Op-Ed: New year to bring creative new approach from Milford chamber

Michael Moses

Michael Moses

Contributed photo

The past year proved to be a whirlwind of challenges, surprises, and opportunities. We learned to do almost everything virtually and spent more time than ever imagined in video meetings. Every organization adapted to new patterns of managing and conducting business. I’m especially proud of our MRCC membership for reaching new levels of creativity and problem solving under these business conditions.

Business is community, and without business, there is no community. We appreciate our members and their contribution to what makes the Milford region such a unique place to live, work and play. Our Chamber staff is dedicated and passionate in support of our programming, education, and events. Each member of our small but efficient team is available to assist all our members, so I hope you’ll utilize the numerous resources available in building your business.

2022 is going to be a year of transformation, from a stable, successful Chamber with an engaged membership to a best-in-class organization with diversified revenue opportunities, increased programming, education, and legislative representation. While formulating our go forward plan, I referred to a foundation of progressive thinking - forcing a paradigm shift in the Chamber business model. One of my favorite sources for inspiration is a piece by Dr. Edward B. Burger and Dr. Michael Starbird — so I thought I’d share with all of you.

The five elements of effective thinking

Often, geniuses practice learnable habits of thinking that allow them to see the world differently. By doing so, they avoid much of the folly that so often ensnares others. Eliminating stupidity is easier than seeking brilliance.

You can personally choose to become more successful by adopting five learnable habits. The five habits are:

1) Understand deeply — Don’t face complex issues head-on; first understand simple ideas deeply. Clear the clutter and expose what is important. Be brutally honest about what you know and don’t know. Then see what’s missing, identify the gaps, and fill them in. Let go of bias, prejudice, and preconceived notions. There are degrees to understanding (it’s not just a yes-or-no proposition) and you can always heighten yours. Rock-solid understanding is the foundation for success.

2) Make mistakes, fail to succeed — Intentionally get it wrong to inevitably get it even more right. Mistakes are great teachers — they highlight unforeseen opportunities and holes in your understanding. They also show you which way to turn next, and they ignite your imagination.

3) Raise questions — Constantly create questions to clarify and extend your understanding. What’s the real question? Working on the wrong questions can waste a lifetime. Ideas are in the air — the right questions will bring them out and help you see connections that otherwise would have been invisible.

4) Follow the flow of ideas — Look back to see where ideas came from and then look ahead to discover where those ideas may lead. A new idea is a beginning, not an end. Ideas are rare— milk them. Following the consequences of small ideas can result in big payoffs.

5) Change the unchanging element is change — By mastering the first four elements, you can change the way you think and learn. You can always improve, grow, and extract more out of your education, yourself, and the way you live your life. Change is the universal constant that allows you to get the most out of living and learning.

So, get ready for some fun with the return of more in-person events, networking and educational opportunities, and a significantly increased value equation.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season.

Michael Moses is president of the Milford Chamber of Commerce.