Chamber of Commerce strategic planning is an area where Dynamic Strategic Planning is an excellent fit. In fact Dynamic Strategic Planning was developed in conjunction with the presidents of two large Chambers of Commerce.
Traditionally Chambers have done strategic planning based on a weekend or multi-day retreat. That is OK for updating a vision and identifying critical issues, but not to get sufficient buy-in for implementation. All across America, many chambers of commerce are struggling financially. They do not fully understand how the 21st Century is so different that it demands new programs, new forms of strategic planning and new mindsets because of the fast pace of change. Dynamic Strategic Planning has the power to re-energize any Chamber of Commerce if it is carefully followed. Let us explain.
The way Dynamic Strategic Planning works, participants identify critical issues that they care about. This can start at a chamber planning retreat but it cannot end there. That’s because in general the only people who can afford to take the time to go on a planning retreat are those who have businesses or organizations large enough to run without them. And the majority of chamber members do not. So the majority is always excluded from such retreats, and the Chamber of Commerce strategic plan which results does not represent the “silent majority”!
Those who go on the retreat certainly need to talk about visions and critical issues, as our book suggests. But they do not need to come down from the mountain with their tablets of stone saying in effect “the strategic plan is a done deal.” Instead they need to accept the preliminary nature of their initial discussions and the extreme importance of including as many chamber members as possible in further developing the critical issues.
If such a path is taken, the critical issues which are identified will represent the concerns and interests of far more people. Action Teams can be formed around the major critical issues with the confidence that they have the greatest probability of making solid progress. And as these Action Teams work throughout the year, at times and places convenient to all members and not just big-company leaders, the chamber will be more energized than ever before.
So get your copy of Dynamic Strategic Planning today and use it to guide your Chamber of Commerce strategic planning with a process created specifically for organizations like chambers in the 21st Century.