On February 1, theboard of directors, together with the Hospitality Partners Committee held a strategic planning session at the Charleston Place Hotel in Charleston, S.C. The purpose of the meeting was to get the Board and HPC to engage in strategic thinking in its governance of the association.
Group exercises were conducted throughout the day to encourage the Board and HPC to think about the “what” and the “where” instead of the “how.” This process enabled the board to focus on the main issues that need to be addressed without getting sidetracked on administrative details. The “how” part is handled daily by the association's staff and individual board members when the board is not in session.
The session was facilitated by Mark Thorsby, a strategic planning and association governance expert at SmithBucklin. He broke the attendees up into four groups and led them through exercises to create scenarios that addressed possible issues and challenges the association may face in the next three years. Throughout the day, Thorsby challenged the group by setting up obstacles and throwing “curveballs” while they worked on coming up with solutions to the problems.
The meeting resulted in three strategic initiatives under which an updated strategic plan is being created. Two of the initiatives — membership and education — remain priorities; however, education is evolving into the sharing of knowledge, with education being one of the means by which to achieve knowledge. The third strategic initiative involves marketing the association, including positioning FICP within the meetings industry, as well as addressing the sponsorship needs of the association.
The final plan will be posted on ficpnet.com when completed.