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A "New" Vision for YPC is Upon Us!

Future of Young Professionals Connection

September 24, 2013

The Value of YPC

What is your vision for YPC?

If you've had any conversations with YPC board members recently, or if you've read any articles about YPC in the news lately or if you've been at any meeting or event in the last few months where I've had a few minutes to give my spiel, you've probably heard the word "visioning."

  • "YPC is undergoing a 'visioning process' to help us have a plan for the future."
  • "This year's YPC Annual Survey is esecially important this year because we're doing some 'revisioning,' and your feedback is valuable."
  • "Damn. Emilee is making us spend another 3 hours together this month."

Well, it's all true! One of my major goals this year has been to take a hard look at YPC - who we are and what we're doing - so that we can better fill the wants and needs of our community and remain relevant in an ever-changing network of "young professionals."

What this means is that we know we're not perfect. It can be easy to get caught up in inertia - the tendency to do what's always been done. It's especially easy on a volunteer board, where each person has numerous other commitments requiring their time and energy.

But YPC was created by the Greater Des Moines Partnership in 2001 as a way to nurture young professionals and develop the future leaders of Des Moines. While this remains our goal, the organization has changed over the past 12 years. And I think we can do better.

Visioning is our way to get there.

We started this process earlier this year with an informal SWOT analysis - strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Essentially, it was just an exercise to get our juices flowing, but a hard and honest look showed us that there were many areas for improvement.

Formally, we began our visioning in mid-September, when we brought in trained facilitator. It was the first of three 3-hour sessions that will take place over the next three months. (If we're doing this, we're doing it right.) We talked about what attracted us to YPC and what keeps us involved. We analyzed the past three years of Annual Survey data, so our discussions can always remain member-driven. And we were asked one of the hardest questions I've ever had to answer about YPC: "What are three words that describe YPC that you wish DIDN'T?" Honesty is brutal sometimes.

Over the next two months, we will be having more of these hard discussions. The goal is to find direction and ensure that we're on the right path for the future. We want to find ways to communicate, coordinate and collaborate. For YPC to survive and grow, we have to find a way to provide better value - for the city's young professionals and for Greater Des Moines as a whole.

I don't know where we're going to end up when this process is all said and done, but I'm so excited to find out, and I can't wait to share the results with you at the YPC Annual Event this December.

If you have questions about the visioning process, feedback to provide or want to inquire about running for next year's board, contact me at president-elect@ypcDSM.com.