Yogi Berra famously said: “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
Too many chapters set sail into the program year more on autopilot that anything else. They pull out last year’s event calendar to use as a plan. The problem with this, besides the fact that it doesn’t allow for innovation, it doesn’t include a due diligence in matching members needs to the chapter’s agenda. We know from lots of research – association industrywide and within individual associations – that members have changed. Their tastes, their needs, the preferences in how they engage and in their willingness to give time and talent.
It’s time for chapters to think of planning as an essential tool. What I’m not advocating is a strategic planning process for most chapters will find that quite unnecessary. Rather, they would be well-served to use their national orgnaization’s strategic plan along with their mission and vision as the framework to build out a year of activity that needs member’s needs.
Where to begin? Start with the three most important questions:
- What do we NEED to accomplish?
- What CAN we accomplish?
- What do we WANT to accomplish?
NEEDS set the priorities. CAN sets the A List. WANT fills in the B List.
If you want to help your chapters plan well, then provide them member data pertinent to them, key trends and observations that should be considered, and access to your strategic plan. If you are a chapter leader, make it a priority to plan your work, then work the plan.
Check out our newest white paper on Biz Planning Basics for more ideas!