In previous articles, I described the different reasons why people support their local Chamber, and why businesses join the Chamber. The demographics of our own membership reveal four distinct business audiences, and we need to address the various needs of each audience.

I also see the Chamber having a responsibility to the community as we join groups together to collectively work towards strategic growth. This joining of our members, or any group of people, can be compared to a sports team working towards a common goal.

As we build committees, focus groups, and other “teams” for the common good, we bring parties together based on a mission. We also try to engage, improve, increase our efforts, and celebrate success, both individually and collectively.

In an athletic competition, it is important to know what the common rules are and what type of athlete is needed. Each team member understands the details; how their skill or talent complements the team, and even how the playing field affects a specific sporting event.

For instance, in America, the sports field has lines of boundary – which are typically counted as “out”; except for soccer, where the line is “in”. The team players need to understand and comply with each of these boundaries to have success together.

Comparing this to the business world, we want to have clear rules, or objectives, for our business. As we manage complex changes in our community, there are many components that are part of the plan. These might include the vision, skills and resources needed, incentives, and the action plan to execute each phase of the objective. If we are missing one of the components, we can’t effectively manage the change.

For example, as an individual, if you are lacking in the skills component, you could have anxiety about the project; or if the resources are not available, there will be frustration. Each of these components become necessary to fit together in the playing field.

This applies to the business environment also.

Here at the Chamber, we recognize many of our business relationships in unique ways, primarily centered on getting things done. We look for people who can help us advance our mission through use of their personality and business persona. But as we are growing, identifying the right type of players may become difficult.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the DISC® Personality Test.  Based on a series of questions, a participant can identify their personality type and how that fits with others on their team. For instance, people who are “D”, or Drivers, typically are very result-oriented. Those who fit into “I” are the influencer type and tend to be great motivators. The “S” personalities are usually great planners, and referred to as Steady’s. Finally, the “C” or Conscientious types have great attention to the details. This is where we can identify our future players and understand the strengths of our current members.

The Adrian Chamber has a summer intern from Siena Heights, Adam Brooks, studying Industrial Psychology with the intent of moving into the Human Resources world.  Adam recently helped facilitate the Breakfast Club, one of our recent networking/educational events. This event is aimed at providing networking and business exposure for small businesses.

We asked attendees to complete a DISC® Personality Test, and what stood out to me was that, of those attendees, there were no “S” or Steady personality types. Typically, the “S” types like a more reserved business atmosphere and make up about 40 percent of the population.

This brought an interesting question for our own members: what personality types are currently working on your team, and where might you be lacking in rounding out the skills associated with each personality type?

Since all employees of a member business could engage with the Chamber, what do we need to change, as an organization, to get more of them involved? That, in turn, will help them develop and grow individually, and collectively within their business and the community.

Adam will be available over the summer, to work with our members and evaluate their organization as it relates to DISC® Personality Profiles, and help facilitate exercises to build their individual teams. If you would like to work with him, call the Chamber at 517-265-2320, and we can organize the process.

If you have ideas, questions, or want to talk about this, or about joining the Chamber, give me a call at 517-265-2320, or email me at jbart@adrianareachamber.com

by John R. Bartoszewicz,
President and CEO, Adrian Area Chamber of Commerce