Problem: Creating a workable and sustainable long-term strategic chapter plan.

Solution: 3–5 year plan and an assignment calendar that identifies short-term and long-term goals and a target date for completion and an owner for each goal.

Strategy: “We focus on a strategic plan each year,” says Kim Coker, 2012-13 president of the North Carolina Chapter and 2013-14 regional executive-elect for Region 4.

The chapter develops its strategic plan for the coming year over three to four sessions which each focus on one area of the plan. The areas of focus are:

  • Service to members – education, publications, and services
  • Quality of service – improvements of services we provide to members
  • Chapter growth – membership and the volunteers who assist with various items
  • Chapter administration – addresses:
    • a succession plan three to five years out
    • the budget process
    • a review of DCMS and CBSC quarterly and monthly goals

The first planning session is held in January, followed by two in March and then a mini-LTC because the chapter can’t bring its entire board to LTC.

Keep an Eye on the Future

North Carolina plans and budgets its immediate goals and also goals for the future. “You can’t just think about now,” says Coker, “you have to think about future boards and officers—they change every year, how will they pick up what we plan today?

They review the Chapter Balanced Scorecard and the Member Satisfaction Survey—the current survey and also the two previous years to look for patterns of similar comments.

They look at the DCMS reports for the past five years and use each of the documents to identify the chapter’s strengths and weaknesses and to determine short- and long-term objectives that are the basis for their plan, which extends three to five years out.

Then, they identify goals for the upcoming year. In the back of the plan, the chapter has a chart that identifies each goal, the owner (person who has responsibility), and a target date for achievement of the goal. “We feel by placing them in there we have a document we can use to monitor, and that addresses everything on the DCMS,” says Coker.

Who's on First?

The president-elect is responsible for identifying the owner of each goal and following up with him or her two months ahead of the target date for achieving a goal. The chapter holds a board call every month and the president-elect checks in as needed, but reports formally to the board each quarter.

“We are looking for awards each year,” says Coker. “So we follow up to make sure we get to those goals, but you have to have a plan to get there first. This year we put Shelton back in. We’ve won it twice (1998 and 2007) and we want to win again!”

“If we didn’t have a plan,” Coker says, “I don’t know how we’d meet anything.’