Strategic goals: One. Step. At. A. Time.
I’ve written about the importance of strategic planning and setting goals. In my training this summer for a half marathon with my daughter, I have gotten to “work our plan” and develop goals in ways that parallel planning with our association clients. One. Step. At. A. Time.
When we set our annual goals, whether they're for 90% member retention, 10% growth in our conference, or 13.1 miles, it is so important to not get overwhelmed and to set mini-goals. We should also be prepared to adjust our goals as disruptions occur in our environment, industry and life.
In our long run last weekend, I encouraged my daughter (who hates hills) to just set her eyes on the top of that hill and then at the bottom on the next, the green mailbox, pine tree – whatever we can see in front of us. We also ran a couple of 5Ks and a 10K to get us ready for the half marathon.
The same is true with our strategic plan goals: in order to reach that retention or member growth rate, focus on the member interaction you have today. Get your members to love your association so that they will be in the 90% — and they will tell their friends. Don’t wait until member renewal (or drop) time to think about those goals.
If a wrench is thrown into the mix, as it was for our training (one of my daughters developed shin splints/stress fractures) be prepared to adjust your plan. In our case, she has become our coach and decided to volunteer at the first aid station so she can still be at the finish line for us. In our association life, membership may be down due to the economy, but that may present a new opportunity in the online engagement arena, for example.
Each day at our jobs, on the pavement, or at home, we can focus on those little things to reach the big goal. We can reevaluate and adjust as we make our way to the big goals.
(As I write this my son is on page 11 of his 16-page summer math packet. One page at a time!)
Good luck and keep going!