We hope you’re feeling good after a few weeks under your belt! If you joined us for the 2018 Chapter Executives Conference in Memphis, you’ve already been equipped with more great tools to ensure that your chapter hits their goals this year.

One of the most crucial components of your job is the execution of the chapter meeting. This is where information regarding chapter operations is circulated and where the active chapter assumes a collective role as the governing body. With the busy schedules that you and your brothers have, it’s important to master the art of running your chapter meeting as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Here are some tips that will help you optimize that time:

Follow the same written agenda for each meeting

  • Use and know Robert’s Rules of Order (refer to Garnet & Gold Reference Manual for parliamentary procedure information)
  • Speak only when required
  • Be authoritative, not the authoritarian
  • Keep meetings to a one-hour time limit
  • Always follow chapter by-laws and Constitution & Chapter Codes
  • Present voting options to the membership
  • Utilize the sergeant-at-arms role as main conductor of the meeting
  • Use and memorize applicable ritual

For a sample agenda:

  1. Call to Order – President
  2. Pi Kappa Alpha Invocation – Ritual
  3. Roll Call
  4. Minutes of previous meeting
  5. Committee Reports
  6. Old Business
  7. New Business
  8. Education (Discussion, Speakers)
  9. Schedule of weekly events
  10. Open Forum – pass the gavel
  11. Close Meeting – Ritual
  12. Adjourn

Every chapter is different, so use that as a guide but don’t be afraid to adjust it as necessary. This structure allows for the compartmentalization of information, creating an organized system for every meeting week to week.

Strategic Planning

At this point in your term, goal setting is high priority. The best way to accomplish your goals is to write them down, and that should start with your executive board. Then, getting the whole chapter involved in that conversation will create the buy-in you need to hold the membership accountable. Strategic planning in goal setting is essential, and there are a few models to consider prior to diving in:

The GROW Model

Goal: Hard; measurable; long-term, short-term, or session; member generated

Reality: Where we are now (actual vs. target)? What is the true situation?

Options: Exploration of multiple options/potential solutions to achieve goal. Generated by participants to increase ownership and accountability

Way Forward: Choose option(s)/collaborates with key stakeholders, identify first steps; commits to action.

In strategic planning using the GROW model, 20 percent of the conversation should revolve around the goals and realities. Be careful with talking about the realities – it’s easy to get carried away talking about what the problems are. The focus here is to funnel down high-level ambitions into operational goals and simply discussing where the chapter stands at that point in time. After, move into options, which is 60 percent of the conversation. At this stage, you want to help extend perspective and strive for options to be narrowed down to implementable actions, which brings us to the way forward – the last 20 percent. On the back end of the process, you want to ensure that the action items can be tracked. Additionally, it is your responsibility to follow through on these action items and manage the outcomes.

Setting SMART Goals

It’s easy to be ambitious when setting goals, but if they are not feasible then you are setting yourself up for failure right out of the gate. By setting SMART goals, you can assess the likelihood of completion so you won’t have to make any major revisions later. SMART goals are:

Specific – Don’t be vague; this is a time to dictate exactly what it is you want to accomplish

Measurable – Can you quantify this goal? Talk through the numbers or the quantifiable data.

Attainable – A good goal should push you while remaining achievable.

Realistic – Is your goal something that you are able to accomplish, all things considered?

Timely – There are plenty of different types of goals that can exist on different timelines. Are the goals you’re setting something that can be accomplished in your term?

Goal-Setting Retreat

The best way to involve your chapter in this process is to host a goal-setting retreat. This should be a one-time event at the beginning of the semester with attendance from your Alumni Advisory Board/engaged alumni, faculty advisor, and MHQ representative or really anyone who can contribute positively to the vision of the chapter. This retreat can be broken down into four steps:

Step 1: The Chapter Assessment

The SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Each area forms a box on a grid and you fill in each section to help formulate your assessment strategy. Strengths and Weaknesses focus internally on what the organization can do. Threats and Opportunities are external factors.

Many organizations may find it easy to look inward and see Strengths and Weaknesses, but fail to look outside at the external Opportunities and Threats. This is where the SWOT analysis is helpful. It challenges the organization to see beyond its inner self to determine what opportunities are there. Ideally you will use chapter strengths and outside opportunities to leverage weaknesses and threats.

Steps 2: Define the Organization’s Values and Set its Mission and Vision

Values: Main values projected by the organization, reflecting the organization's culture and priorities. (The True Pike)

Mission: Defines what the organization seeks to provide. A good mission statement describes purpose, why the organization exists.

Vision: Defines where the organization wants to be in the future. It reflects the optimistic view of the organization's future.

Step 3: Goal Setting (Break Out)

Committee/chairmen individual goal setting using the GROW Model

Goal- What is our end goal? Where do we want to be?

Reality- Where are we now? How far are we from our end goal?

Options- What are the possible options for reaching our objective?

Way Forward- After analyzing our options, what are the action steps that will take us to our final goal?

Step 4: Strategic Plan

Presentation of chapter goals and objectives for the areas of:

Membership

Operations

Brotherhood

Leadership

Once you’ve set your goals, write them down so they are tangible and post them where they can be seen, whether that’s in the common areas of a chapter house of as the pinned post in your chapter communication platforms. When your goals are visible, everyone is reminded of their commitment to be persistent in driving your chapter to reach its fullest potential. Get organized and get to work!

Jarrett M. Way

Director of Educational Content & Strategy