Finding out our ‘why’

‘Never a dull moment’ might be  an over-used adage, but it rings true at the Chamber this week as we once again begin the process of delving  into our strategic framework. This is the type of work that I find particularly exciting, because it’s an opportunity to thoroughly evaluate what services we offer our community and how they meet our mission as an organization.

But this isn’t work that just happens overnight. It’s taken us over a year to get to this point where we can begin to recreate the strategic framework. The prep work had to be done, first.

Originally we met with a group of small and large business stakeholders and asked them how the Chamber might better meet their needs, and if they felt the work we were doing was relevant to the community. These were facilitated discussions and participants were both Chamber members and what we like to call “future members” (non-members). These were basically “listening sessions” and we walked away with a plethora of good information. In a nutshell, some things we do really well, and others might not be worth the energy we throw at them every day.

Out of those meeting we recreated our brand, with a new logo and visual identity that reflected the Chamber’s role in the community better. You’ve probably seen some of our new branding pieces sprinkled here and there; they are no longer outdated and unconnected to the Chamber’s character and work in the community.

Now we get to take the information we learned from our stakeholders meetings and sit down with the Board of Directors for our annual board retreat this Thursday. This is where we align the character of the Chamber with the operations of the Chamber. Annually the Chamber team spends a full day deep diving into the strategic and action plan to assess the relevance of programs and initiatives to make sure we don’t get stuck in the same-ol’-same-ol’ just because that’s what we’ve always done.

This year we are diving a little deeper!  We are creating a new organizational framework, tearing our current plan completely apart and seeing how it fits into our new framework. We want to make sure that we look at why we do specific things before we look at how we will do them. If we can’t figure out our ‘why,’ there will be no ‘what’ or ‘how.’ Time is the most valuable things we all have and make the best use of that is not only important in our personal lives but makes for an effective organization.

Additionally, the Chamber office will be closed on March 8 all day while we complete this work.