The Next Level tool is designed to assist chapter boards with their annual strategic planning and goal-setting process. It will enable chapters to assess their current status on six dimensions key to chapter success: Communication, Community Outreach, Financial, Governance, Membership, and Professional Development. The following steps outline a recommended way for a chapter board or an appointed subcommittee to use the tool to guide its annual strategic planning and goal-setting process. This workbook provides chapters with a discussion and planning tool prior to completing the online portion of the tool.
Distribute a copy of the Next Level Planning Workbook to each board member. This should be done in advance of a board strategic planning and goal-setting meeting. Options are:
As a board (or subcommittee), take the first dimension (Communication) and review each topic area. In some cases, you may find the item descriptions under each topic describe your chapter to a tee. In other cases, you may find that your chapter matches more than one. The board/subcommittee needs to reach consensus as to which option currently best describes your chapter.
Repeat the process above for each of the remaining five dimensions. If using a subcommittee to perform the analysis, the subcommittee has an additional step of presenting their findings back to the board.
Reach consensus on the top three component goalss on which the board wants to focus to move the chapter forward to the next level over the course of the year. While it might be tempting to select more than three, please limit your improvement efforts to no more than three at one time. These goals represent the focal point of board efforts for the upcoming year and should be the target of regular, ongoing discussions throughout the year.
Each board member with primary responsibility for achieving one of the goals reviews and assesses the resources available to help accomplish the goal. Other resources you can call upon are your NAC advisor, your chapter relations manager, and the chapter leader community through the Chapter Leader LinkedIn Group. There is plenty of help available, if you just ask for it.