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Looking Beyond Here and Now
2004, Q2 (June 21, 2007)
By Michelle Corbin

Once a year, the Carolina Chapter takes a break from here and now to focus on what might be. Chapter leaders meet with members to dream and even revel in what we all want the chapter to become. That time is our annual “Vision Day.”

I became an active chapter member back in 1995 as a copy editor for the Carolina Communiqué. It was around that time that Vision Day became an annual tradition. Back then, the chapter leaders and a handful of chapter members gathered together at someone’s house. More recently, the chapter has used one of our monthly membership meetings and invited all of the membership to participate in this visionary thinking.

On Vision Day, we look at what we have done, what we are doing, and what we want to be doing to provide value for our membership in STC. One of the chapter leaders (past, present, or future leaders) facilitates a brainstorming session where no idea is out of bounds. Sometimes exercises and presentations rev up our brains to get beyond our current bounds.

Some of the activities and programs that the Carolina Chapter now offers started as brainstormed ideas from a Vision Day. For example, the support and promotion of our local SIGs and joint programs with other professional organizations were focused on because of one of our Vision Day events.

Our employment committee, which generates our job bank Web pages, was born during one such session. Sometimes Vision Day is used to generate a “theme” for the year: In 1997, Chris Benz took “The Year of Yes!” as the theme of his presidency after a Vision Day session, and used it as a springboard to increase the number of chapter member who volunteer for activities.

In addition to setting the mood for the coming year, the collected ideas from Vision Day have been used to create, embellish, or completely revamp our strategic plan (http://www.stccarolina.org/about/StrategicPlan2000-2004.pdf). This year’s Vision Day will be critical to our success in revamping our strategic plan to fashion a new five-year plan for the future of our chapter.

Why are we revamping our strategic plan, you ask? First, because the current plan is valid from 1999 to 2004, its time for a change! Second, major changes are afloat at the Society level, which are driving changes into the Society strategic plan. We need to review, consider, and drive those transformations into our own chapter strategic plan. (To read more about the transformations, see http://www.stc.org/transformation.asp.)

Be part of the transformation! Invest in your career by becoming more active in chapter activities during the coming year!

Michelle Corbin is a past president of STC Carolina. She can be reached at corbinm at us dot ibm dot com. End of article.

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