In an MLS board meeting last week, I saw before my very eyes that a little dose of big thinking can be the beginning of very big progress. It was two years ago this month, in a strategic planning session when someone offered up the bold idea: “I’d like to see our MLS become a statewide cooperative of regional MLS centers. That way our MLS would benefit all of our members across the state.” I think most of the room dismissed the literal vision. The vision of a statewide MLS set the bar higher for operations, marketing and continuing progress in training and education.
Leadership agreed on the steps that prepared them to expand. It would include: (1) Raising awareness of MLS capabilities with current users, (2) Launching a Public MLS site and (3) Creating a talk track and process to open conversations with surrounding MLS organizations.
With the framework in place, the CEO, and her staff went to work.
It takes more than 18 months to accomplish big dreams. Caution to those of you who want your strategic plan to be an 18-month look into the future. There is big progress on some of the plan, and slower progress on other parts. Your lofty strategic issues will realistically be part of a 3 to 5 year plan. I see a CEO and a board showing three qualities: patience, vision, and planning.
How much progress has this board made on their plan? There were visitors to last week’s MLS board meeting: A neighboring association came to the board room to ask if they could join forces, and how could the two boards work together to accomplish it?
This is what you call a plan coming to life. This is a strategic plan.