Strategic Plan Plots Direction Over Next Three Years
As the saying goes, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” CREW-St. Louis thoroughly understands those words. That’s why 12 Executive Board Members participated in a two-day Strategic Planning Retreat in early March. The candid and provocative conversations led to a Strategic Plan to stay true to its mission while propelling the chapter forward.
Stacey Kamps, 2022 Chapter President, provided an Update on the retreat and the resulting plan to steer the chapter’s direction and goals over the next few years. Stacey outlined the plan during a Zoom meeting on May 22.
While the mission remains the same to advance, educate and support women to influence the commercial real estate industry, the chapter needed to reassess how to achieve those goals, she noted. This also took into consideration the industry climate and trends, along with the current state of the chapter.
After reviewing both the obstacles and opportunities, the board developed three key priorities in the Strategic Plan:
Quality of Member Experiences:
The focus builds on ensuring members have access to impactful programs and networking opportunities. Additionally, this will require constant evaluation of all opportunities to engage members.
Refresh, Refine Operations:
This will provide a comprehensive overview of the chapter’s functions and needs, ranging from paid support to technology. Internal processes will be further documented so volunteers spend more time focusing on the tasks at hand rather than on figuring out how to accomplish these.
Integrating DEI into the Culture:
Experts will be consulted to help identify minority and underrepresented professionals so the chapter can reach out and engage these individuals. All members need a voice and must be welcomed to move the chapter forward. “We lift as we rise!”
After discussing these three main areas of the Strategic Plan, Stacey fielded several questions.
Documenting processes will ensure efficiency in utilizing external resources while freeing up time for members who volunteer, Stacey noted. Additionally, committees can hand down timelines and tasks for accomplishing their objectives. Case in point was the recent CREW-St. Louis Networking Awards, she said.
The member experience requires looking at the chapter’s remarkable growth and the individual needs of such a diverse and large group. This also includes looking at ways to welcome and retain members once they join, Stacey said.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) requires looking at the resources available and reaching out for help and insights. This also means the chapter will be more intentional in its approach to DEI.
Choosing the priorities was the result of many conversations and the collective voice to ensure that the chapter continues to be successful. Managing the chapter’s growth plays a significant role in establishing the priorities as well.
Of course, every plan requires action and measurable outcomes. Stacey said the plan includes a document with tactical items by quarter and the expected outcomes over the course of the next three years. An officer or committee was then assigned to achieve those tasks and measure those goals. Committee members also will be heavily involved in carrying out the plan as assigned. A quarterly meeting will be held with Jenny Weissenbach, who served as the consultant and who has worked with the chapter for 20 years as a staff member of CREW Network.
Stacey also addressed the former Strategic Plan that expired in 2020. The Executive Board decided at that time to wait on formulating a new direction while still working on achieving the goals of the plan established in late 2016. The former plan achieved many of its objectives but now was the time to refocus direction based on current conditions and needs.
With a firm financial foundation, Stacey said the board will look closely at its reserve policy and its income statement. She believes that the resources will be available to financially augment the Strategic Plan, such as bringing in a nationally renowned speaker on DEI and the funds to improve the chapter’s technology footprint.
As the chapter prepares to celebrate its 40th Anniversary, the Strategic Plan lays the groundwork for the next three years and beyond.