail in Austria in return for Robin's future amnesty. The Barons assistance would alleviate problems concerning provisions.
Expansion of the operation to geographical areas to the north, south, east and west of Sherwood Forest for an opportunity to create new avenues of revenue.
The Merry Men could kill the sheriff therefore ending his reign of Nottingham.
An immediate downsizing of the manpower of the band would solve the issue of additional expenses due to the ever increasing size of the band.
He could explore new means in which to create revenue other than a transit tax which seems an unpopular choice and the current means of robbing rich merchants as they travel through Sherwood Forest.
The men could be taught to grow additional fruits and vegetables in the forest to help subsidize the lack of game available in the forest.
Following are threats:
The rich merchants who once traveled through Sherwood Forest are now taking alternate routes to avoid it. Although this incurs additional costs upon the merchants it eliminates the threat of having their entire shipment confiscated by The Band of Merry Men. The reduction in traffic in the route results in a loss of revenue for the organization.
Though Robin's band is growing at an uncontrollable rate, the sheriff's forces are becoming stronger and more organized.
The ever growing size of the band is making it a challenge to conceal their whereabouts within the Sherwood Forest making it easier for the Sheriff's forces to attack.
The rapid growth rate of Robin's organization is deplenishing the provisions available to them within the forest. Continuing to go to the outlying villages for supplies is not an option because with each occurrence their chance of being spotted and followed back to their hiding place within the forest by the Sheriff's men increases dramatically.
As Robin himself stated, there are so many men in his group now that he can hardly recognize half of them. With the great number of spies loyal to Prince John this was an ever growing threat.
Little John is having difficulty maintaining discipline within the ranks because there are so many men now that he is in charge of overseeing. This is too difficult a task for one person which leads to the men slacking off and playing games in downtime instead of hunting for food or concentrating on their training.
If Robin was to accept the Baron's invitation to join in their crusade and it failed he could cause himself and all of his men to suffer consequences in the courts.
If a transit tax is implemented Robin could lose the backing of the local farmers and village people.
Following are strengths:
A strong team of managers including Will Scarlett in charge of intelligence and scouting, Little John in charge of discipline and archery training, Scarlock who oversees the finances, and Much responsible for provisions.
The group has a strong leader in Robin and the farmers and townspeople are loyal to him.
Robin's Band of Merry Men is established after being in business for a year now.
The men are highly skilled in archery.
Robin Hood has gained strength in numbers. His band is constantly increasing with men traveling from all over England to join.
Following are weaknesses:
The food and supplies in the forest are being depleted at a rapid rate caused by the continuous growth of the group of men.
It is becoming difficult to prevent the band from being infiltrated by spies because Robin could not recognize half of the men anymore.
The sheriff has the support of Prince John.
The organization is growing in size, but the revenues are declining.
The band cannot continue to rely solely on robbing from rich merchants who commute through the Sherwood Forest. This is simply not meeting their financial needs and cannot support the growing organization.
An application process has to be put in place in order for new members to be accepted.
It would be a good political move for Robin to at least show support in the efforts the Baron's are making to free King Richard so that in case their efforts succeed the King will know Robin was a part of the mission.
The group has out grown the Sherwood Forest. It can no longer provide sanctuary for group of their size and can no longer provide the provisions the group needs to survive.
The organization has to be restructured so that control can once again be gained to ensure discipline within the group.
Robin could explore the skills his organization has and the opportunities he has offered to him within their current environment to come up with alternative sources of revenue.
There could no longer be an open door to any and all who wish to join. There could be a reference system where a current member in good standing recommends the applicant and the applicant needs to have skills desirable to the organization such as expertise in archery, scouting, or gaming.
Robin could join forces with the Barons and assist in their plan to free King Richard back from jail in Austria.
The transit tax could be implemented to increase funds in the financial structure of Robin's organization.
The group could expand to new regions where they could continue their known source of income and where gaming is plentiful.
The level of training could increase and become more intense as well as discipline returned within the organization in order for Robin's organization to keep up with the ever strengthening Sheriff's forces.
Robin could move the organization's focus to killing the Sheriff.
A transit tax on all transportation via the Sherwood Forest should not permanently be enforced. This will only alienate the farmers and village people who have long supported Robin and his Merry Men as well as diminish moral among the organization. If the support of the local people is lost then they might not be as willing to give Robin anymore inside information on when lucrative merchant shipments will be traveling through Sherwood Forest in the future. If moral diminishes then it will work negatively towards reinstituting discipline within the group. The only possible exception is if funds were needed immediately there could be a one time implementation of the transit tax for a temporary period of time in order to reach their goals as long as the reasoning was explained beforehand to the organization as well as to their local supporters.
While joining forces with the Barons exclusively as a solution would not be a recommendation, it would be in their best interest to show support of the Barons efforts. If it turns out that the Barons raise enough funds to earn King Richard's release from his prison in Austria, Robin would want King Richard to know that he was involved in the effort.
There does need to be further options pursued as far as an alternative source of revenue for the organization. It would be in their best interest though to continue current avenues of revenue while seeking new ones to pursue.
Killing the sheriff does not earn King Richard's release from his prison in Austria. Therefore, we can only assume that Prince John will appoint a new sheriff with equal power and similar agenda as that of his predecessor. To kill the sheriff would only shift focus away from solving the current issues facing the organization.
The level of training and discipline does need to increase in order for Robin's organization to maintain or exceed the level of his adversary the Sheriff. The size of the organization needs to be at a manageable level and then broken down into smaller groups where training can be concentrated at a higher individual level.
A program needs to be implemented for member acceptance guidelines. This will help control the growth of the organization, ensure only people who have skills to offer will be accepted, and protect the organization from being infiltrated by Prince John's spies.
Franchising the organization to other parts of England would address all of the issues facing Robin's organization. They could continue to grow in size and increase revenues without deplenishing the resources of Sherwood Forest. They could take the time to explore other avenues of revenue while continuing to pursue their current method of income in Sherwood Forest as well as in the new areas. If each of the new bands were smaller in size, the training could be more intense and discipline could be implemented again within the ranks of the organization.
In order to begin the transformation, Will Scarlett and a group of ten men will scout out other territories of interest in England in which to expand. They will bring back a list mapped out to Robin of twelve recommended areas that fit two criteria: