About 10 years ago, two people entered the chamber industry. They were very much alike. Both had college degrees. Both were eager for success. They even worked for similarly situated, mid-sized chambers in the U.S.
Recently, these two chamber professionals met each other for the first time.
They were still very much alike. Both were happily married, had school-age kids, and were home owners in the city in which they worked. Both were Chamber President/CEOs.
But there was one BIG difference.
In one chamber, the staff was overworked, underpaid, and constantly stressed from running from project to project, event to event. The chamber's budget was always tight, which limited what the staff could accomplish. And, on top of that, the chamber’s board was in a state of dysfunction, micromanaging the staff and bickering among themselves. No one was truly happy.
While the chamber was nice to have, the staff, board, and even some members wondered if the chamber was even relevant and necessary anymore.
In the other chamber, it was a completely different situation. This chamber, because of several smart strategic decisions, now had 10 times the budget and 3 times the staff of the first chamber. The staff, from the CEO on down, was making a positive impact on the community and they were all very well compensated for it. The chamber ran as a well-oiled machine, with a sense of pride, fun, and excitement among the staff, board, and members. This chamber had recently been recognized as Chamber of the Year. The staff and board were considered local superheroes.
This chamber was not only thought of as relevant, it was considered essential by the community.