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In-house Access Insight & Commentary for In-House Counsel Worldwide

ACC Embarks on New Strategic Plan, Building Upon Rich History of Success

Posted in Miscellaneous

“This year, I have decided I’m not setting goals. Goals come and go. Instead, I want a plan.”
–Jay Goltz, owner of five Chicago small businesses

ACC has served the professional and business interests of lawyers who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations and other private-sector organizations around the globe for almost three decades. With almost 30,000 members employed by over 10,000 organizations in more than 75 countries, ACC is proud to be the world’s largest network of in-house counsel.

Our market-leading position and high levels of member satisfaction have set the stage for exciting opportunities to evolve the organization. However, ACC’s new strategic plan does not represent a radical change in direction or focus. Instead, it clarifies and expands upon how ACC will build upon its strong foundation to advance its mission over the next five years.

Membership engagement and key findings

This strategic planning process incorporated unprecedented levels of member feedback, presenting a clear understanding of the value drivers that underlie the decision to join and remain an ACC member.

ACC thanks the 4,130 members who completed an online strategic plan survey, the 55 members who participated in focus groups held at the 2011 Annual Meeting, and the 16 members from six different countries interviewed for their thoughts on ACC’s mission, vision and past strategies. Respondents included board, chapter and committee leadership, as well as a broad spectrum of members.

Key findings include:

  • Members support ACC’s current mission and vision, and are highly likely to recommend ACC.
  • ACC’s mission attainment primarily relies on three value drivers: prominent market leadership, member satisfaction and retention, and organizational stability.
  • ACC is effectively meeting member needs in all key areas, and is most effective in the eight areas that most influence members to join and remain with ACC. They include:

1.     Exchanging best practices and practical resources

2.     Educational/professional development

3.     Thought leadership

4.     Access to networking opportunities

5.     Member engagement and visibility

6.     Brand value

7.     Advocacy efforts

8.     Sharing information and creating synergies

  •   Members’ perceptions of ACC’s effectiveness in each of the eight key areas are aligned with their perceptions of its relative importance.
  •  Education and professional development are highly valued by members. Member diversity suggests that ACC cannot be “all things to all members,” therefore, requiring the association to prioritize some member needs over others,
  •  Members believe that it is important for ACC to build and develop a strong global presence and international network of in-house counsel.
  • Members recognize the potential of social media, but do not believe ACC should evolve its platform at this time.
  • CLOs of large law departments can significantly impact ACC’s success and are interested in offerings that better meet their needs.

Strategic themes and approaches

The cornerstones of ACC’s new Strategic Plan incorporate three simple, yet powerful themes, which will guide decision-making.These strategic themes describe what ACC will do over the next five years to advance its mission and vision, and the specific approaches for pursuing these themes. ACC will:

1.     Combine and focus resources to streamline the exchange of information;

2.     Optimize services and experiences to retain and engage members; and

3.     Position the association for continued relevance and impact.

Revision of ACC’s mission and vision to reflect globalization strategy

More than a decade ago, ACC’s leadership decided to pursue becoming a global association and took steps to further that goal. Those steps included: a name change, four new chapters outside the United States, and an expanded membership base encompassing more than 75 nations.

In recognition of these advancements, the value that members place on globalization, and ACC’s plan to grow from its strong foundation, the board unanimously approved amending ACC’s mission and vision. The statements, like our plan, simply build upon the goals set forth by previous ACC leadership and supported by our membership. The slightly updated versions include the word “global,” reflecting the strategy to build and develop a strong international network and global presence.

After all, we are not just your in-house bar association, but an international one —working to bring you the resources and support needed to do your job, which is increasingly global in scope. See what else I had to say about the Strategic Plan to the authors of Association & Non-Profit Bisnow, in this recent article Plot Thickens at ACC

See the full Mission and Vision statements, and get more information on the Strategic Plan at www.acc.com/aboutacc/missionandvision.cfm