“The Company We Keep”

Companies are as unique as thumbprints. Every single firm, partnership, corporation or organization that is a member of the Chamber operates a little bit differently. Our Chamber team is incredibly fortunate to be able to observe these realities quite often. Sometimes that happens in a one-on-one meeting with a CEO, other times it is a site visit to a production facility, and occasionally we even get to watch a team meeting in progress. Regardless of the situation, we never stop learning from the companies we visit.

During the many meetings we have with local companies we see an incredibly wide variety of leadership approaches, management styles and team building maneuvers. Just this week I watched one company team sit down for a 5:00 pm staff meeting over pizza and another kick off an end of day yoga class – two grossly different approaches aimed at the same desired outcome – improving how the company performs.

Recently our CEO, Sue Dick, observed a member CEO hosting a company wide discussion about culture in their company. On an early morning, before the doors opened for the day, Sue observed that CEO lead a conversation on what they should aspire to be as a firm and what role each player had in making the team better. Sue told us about this story because our team is constantly sharing intel on how we can operate better. Often times, those are discussions based on what we learn from our members.

In observing our member companies, our team is able to sort out how we can best improve our company. Did that sound odd – hearing me call our Chamber a company? Most folks may not see The Chamber that way, but I can assure you that our team does. Everything we do at the Chamber is run like a business because we are a business.

You may remember a one time tagline that the Chamber frequently used – Our Business is Your Business. It was a great way to remind members of how we view our organization. Although taglines may have shifted, that mentality is still an important part of our Chamber DNA.

These days we tell the community about our Business Strong, Member Drivenphilosophy which was developed under the leadership of our Board. With that in mind we constantly strive to accomplish our mission of being The Catalyst for Business Growth. We accomplish this by being a market leader in producing first-class experiences, cultivating a thriving business network and advocating for ideas that can shape the future of Tallahassee. All of which are possible because our members, the customers of our company, provide us a blueprint for how to operate at a high level.

That being said, you should know this – once every quarter our Chamber leadership team sits down for a strategic check-in meeting. During these discussions we measure both our successes and failures of the past three months. We also make plans for how to implement our strategic plan over the days, weeks, and months to follow. With our fiscal year ending in September, we hosted our final quarterly meeting for the year this week. It was both reflective of the year behind us and anticipatory of what lies ahead in 2020.

After this most recent sit down, I left the room quite excited. Excited to be on a great team and excited to be helping shape a high performing company. The Chamber has a number of big things in store for our members next year and our team is actively planning for how to bring those to market. I believe we will be successful because we have many great member companies to model from.

It would be impossible to invite all the companies we observe into our quarterly meetings, but I believe that if we could our members would see a reflection of their companies on display in ours.The company we keep is always shaped by the ones we get to engage with. For those of you who have invited us in your inner sanctum and shown us what you do so well, thanks for keeping your doors open to us. We learn from you every day and your success continues to drive ours.

Jay Revell

Vice President

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