2018 Strategic Planning Initiative

In an effort to continually improve the Chamber's service offering and value to members, the Board of Directors has approved a strategic planning initiative to ensure that the Chamber remains a viable and effective resource for business.

This will help us make improvements to the Chamber's strategy.

Stage 3 of 6 - Perform Gap Analysis

What is Strategic Planning?

Strategic Planning is the process of thinking critically about the fundamental aspects of the Chamber to ensure that, as an organization, we are well-prepared to accomplish any goals we may establish and perhaps more importantly, the goals we set are the correct goals. While it is necessary to devote considerable focus to managing the daily operation and short-term objectives of the organization, strategic planning focuses on long-term goals for the organization, which may be 3 to 5 years out.

Why Plan?

The Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has elected to develop a strategic plan to support the continuity of the organization by ensuring that the defined vision and mission of the Chamber is carried forward to each term's leadership team. A strategic plan can also help the Chamber establish organizational goals, set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, and ensure that all employees and other stakeholders are efficiently working towards established goals. Finally, a regular strategic planning review will aid the chamber in assessing and adjusting the organization's business strategy in response to an ever-changing environment.

How long will it take?

Considering the size of the membership among other factors, the entire process is expected to take six to eight months to complete. The project formally mobilized in July 2018.

What does the process look like?

The process will follow a standard gap analysis format whereby, the Core Team will work to establish a "current state" of affairs for the Chamber, as well as a desired "future state" of affairs (i.e. goals.) The Core Team will then work to assess the disparity between those two points and develop reconciliation strategies to close that "gap." The Core Team will make its recommendations to the Executive Board, who will then present the findings to the Board of Directors for review and comment, before voting on specific initiatives.

Who are the Core Team members?

To support the strategic planning effort, the Executive Board has recruited a small group of representative members to assist. This "Core Team" will assist by capturing input from the Chamber's membership and aiding the selected consultant with assessing the Chamber's present strategy, brainstorming and evaluating future-state goals for the Chamber, and developing key initiatives to advance the stated goals of the Chamber. The Core Team will report to the Executive Board:

Small Business Representative -  Mr. Jim Makina
Large Business Representative -  Mr. Jeff Reichl
Non-profit Business Representative -  Mr. Paul Belsky
City/Public Organization Representative -  Dr. Mike Riordan
Chamber Board Representative -  Dr. Katherine Narbone
Chamber Historian -  Mr. Jim Buschbach
Chamber Staff -  Mrs. Julie Miller

What vendor is overseeing the initiative?

The Board voted in June 2018 to retain Midwest Business Consulting (MBC) to assist with the initiative. MBC is an active Chamber member. The project is being led by Bernard Deir with support from Brenda Munoz, a Senior Project Assistant.

Where can I learn more?

The Core Team will be reaching out to members with survey forms (Board Members will be asked to participate twice.) Depending on the level of interest, Town-hall type meetings may be held to collect additional feedback. Members may also schedule one-on-one meetings with Core Team members upon request. Any questions may be directed by email to Julie Miller at office@OakLawnChamber.com or Bernard Deir at bdeir@mbconsultingco.com.