Sunsetting Programs

As chamber staff, it is important to have a systematic way to review our program of work so we can remain relevant to our members.

I wrote a blog post in the past on Scared Cows and how you might "Kick Them to The Curb."  That post can be found HERE.

I recently read Strategic Integration by Gabriel Eckert & Bob Harris and they devoted an entire chapter to this subject, titled "Systematic Sunsetting."

They suggest and proved a great template to review your programs based on its relevance to the mission, member participation, revenue, etc.

They went on to talk about a systematic way to do this review.  The following is their suggested review timetable, directly from page 62 of the book, to evaluate your programs.

  • Year 1: Education
  • Year 2: Events
  • Year 3: Advocacy
  • Year 4: Other programs and services.
  • Then repeat the process starting at year 1 again.

Whatever you decide, it's important to have some system set-up and stick with that process.  You'll need to decide what works best for your organization.

We only have so many resources (staff and budget) and sometimes some of our programs should be sunsetted.

Good luck!

Strategic Integration: Move Beyond Strategic Planning

After reading the book Strategic Integration by Gabriel Eckert, FASAE, CAE and Bob Harris, CAE, I thought I’d say a few words on my thoughts of the book and their theory.

At the end of the day, this book is actually about implementing that strategic plan instead of just letting it sit on the shelf!

They start out by suggesting getting your strategic plan down to one page or in the case of the Florida Academy of Family Physicians to a business card to keep it simple, which will allow you to communicate it to your members and the community at large.

I’m a fan of less is more and if everyone knows the plan – board, staff, and members, that’s a good thing!

For a previous blog post on strategic planning go HERE.

Next they talked about ways to communicate the plan through storytelling, mantras and visuals and doing that through all your communications vehicles.  The key, keep it consistent throughout your communication vehicles!

Maybe an infographic or a different design template can be used to communicate your plan.  For a great resource on creating visuals by Canva go HERE.

Next came operational excellence, and the bottom line is, if you don’t have the staff and resources to implement the new plan you’re in trouble.

Word will get out and if it’s just another promise, ouch!  I hope you’re not in that camp.

The book then goes on to discuss:

Maintaining Focus – don’t try and do everything the first year and monitor your progress implementing the strategic plan through dashboards or other tools.  The key is to have a system that you can measure your results.

Absolute Alignment – getting the resources aligned with each priority.  When the say resources they mean, financial, staff and volunteers. It’s critical to clarify the different roles of the stakeholders.  The book has a great worksheet in the book to assign roles.

Iteration Innovation – segment your program of work, have clear roles, failure is a positive, learn, and improve/modify fast.

Systematic Sunsetting – create a system where you are evaluating your programs on a regular basis.  They suggest separating your program of work into possible three buckets and take one bucket each year (education, advocacy, events).  They have a great template in the back of the book in the resources section.

Strategy- Driven Culture – they break this down into three components: redefining success, continuous learning and celebrate success.  My take, be flexible and study your markets to remain relevant!

It’s a great read and they have many templates, in the resources section of the book, that is worth the price of admission.  So, if you want to purchase a copy from the American Society of Association Executives go HERE.