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Jan 21, 2016
Thriving and Surviving in Turbulent Whitewater TimesW.A.C.E. Webinar Presentation
October 19, 2009
Valerie K. Boyle, Special Consultant , W.A.C.E. [email protected]
Well,It sure as heck aint Business As UsualWhats Going On Today in Local Chambers in the West?
Ahhhthe Good TimesBEFORE the Recession
This is Henny Penny calling.FYI, the Sky is Falling
FactNot FictionExtreme cash flow issuesEmbezzlement, theftPanicked boards, micro mgmtPoor decisions made in urgency, from fearBoard power grabsCEOs fired, former volunteers hired as replacementsCEOs fired, no plan to replaceSplinter groups, off-shoots directly challenging Chambers
A Recession History Lesson1980Lasted 6 months1981 82Lasted 16 months1990 91Lasted only 8 monthsAnd then,A lapse of 120 months2001Lasted 8 months2007In Dec we began again and, it continues.
21% have been in Chamber Management over 20 yrs
34% have been in Chamber Management only 6 yrs, or less
35% have less than 5 yrs in their present position (exec or staff)
WACE Opinion Poll Sept 09LongevityOf 249 recent survey respondents: 83% have been employed by only 1-2 Chambers in their career
62% have been employed with only ONE Chamber in their career
And that tells usA large % of WACE members have never yet had to manage through a bad economy This is their first time!
Based on 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen CoveyThe Time Management Matrix ActivitiesNot UrgentUrgent
CrisesRisk assessment, preventionPressing problemsRelationship buildingDeadline-driven projectsRecognising new opportunitiesPlanning, capability improvement
Interruptions, some callersTrivia, busy work Some mail, some reportsSome mail Some meetings Proximate, pressing mattersSome phone callsTime wasters Popular activitiesPleasant activities
Its the Economy right?Not Completely Much of what we see results from
A failure to recognize in a timely manner, signs that point to an imminent or eventual organizational crisis.
Its the Economy right?Not Completely Many of the problems relate directly to deficiencies in the essential areas of:
Financial Planning, Management and Controls; and
Governance the Board & CEO
What is the most common reason that Chamber CEOs lose their Jobs?Poor financial management
Financial Management Understand your Financials Realistic Budgets Internal Policies and Controls Monitor your Cash Flow; manage your Accounts Receivables & Payables Compliance with Govt Requirements Reserves Your Safety Net
Governance & the Board
Create a board others envy it takes only 3 VERY IMPORTANT STEPS!
Board DevelopmentBoard OrientationVolunteer Leadership Training 123
A Strong Nominating Committee & Process- Assess current board makeup- Identify desired skills, qualities needed- Identify leaders in the membership- Actively recruit them- Actively support their election or appointmentBegins with:
Board OrientationCreate Commitment & Passion from the start!Of course, include the important details:- Budget, financial statements, bylaws, business plan, policies & procedures, etc.And RAVE about the Basics: - Mission and Vision, your Organization Structure, Core Competencies and your Market Position
Board OrientationCreate Commitment & Passion from the start!Show them how they fit- Roles & Responsibilities of staff and board & who theyll be working with;Share the nature, culture & values of the Chamber- but most importantly, this is your best chance to
Paint for them, THE BIG PICTURE!
Volunteer Leader TrainingKeep them engaged and excited!- dont keep the good stuff to yourself!- help them improve their skills- remind them of their roles- show appreciation!- help them express their passion for the organization they lead
Governance & the CEODo NOT underestimate the Importance of: Being THE Chamber expert Good management skills Structural Good management skills People Leadership skills Volunteer Relations Financial competency, market knowledge Being politically savvy Building influence
But dont forget to useall your resourcesYour Board Your Members Your Staff and more . . .
Tap Professional Resources
Whatever you do,Just Keep Learning!
I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.~ Abraham Lincoln
Get involved in local/state associations and network with colleagues; find mentors
Dont stop for barking dogs
And RememberIts a Marathon, not a Sprint!
Final Words of Wisdom
Welcome remarks.*Has been an enlightening 6 mo. Consulting with a variety of Chambers requesting assistance from WACE. In general, the Chambers experiencing the greatest difficulties are those smaller chambers which are the least well financed, who cash flow is precarious, and for whom a safety buffer of reserves and reliable revenue stream is marginal, or indeed, non-existent. *A joyful reminder of how much fun we were having before 2007.*The panic stricken eyes of fearful boards and CEOs.*Summary after sharing some of the scary stories of chambers Ive been consulting with.*A quick primer on the recessions of the last 30 years. Note the last recession prior to this was in 2001.*Recently, WACE sent out a survey on longevity and job satisfaction. Looking just at the longevity of current chamber execs and staff, we see*and also*That is an extraordinary challenge for those individuals, their boards, and their chambers. *It isnt just the economy creating problems. When the economy is pumping along, business is in a growth phase and we likely are as well, and in our busyness we fail to take care of the most essential planning, preparation, and prevention tasks that will save us when the going gets tough. We need to be in Quadrant 2 at all times.*So can we blame all our troubles on the recession? Not completely. Although it is the crux of almost all the issues impacting our organizations now, not all chambers, nor even chambers of any particular size, have found themselves in extreme situations. Much of what we see results from a failure to recognize, in a time manner, signs that point to an imminent or eventual organizational crisis. *It is apparent that most of the chambers experiencing the greatest stress, are those which have or have had obvious inadequacies in certain essential areas. The common threads continue to be deficiencies in financial planning and governance. When coupled with the impact of the economy, the results can shake the foundations of the organizations. *This should come as no surprise.*Things you need to do to diminish risk and stay out of trouble.*Each of these components, when exercised, can practically guarantee an exceptional board of directors. Conversely, some of the worst example of board behaviors that we have come across can be attributed to the failure to attend to these tasks.*We begin with Board Development getting the right people on board!*Once you have brought the talent to the table, it is up to you to create commitment and passion right from the start. The time to do that is immediately strike while the iron is hot with a dynamic orientation for the new board member.*(strike while the iron is hot)*Just as we need to attend to our best customers, we need to keep our board members engaged and excited about their commitment to the Chamber. Volunteer training is an ongoing process it never finishes.*The CEO is the other piece of the governance equation and there are certain areas of competence that can assure your board that they have a real professional leading the organization. And it is in these same areas, that any incompetence will be most noticed and critiqued.*There are so many excellent industry resources available to those in this profession. But, in the rush to get out the wash on a daily basis, dont overlook or fail to recognize the extraordinary resources available right in front of you.*No matter what your Chambers current circumstances, in dire straits or rolling along with nary a bump, our educational process is ongoing. *Last pieces of adviceDONT PANICTHIS TOO SHALL PASS. USE your resources. WACE PROMO! I thank you for spending your very precious time here, with us this morning.*