Strategic Mission

D.C. Chapter Planning for Success

By LTC(P) Leon L. Rogers II, USA

 During these unprecedented times with COVID-19 and civil unrest during the summer months, The Washington D.C. Chapter of the Rocks, Inc. stayed engaged and focused on planning for its members’ upcoming operating year of events.  The D.C. Executive Board held three virtual Executive Planning Sessions facilitated by Laura Knights, Knights Consulting Group, LLC, and  Ms. Knight supported the chapter efforts pro bono and received rave reviews from each D.C. Executive Board member.  The Chapter executed the three sessions by first aligning on purpose and objectives, then brainstorming the Chapter’s programming options, and finally developing a plan of action for annual programming activities.  The results of these planning sessions are shown at the end of this article with the final strategic vision, the D.C. Chapter of the Rocks, Inc.

Session 1 – Align on purpose and objectives.  The Executive Board went back to the ensure alignment of vision and priorities with the National Board’s Corporate Strategy 2017 – 2022, ensuring that the Chapter was nested.  Several key questions were asked during this session:

  • What is our vision/goals for the Rocks upcoming program year? 
  • What are the parameters/constraints that we are operating in regarding audience reach, relationships, role, resources, and the current racial climate? 
  • Are we as a leadership team aligned in our focus, framework, and language (i.e., what does “inclusive” mean to us?)

The Executive Board reflected on the past year, i.e., what was done well and what could use some improvement.  The operating year 2019 – 20 was very successful in increasing the number of scholarships and amounts, executing the first Founder’s Day events, and relevant programming, to name a few.  However, there were several areas for improvement and consideration.  The team ended the day with a focus and frame exercise and outlining what was critical for the year.  

Session 2 – Brainstorm Programming Options.  This session focused on determining what activities the Chapter needed to start, stop, and continue.  The Executive Board answered these questions. 

  • Given our vision/goals for the Rocks upcoming program year, what should we start/stop/continue in our programming? 
  • What themes emerge from this discussion that may extend beyond this program year?  
  • What is feasible for us to prioritize and implement this year?

The final consensus on this exercise is still to be determined.  The Executive Board did not have enough time to merge; however, several key activities were underscored to start, with no actions to stop, and plenty of activities to continue.

Session 3 – Confirm action plan for Annual Program Activities.  The final session focused on a calendar of events and the following questions. 

  • What are the next steps, roles, responsibilities, and timelines?  
  • What accountability measures can we put in place to maintain momentum on the plan? 
  • What is our message to members/external audiences about this plan?

This methodical approach allowed the D.C. Chapter to focus on its mission, vision, and goals.  Two key takeaways stood out to include the final D.C. Chapter and Mission and Vision Board:

  • The Chapter needs membership involvement.  Recruit, Reclaim, and Involve
  • Continue to execute our programs centered around mentorship, scholarship, and professional development.