Over the last two months, members, staff and the board of directors of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce set the strategic direction of the organization that will facilitate big thinking and define specific regional and organizational outcomes. The strategy will bring together all divisions and programs of the Chamber, Council for Economic Outreach, FloridaWorks Business Services and iG.
This new platform will be built out with specific strategies and tactics based on recommendations from Avalanche Consulting, iG Advocates and task force members, and chamber members and leaders.
The process brought together key elements of research-based methods of strategy development and goal-setting. At the core of the process is first, creating a shared view of current reality and second, creating a shared vision for the future. Peter Senge most clearly outlines the importance of this approach that focuses on systems thinking written about in The Fifth Discipline.
The first step is to establish a clear understanding of the final strategy document that we worked towards. The desired outcome all along was a strategy that taps into all potential synergies within the organization and region, identifies outcomes, clarifies priorities and provides a framework for the organization to make decisions going forward.
At the end of two months of input, we have an updated vision and mission that captures the iG momentum and community-wide vision to become the global hub of talent, innovation and opportunity. Secondly, we identified the organizations overall brand. Lastly, we incorporated the balanced scorecard for nonprofits by mapping (from bottom to top) our learning/growth priorities, followed by our internal strategies, then our financial priorities that will, lastly, feed our member and audience outcomes.
Additionally, the second phase of iG will produce economic metrics that will help focus the organization on improving impact and be used as a measuring stick on our progress.
To start, the staff leadership team established current reality by conducting a SWOT analysis and completed Jim Collins’ “Hedgehog Concept” proposed in the book “Good to Great,” and further refined for non profits in his monograph “Good to Great and the Social Sectors.” The outcome of this leadership team discussion was reviewed in a workshop by the full staff for their input.
THE HEDGEHOG CONCEPT IN THE SOCIAL SECTORS
CIrcle 1: Passion – Understanding what your organization stands for (its core values) and why it exists (Its mission or core purpose).
Circle 2: Best at – Understanding what your organization can uniquely contribute to the people It touches, better Ihan any other organization on the planet.
Circle 3: Resource Engine – Understanding what best drives your resource engine, broken into three parts: lime, money, and brand.