The following blog post are my notes from a recent webinar I attended sponsored by Institute for Organization Management with Dr. Steve Swafford and Dr. Jill McCrory of Leadership Outfitters.
They started out by asking the question, what is your chamber’s greatest strength? The sample of responses from participants:
- Mission minded
- Community builder
Then they turned and led a discussion on focusing on strengths.
Yourself – pay attention to yourself because the team is paying attention to you.
Staff – identify your staff’s strengths through Clifton or other aptitude tests, do some team assessment and get the right people in the right seats.
Leadership/Volunteers – what are the leaders best at? What are their aspirations?
Organization – do you have a clear vision and mission? Where are you going, why? Do you have clear achievable goals? How will you get there?
They then talked about the SOAR Framework, a twist on the SWOT analysis, that most folks are familiar with, and how you should look at your staff leadership and organization through this SOAR lens as a tool to maximize performance in the areas mentioned above.
Strengths – what do you do well? What are you excellent at?
Opportunities – what are the opportunities here? Even those not in your control.
Aspirations – what do you aspire to become or do?
Results – what are the measurable results and outcomes?
To me, the SOAR Framework is very much like the Hedgehog Theory in the book Good to Great – which asks the following three questions:
Where those three intersect, that is the business you should be in.
They also talked about strategic leadership and the three components they feel make up that process – strategic thinking, strategic acting, strategic influencing. What possibilities can you see? Maximize your strengths.
They pivoted to address the question, what’s coming down the track – change catalysts?
They have identified four big areas that organizations are dealing with - you don’t want to get hit by the train! The key is to be proactive before you see the trains light. You need to anticipate what’s on the horizon for your organization in these areas.
- Virtual and tech
- Social and cultural
- Legislative and regulatory
- Financial and economics
I did a recent blog post on Foresight that addresses this concept. Go HERE for that post!
For more resources on strategy for chambers and associations from Steve and Jill go HERE.