by Kelle Marsalis, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
I once heard someone say… “Your organization is only as strong as its Strategic Plan.” Looking into the future with purpose, priorities and resources to get the job done is essential to all Associations and Chambers. A cohesive plan helps employees and stakeholders stay on common ground.
However, if you’re only looking at the plan through one lens, it may not give you the best picture. Look through three different lenses when creating and measuring your organization’s strategic plan. These three lenses will ensure you successfully articulate where an organization is going, the actions needed to make progress, but most importantly… how to know if you’re successful. Identify your Internal, External and Member lenses to set your organization up for success.
Internal: Looking through the internal lens is a great place to start, even before you bring your Board or members together to begin outlining a new plan. Collect outcome data from previous plans, analyze internal operational metrics and your financials for at least the past five years. Most importantly, interview your staff and Executive Committee. Go beyond the data or a survey tool, and ask them about their experience or what may be missing.
External: The external lens will allow you to compare yourself to your peers. Benchmark yourself against a large number of Chambers or Associations. And, identify 10-12 “best-in-class” organizations to conduct a deep-dive into their operations. But don’t stop there. Think about your community and collect data from peer cities, not just the Chamber or Association located there. Look at the socio-economic landscape of several peer cities compared to your own to help identify what is needed to increase prosperity and what role your organization could play to impact it.
Member: The member lens may be the most important for any member-based organization. When I think of member feedback, the first place my head typically goes is to a survey. A survey is very important to help gather a large amount of feedback, quickly. But go deeper and identify at least 35-50 companies you can meet with to do an in-depth interview. These companies can primarily be members, but remember to identify 5-10 former or potential members to interview as well. This step is crucial. You cannot rely solely on the verbal feedback of your Board because they are the most engaged members you have.
The information you gather by looking through the Internal, External and Member lenses will help you identify what your community needs, what your members prefer, and the capabilities your organization has to get the job done. Once you have those in focus, your strategic plan will come together as a clear, cohesive picture.
The Dallas Regional Chamber is now accepting submissions for the 2017 Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee will review nominations for vacant positions on the DRC’s Board of Directors. Any current DRC member in good standing is eligible to apply to participate in the Nominating Committee. Selections for the committee will be made by the Board Chair and Chair-Elect.
To apply for the Nominating Committee, provide the following information via email or on your corporate letterhead to Kelle Marsalis:
Recommendations must be received by March 10, 2017 by email to email@example.com or in hard copy format and mailed to:
Kelle Marsalis, Dallas Regional Chamber, 500 N. Akard, Suite 2600, Dallas, TX 75201
Those interested in participating on the nominating committee will not be eligible for Board Nomination.
Thank you for your consideration. For additional information on the nominating process, call Kelle Marsalis at 214.712.1901 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For folks who work in central Dallas but want to retreat to suburban security each night, Wylie is turning out to be just the place. Named one of the safest cities in the U.S. by the website Neighborhood Scout, it’s home to a mix of young families as well as established professionals, with many first-time homeowners. The median home list price in Wylie currently sits at $352,000, around $100,000 above the national median-but hey, safety’s worth it, right?
by Dave Moore, Staff Writer
The Dallas Regional Chamber hit the ground running in 2017, launching its new international economic development initiative in January. Investors and board members received a preview of the plan in 2016, and a few highlights are listed below.
Building on the recent successes in economic development in the Dallas Region, including 75 corporate headquarters moves to the region in the past five years, the Dallas Regional Chamber looks to tackle the next plain of opportunity: the international market. Currently, the Dallas Region is not well known overseas; those who are familiar with Dallas think of cowboys, oil and gas. The DRC’s plan is to change these perceptions and to raise the region’s profile as a business destination. This won’t be accomplished this by launching ad campaigns on the sides of London’s iconic double-decker buses; but rather by approaching corporate location decision-makers and their influencers through a campaign of regular communication and targeted marketing.
When the Dallas Region looks back in 2020 and the Chamber’s current strategic plan wraps up, the team will feel confident that each of its activities will have supported the development towards the following desired outcomes:
To those ends, the DRC staff spent 2016 building a plan to meet these objectives that recognizes the need to prioritize our resource-utilization and allows for a scalable and highly leveraged plan of work. The team conducted extensive research using a big-data approach to inform our planning process and country-selection. The data is overlaid with a qualitative analysis, and will allow the team to be opportunistic and to adapt to changing global circumstances. So, in short – the country list is not the plan; but rather a guide to help develop a plan of work over the course of the strategic plan period.
The Chamber evaluated key data variables that are strongly correlated to international greenfield investment decisions:
The Dallas Morning News staff writer Jill Cowan wrote extensively of the launch of the Chamber’s new international campaign, including a description of this data analysis and the 10 countries that resulted as the highest potential markets for attracting the U.S. or North American headquarters of international companies.
In 2017, the DRC is now allocating staff and resources to launch the international plan that will scale according to our Tomorrow Fund fundraising efforts. The international economic development staff will begin actively marketing to target companies and their influencers in 2017 and will focus on the following plan elements:
The DRC launched its global rankings report a bit early – at the end of 2016 with our Board and Tomorrow Fund investors. The report measures the Dallas Region against other global metro areas in our target countries and other competitor markets, using 10 indices, metrics and barometers that compare regions’ corporate friendliness, quality of life, excellence of workforce, etc. Dallas Innovates, a leading progressive news site focusing on North Texas business innovations and leadership, covered this report. The DRC will update the board on the progress annually – adding new rankings or changing those included on the list as necessary.
Join the Team!
The Chamber is launching an International Task Force in 2017 to support this program of work. DRC Executive Committee Member, Shin Takahashi, President and CEO of NEC Corporation of America, will chair this effort and report its progress to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors . Members of the Chamber are invited to advise the DRC staff of interest in serving. Task Force members should have:
Upcoming International Events:
Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth hosts Japan Update Symposium – February 17th
The DRC is helping the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth promote its fourth-annual Japan Update Symposium, which will examine the state of U.S./Japan relations. Included in the discussion will be the recent summit between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump. The symposium is set for Friday, Feb. 17, at the InterContinental Dallas, 15201 Dallas Pkwy, Addison, 75001.
U.S. Commercial Service and the North Texas District Export Council hosts Leveraging Resources to Expand your Exports – February 28th , 8:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Gain insights and knowledge about U.S. government resources to help you level the international playing field. In addition to representatives from the the Small Business Administration, Export-Import Bank and U.S. Commercial Service, a commercial representative from the U.S. Consulate in Sao Paulo will discuss entering the Brazilian market. Register with Bruna Pizzutti (email@example.com) or Sheryl Pickney-Maas (Sheryl.firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information, please click here.
Dallas/Fort Worth also climbed up two spots in the rankings since 2015, to number two. Median rents in the city are at $1,148 a month, while the median household income totals $60,410 a year.
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