Chamber Team Earns National Award

For most of my 15-year tenure at the Indiana Chamber, the organization has exceeded its reach. By that, I mean the Chamber has been among the top three or four statewide business groups in the country (in terms of members) despite an overall population that ranks in the range of 13th to 15th largest.

That performance was recognized at the recent Association of State Chamber Professionals conference. The Chamber earned second place for highest market share — a way of saying we have a higher percentage of members compared to the overall number of business in the state. Washington state led the way in that category (we're only kidding when we say they don't play fair with some lower-priced memberships; the Association of Washington Business is an outstanding organization).

It's the latest in a long line of ASCP honors for the membership team. Tim Brewer, who leads that group, points out that it is truly a team effort with public policy advocacy, training seminars, compliance publications and all the other Chamber programs and initiatives producing strong benefits for members across the state.  And you can probably put strong customer service at the top of that list.

Kudos to the membership team (smiling faces here) and all my colleagues for their outstanding work on your behalf.


Membership Team Honored for its Efforts

The many great things the Indiana Chamber is able to accomplish are due to the support of member businesses around the state. Making sure those members receive a strong return on their investment, and in turn helping those companies and their employees succeed, is the role of the Chamber’s membership team.

That team was recently recognized for its outstanding efforts in 2008. At the annual Association of State Chamber Professionals conference (that’s membership folks from state chambers and business associations around the country), the Indiana Chamber earned a first-place award for Highest Membership Growth in numbers and a second place for Highest Market Share in numbers.

Knowledge certainly plays a part. In a profession often marked by high turnover, the Chamber counters with Tim Brewer (director of membership) and Brett Carrington each having more than nine years of experience in the organization. Tim Wood and Marcus Fehman also bring their talents as membership managers with Sarah Hankley in the important role of membership coordinator.

Bottom line: If you are already an Indiana Chamber member, this group will help you get the most out of your investment. If you’re not on board, see what you’re missing.

Learning the Learners’ Way

Sometime early in 2008, Chamber Membership Director Tim Brewer sent me an e-mail mentioning Mike Lantz and LQ Performance Strategies as a good potential story topic or interview source for our BizVoice magazine.

Tim and his membership team colleagues make these recommendations often — and it is much appreciated. (I and others throughout the Chamber try to reciprocate with companies we come across that could benefit from the products and services the Chamber offers.) But enough of that internal team spirit.

Tim, as usual, was on target. Months passed by before I tapped into Mike’s expertise to author a column on methods of tackling workplace training — only one of the most critical topics facing our state and the nation. We can put all the possible training programs in place, but they will do little if they are not designed to give the employee the opportunity to retain and apply what is being taught.

We previewed Mike’s excellent offering in our January-February print edition and offer the full story online today. He concludes:

"The purpose of training is to ignite behavior modification and change. Change is not a typically comfortable place. This is the same for training — learning is not meant to be a place of comfort. Training needs to stretch the participants to think a new way and to do things in a new way. Improved results come when something new is tried."

Take a look at the column and keep Mike’s key points in mind as your company looks to further develop its people and its prospects.