Looking for #WhatsNext: Trying New Ideas, Asking Hard Questions, Fostering Flexibility

It’s been said that “complacency is the enemy.” What steps are you taking to help your team (you, staff and board) move out of their comfort zone and bring innovation and creativity to your chamber?

Ann Silver
Reno + Sparks (NV) Chamber

We never count on remaining comfortable since we are always challenging ourselves to provide more member value, additional workshops, and to produce innovative training classes.

Enabling my small team to be creative and come forward with new ideas wards off complacency and energizes everyone, including our members. Quarterly member surveys hold us accountable and increase our passion to serve those who join the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce.

Timm Quinn
Interim CEO
Greater Stockton (CA) Chamber

One of the big things we have learned from the pandemic is to be adaptable and have flexible thinking. We are encouraging our staff and board to keep this mind set and not just do things because “that’s the way we have always done them.”

Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions and have those difficult conversations. Being uncomfortable and putting yourself into new situations leads to personal and professional growth!

Julie Snyder, IOM, CTE
Kyle Area (TX) Chamber

Complacent, comfortable, secure, acceptance of the status quo… regardless of what you call it (I call it boring), if ignored, it can be detrimental for a business and for a chamber of commerce.

In addition to the board orientation, I’ve focused on a few more elements to ignite a fire in our board, staff and myself to step out of our comfort zone and provide programming that is creative and innovative.

• Eliminate dead weight: Board members who are only in it for themselves need to go.

• High Standards & Accountability = Ownership: Assign homework and be clear why it’s important, and how it negatively impacts the chamber if not completed.

• New people, new ideas! Engage members and encourage ideas. Give your board and staff the freedom to develop programs, while providing guidance on budgetary and operational details.

• It’s OK to fail. When an idea from a member makes sense, give it a try. You may find that it’s the next best program that offers value.

• Recognize and appreciate! You’ll be amazed with the increased commitment.

Jessica Welch, ACE, IOM
Senior Vice President
Greater Irvine (CA) Chamber

As a champion for the Greater Irvine community, the chamber is a voice for all aspects of its elements. From its award-winning school system, to state-of-the-art healthcare to being a technology hub, we are uniquely positioned to stay ahead of the curve.

We reinforce that position by ensuring our board represents the diverse industries within the community, and by engaging all of our volunteers in critical conversations on topics that affect the region on a local, national and global level.

We are constantly evaluating our programs for improvement and encourage our team to bring new ideas to the table. That includes changing and often eliminating things that that we do just because “we’ve always done them that way.” We are always looking for #whatsnext.