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A Case Study in Strategic Planning for Growth

The Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce in Grinnell, Iowa has an active membership and a

unique community. It has a vibrant historic downtown, an emerging arts community, and a College.


The Grinnell Chamber of Commerce was looking for ways to leverage their community’s assets to spark economic growth in Grinnell. The Chamber identified the need for a new approach to strategic planning, one that was focused on clear action steps they could take with clear roles so they could support a collective approach with other partners in the Community.


Through a custom Innovation Works® recipe, we focused on generating ideas that could be implemented in the following 12-24 months by the Chamber. The process also focused on defining roles for the Chamber to support efforts by their partners throughout the community. The Chamber board of directors and staff worked together in a four-hour session that included both virtual and in-person participants.


“The board all left feeling more energized than they have in a while, and it was a great ‘new’

process for us to undertake as opposed to the traditional planning model(s). I, too, felt reenergized after having them all together.”

- Rachel Kinnick, President and CEO


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