“We have a strategic plan. It’s called ‘doing things.’” – Herb Kelleher
No offense to Mr. Kelleher, known to many in the business world as an American icon, most businesses (and chambers alike) need a more structured plan than simply ‘doing things.’
As we move forward, chambers are going to want more initiative-based programming rather than primarily event-based programming. From our perspective at YGM, a Total Resource Campaign is a tool to implement and affect your strategic plan wrapped in a sponsorship drive.
In talking with chamber professionals around the country, we hear them say over and again how they just keep doing the same things every year but are frustrated with how to break the cycle.
Taking the time to do the difficult strategic planning, looking at your chamber with fresh eyes is the best way to break that cycle. Be clear about who your chamber represents and what your mission is. How can you walk that line between staying true to your mission and making enough money to carry out your programming?
Are there events in your book of business that you hold simply because ‘it’s always been done that way?’ Look at those. How well are they attended? What types of businesses are represented? Is it possible you could discontinue those events and replace them with an initiative that might reach a broader audience?
Taking a critical eye to the way you do things and to the events you have is a necessary element to successful strategic planning. And successful strategic planning will lead into successful total resource campaigns.
The two together can put your chamber in a place where you can dream for and set into motion new and innovative initiatives that will benefit your chamber members and your community at large.
“Vision without execution is just hallucination.” Henry Ford
Commit to setting aside dedicated time for you and your staff to work on your upcoming strategic plan. Execute your vision for your chamber and your community.