cbaReport-May14 - page 4

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May 2014CBAREPORT
president’s brief
L
astOctober, yourboardof trust-
ees spent a full day together for its
bi-annual retreat. Prior to theday’s
activities, a small committeeplanned the
agendaandestablished retreat goals.
TheCBA, likeall dues-drivenas-
sociations,must remain relevant to its
members if it intends toendureandpros-
per.We thought it appropriate todiscuss
andexamineour relevance—whatwedo
everyday forourmembers, ourprofession
and thepublic.
Sowhere should suchadiscussion
begin?
TheCBA’s then-currentmission
statementwas adopted in1992.Weknew
ithad serveduswell formore than two
decades, and for allweknew, it couldbe
perfectlyfine foryears tocome.Orga-
nizations though, especiallynon-profits
andprofessional associations, are suscep-
tible tomissioncreep, expanding their
member-services and spreadingprecious
resources too thinly.
Weknew surely that theworldhas
changedover thesepast 22years, ashas
thewayattorneyspractice law, and theex-
pectationsour clientshaveof us.Wealso
need toknowand respond toexpectations
CBAmembershaveof theirAssociation.
It seemeda fresh lookat theCBAmission
statementwas inorder tohelpus refine
and refocusbasedon thesechanges.
Going into theprocess, I thoughtwe
mightnarrowourmission, and focus
on fewerprograms and initiatives.As
theprocessplayed itself out, however, it
becameclear that themissionof theCBA
is and should remainbroadandmulti-
faceted, sowecanhaveameaningful
impact onboth theprofessionand society
— reflecting the importanceof the legal
systemand its role in theday-to-day lifeof
all citizens.
After taking inall the thoughts and
opinions—and therewere some strong
ones I assureyou—the retreat committee
camebackwithamission statement that
is shorter, simpler, andhopefullyclearer
than itspredecessor.
Topromoteprofessional excellence, fos-
ter justice, serveourmembers, and educate
thepublic.
Wehopeyou like it, andyouagree it
reflectswhatwe strive todoeveryday, for
thebenefit of ourmembers, theprofession
andourbroader community.
But is this enough?Theconsensus
was that therewas stillmorewecouldbe
doing, other thingswe shouldbe striving
toachieve. From thatdiscussionhas come
ourfirstCBAvision statement, intended
toarticulate theaspirationswehold, for
ourselves andourAssociation.
Tobean invaluable resource toour le-
gal communityby: encouraginga cultureof
collegialityandprofessionalism; providing
opportunities for leadershipand com-
munity service;maintainingadiverseand
inclusivemembership; and empowering the
success of ourmembers.
So, thereyouhave it.Anew, concise
MissionStatement, followedbya forward-
lookingVisionStatement. Sowhat?What
does it allmean? If ourMissionandVi-
sionStatements sit ona shelf, collectdust,
andareneither seennorheard fromagain
for another22years,what adisappoint-
ment thatwouldbe.
As attorneys,wearepeopleof action,
committed toachievingaclearobjective
which leads toapositiveandmeasurable
result. Regardlessof your areaof practice,
youundoubtedlyhaveaplan for each
case,matteror engagement youaccept.
TheCBA shouldhaveaplanaswell to
assurewe fulfill ourmissionandachieve
ourvision.This year,wewill bebuilding
on themissionandvisionworkcompleted
over thepast yearbycreatinga three-
year strategicplan.Yourboardand the
CBA staffarecommitted to the rigorous
endeavor,whichwill requiremore than
aday-long retreat or evenaweekend in
isolation. Strategicplanning ishardand
exhaustingwork.
The strategicplanningprocesswill
be spreadout over thebetterpart of the
upcomingBaryear and involveworking,
retiredandnewly-admittedCBAmem-
bers—andnon-members, too—young
andold,menandwomen, of all colors,
backgrounds, orientations, andprac-
ticeareas.A special effortwill bemade
toengageyounger attorneys,whohave
grownup ina fast-pacedand increasingly
impersonalworldandare lessdependent
on thepersonal relationships so important
to thecivil andprofessional practiceof
ourprofession.
Together,with someprofessional as-
sistance,wewill strive tocreatea strategic
plan thatwill serveas roadmap for the
immediate future,with specific, stated
objectives, goals, strategies andmeasur-
able results. If youare interested inbeing
involved in thisprocess, youarewelcome
to joinus. Simplyemail lmgaffin@cincy-
bar.organdwewill findaplace foryouat
the table.
Tafaro is the2014-2015presidentof theCincinnatiBar
Association.
By John P. Tafaro
Mission,Vision&
AStrategicPlan
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