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New report looks at the role of Chambers of Commerce

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The business world is an increasingly complex one.  In the past few IBM CEO surveys, they have highlighted the growing importance of both being able to manage this complexity, and to do so in a collaborative way.

This shifting zeitgeist was reflected in a series of seminars hosted by Xincus, and prompted the launch of a two phase study into how Chambers of Commerce can evolve within this new landscape.  The study, consisting of in depth one on one interviews and a nationwide online survey, aimed to better understand both how Chambers can adapt, and what changes would be required to do so.

The findings from this research are now available in a new paper called Chamber 2.0: Digital – Connected – Global.  The paper outlines both the main challenges currently facing Chambers, and the steps they can take to thrive in such an environment.

Amongst the main challenges identified by the research was a fundamental desire to change and modernize, with a strategic positioning and business model that would allow Chambers to flourish.  There was also a strong desire to work more effectively with partners, both inside and outside of the Chamber network, sharing both resources and insights.

The report then concluded with a road map derived by molding these findings from within the network with best practice from the wider business world.  The road-map consists of five broad stages, with each one containing more detailed steps Chambers can take to prepare for the modern world.

  1. Become a one stop shop for members, including positioning the Chamber brand for the modern world as centers for Business, Innovation, and Economic Development with a new and modernized approach to business that sees an adaptive and responsive leadership style essential to a revitalize business model.
  2. Offer new value, with a new emphasis on virtual services to reflect modern ways of working.  Chambers will become a solution hub that connects and match makes members, with co-working spaces connecting the physical and virtual worlds.
  3. Collaborate beyond borders, by building an extensive Chamber alliance network, allowing Chambers to become specialized regional hubs, whilst tapping into the collective wisdom of the entire network as well as offering “health-club” type e-memberships to professionals, academics, entrepreneurs and “free agent” millennials alike.
  4. Nurture new economic development, by facilitating entrepreneurial collaboration between members and stakeholders, connecting the right people with the right resources, helping to forge an innovation economy and a thriving business community and jobs.
  5. Foster global innovation ecosystems, by tying all of these communities together to form a hyperconnected ecosystem, with Chambers at its heart, thus empowering the next wave of new economic development around the world.

The report makes clear that whilst change is desired, the network remains positive that the right developments will occur.  With Chambers striving to maintain their position at the heart of the business community, this report will go some way towards helping them achieve that goal.  You can get your copy of the report here.

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