The Western OK I-40 SET team held its first meeting of 2013 on January 9th at the City Hall in Elk City. There were two primary components to this module 4 workshop: Vision Statements and SMART goals. The 24 attendees for Module 4 had a brief review of what has been accomplished thus far in the program before moving on to these topics.
Module 4 provided detailed information about creating a “vision statement.” The key challenge for the group was to create a regional vision statement, and several features of a strong vision statement were discussed. These features were:
●Focuses on the future.
●Gives shape and direction to the future.
●Highlights its purpose and values.
●Inspires people, groups, and communities.
●Will be relevant for many years.
Several examples of good vision statements from previous SET participants in other states were shared. Attendees were then split into groups to discuss their personal beliefs of what the vision statement should include for their region. Each group presented their ideas to the entire team, and each attendee then voted for their “top 3” choices that should be included in the final version. The top vote-getters for the items suggested among the groups were:
1) Cohesiveness between communities
2) Diversified economy
3) Re-establish / expand aerospace industry
4) Develop and expand value-added ag products / services
5) Strong community life / amenities which attract people
A working group (Ed Cole, Jim Mason, Tiffany Kelley, and Dan Gambill) volunteered to come up with an initial version of a vision statement based on this discussion.
The group next discussed the importance of setting SMART goals in order to achieve their vision statement. SMART refers to the components necessary to develop solid goals:
Specific: State clearly what your team wants to achieve. Indicate why this goal is important. Specify where you intend to focus your efforts.
Measurable: Indicate how you plan to measure progress towards the achievement of your team goal. Define both the end result as well as milestones you want to achieve along the way. Be concrete.
Attainable: Determine if your team has the resources (people, financial, political, time skills, motivation, etc.) needed to achieve the goal.
Realistic - The team must truly believe that the goal can be accomplished. Be honest about what the team is able to pursue.
Time Framed - When do you want to achieve your goal? Decide on a target date for accomplishing your team’s goal.
Another group activity was performed that worked on developing SMART goals related to the organizational structure of the SET team. Each of the 4 teams came up with a potential organizational goal that attempted to follow the SMART framework:
Create an organizational structure that will ensure sustainability and participation representative of the four-county region no later than April 2013.
Develop a communication and outreach strategy by assigning a committee to build a Facebook page and provide each member with 50 business cards by March 2013.
Develop an Educational Trust by 12/31/13
Become 501c(3); Asset Mapping; Educate communities about vision, goals; assets.
About a week after this meeting, the working group came up with this initial version of the team’s regional vision statement:
People are attracted to strong communities within the four western Oklahoma counties that share Interstate 40. These communities working cohesively have built diversified economies focused on re-establishing and expanding the aerospace industry along with developing and growing value-added agriculture products, which complements the entrenched energy sector within the region.