Mickey's Mail - February 7, 2018

 Mickey's Mail - 2/7/18 - Jumping into the Ocean

For the first time in five years, the Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s Board of Directors and its staff engaged last week in a day-and-a-half strategic planning session.
Our primary goal with this exercise is to determine how our organization and our affiliates can add value to your business, both now and for the foreseeable future.
We were fortunate to have the Simon Associates team of Andi and Andy Simon as our facilitators, and what I am describing as the most impressive group of greater Bridgeport business leaders perhaps ever assembled “off-site” (in Madison, CT) to discuss in depth how to achieve our goal. There were nearly 50 of us, including representatives from all seven of our affiliate organizations. The weather was beautiful, and no one was shy about offering up plenty of new ideas.

We were presented with overwhelming evidence of how the world is changing rapidly all around us, at a far faster pace than ever before in our history. My favorite slide over the two days was the one you see here that focused on disruptive companies that are dramatically changing the world we live in. 

My father passed away in 1993, the year I was a Barnum Festival Ringmaster. Granted that was a quarter century ago, but none of these companies (Uber, Air BNB, Facebook, Instagram, NetFlix, and Amazon) even existed back then. I think (and wish) often that I could spend some time with him today and tell him about all these amazing changes. His disbelief would be palpable. He simply wouldn’t believe what a smart phone can do, or a smart watch, or Alexa, or a car without a driver, or what robots can do today. And I’m sure you could come up with a much longer list. Running a successful business today is an extraordinary challenge, but an exhilarating challenge at the same time!

Even though we believe we are “modernizing” the BRBC, there is no question that we must constantly challenge ourselves to adapt to the disruptive environment that we live in today. We are 144 years old, a mere youngster compared to the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, which traces its roots back 224 years to 1794. But if either of our organizations is going to thrive in the future, we must seek to change with the times. We want to be an essential resource to you in running your business, not just today, but for many, many years in the future.
As we work our way through this strategic planning process we want you to help us. Contact any of our board members or our staff and tell us how we can serve you better. We just spent two days thinking of everything we could do to accomplish just that. Even as thorough as we thought we were, I’m sure there are some great suggestions that we have not even considered yet.