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Stretch Goals for 2023

If the past few years have taught us anything—other than how to properly wash our hands—it's that even the best laid business plans can be completely obliterated by unforeseen circumstances.

Got an original 2020 business plan handy? Open that up and see how that went once the pandemic hit. And while the changes may be good (I'm betting Zoom's final results looked a lot better than their forecasts) or bad (the travel industry is wincing at the thought of looking at those plans), the conclusion is the same. No one planned for what was about to hit us, because no one knew.

With the immediate future of the economy so uncertain, it can be difficult to set goals for 2023. And yet, a Harvard Business Study found that people who write down goals are 10 times more successful than those who don't.

So go ahead and write your goals for retention, growth, revenue, and so on. But while you're at it, come up with a stretch goal or two. What new idea or direction for you and/or your organization will help improve your organization, your members, your customers, or your partners while stretching your knowledge, your capabilities, or your offerings?

Here are six ideas to get you started:

Enhance engagement

Find inexpensive new ways to enhance engagement with your organization. Implement new programs or initiatives to encourage participation and allow members to connect with one another. Start an online community scavenger hunt or offer a contest to generate member-produced content. It's crucial to find new ways for your members to tell you what they want and don't want.

Expand your reach

Set a goal to increase the visibility and impact of your association within your industry or community. Develop new partnerships or collaborate with other organizations to reach a wider audience.

Develop new leadership

Find new ways to develop and nurture new leaders within your association. Offer leadership training programs or opportunities for members to get more involved in your decision-making processes.

Improve resilience and adaptability

Lean into the economic uncertainty by finding new ways to help your association become more resilient and adaptable. Develop contingency plans, identify potential new sources of funding, or diversify your revenue streams.

Foster collaboration and partnerships

Consider goals that encourage collaboration and partnerships within your industry or community. These relationships can provide support and resources during times of economic uncertainty.

Seek opportunities for growth

Despite the uncertain economy, opportunities may still be out there for your association to grow and expand. Make identifying and pursuing these opportunities one of your goals.

Who knows, maybe 2023 will go just the way you planned. But even if it does, these stretch goals can only help your organization anyway, which is just one more reason to include them in your 2023 plans.

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