What is Your Core Competency?

As a competent chamber executive, we are constantly responding to member requests, trends in the industry, etc.

But do we spend enough time figuring out what are our core competencies?

A starting point is to survey your members (for a blog post on survey tools click HERE).

Identify what they want and prioritize. Put the appropriate resources in place to deliver on these core competencies once they’ve been identified.

As you are aware they may be different depending on your local situation and make-up of the community (i.e., political, networking, education, etc.).

The Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.), in 2010, released its latest study on the subject. Based on respondents from 15 western states, the top five core competencies members want from their chamber are as follows:
  1. Creating a strong local economy
  2. Promoting the community
  3. Providing networking opportunities
  4. Representing the interest of business with government
  5. Political action
If you have not led your board through a recent strategic planning session to identify your core competencies, their toolkit is a good starting point. Or, this previous blog post on a board retreat might be helpful.

And, once you’ve identified these core competencies, don’t forget to measure your results on how you’re delivering on their importance to your membership.

Good luck!

Nonprofit Governance

On a recent plane trip across the country I had the opportunity to read a lengthy article by John Carver and Miriam Carver, titled Carver’s Policy Governance Model in Nonprofit Organizations.

I wanted to share my take of the article and encourage you to read the original HERE.

A few key concepts that hit home for me and I'd like to share with you were:

  • Trade associations are owned by their members - chamber’s that means your small business owners own the chamber, not you, not the community.
  • The Board as a body speaks for the ownership, not individual board members.
  • The Board has one employee, the CEO. The board only speaks to the CEO, not staff.
  • Boards should not just approve committee reports but use these documents as a basis for the board to make decisions (i.e. policy) on behalf of the organization.
  • Board meetings are not about going over the past. Board meetings should be about large decisions and the future of the organization.

Do yourself and your chamber a favor and take the time to read this article and make your own notes and observations for further discussion with your board.

Read the entire article HERE.

It’s a great read!