Written by Dave Wegge

I have been thinking a lot about doors recently. No, not the doors to our homes or places of work, but the doors of our lives.

The year 2021 provides a new door for all of us – and walking through new doors can be risky and/or provide opportunities. We need to be willing to take the right risks, but also have the strength to stand firm and close those doors that need to be closed. As we step across the threshold into 2021, I encourage you to make this a special year in your life or in the life of your organization by opening wide the doors to gratitude and growth.

I see doors as a metaphor for the decisions that we make in our lives or the events that are cast upon us. The Bay Area Community Council (BACC) is about to walk through a sizable door into a new phase for our organization. What will BACC be like on the other side? Grand, I think!

Thresholds to new experience
Life’s road can be seen as a series of doors both for individuals and organizations. As leaders of organizations, there are times when we choose to open those doors, sometimes doors are opened for us; at times we close them, and sometimes others close them for us. These doors can open and close in an instant. What lies behind those thresholds can transform us and our organizations forever.

As BACC is about to walk through a door to refine our role in the community, we look back and ask, how did BACC get to this point in our life cycle?

BACC was born of a strategic commitment to promote the general prosperity and quality of life in the greater Green Bay area in 1990. The Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce opened the first door that created the BACC. From the start, BACC was made up of volunteers representing business, education, nonprofits, and government, working together to engage community leaders in understanding and shaping the area’s future.

The first decade (1990–2000) saw several doors opened that led to Partners in Progress conferences, creation of the Quality-of-Life survey and the Community Benchmark study. The second decade (2001-2010) produced several high level “white paper” studies on poverty, mass transit, social capital and alcohol and drug abuse. The beginning of the third decade (2011–2015) witnessed the development of the LIFE Studies, a Visioning Brown County 2020 conference, and BACC reports that helped provide the foundation for the creation of two new organizations: Achieve Brown County and LIVE 54218 (now known as Wello). In these cases, the BACC helped to open doors for other organizations. The second half of the third decade (2016-2020) brought an important shift in thinking at BACC and the door to Strategic Foresight was opened. Strategic Foresight creates a mindset shift in thinking and encourages organizations to think more deeply about the future of their organization and the greater Green Bay area. This is accomplished by training leaders how to use Strategic Foresight tools and infuse foresight into the strategic planning of business, nonprofits, education, and government organizations. To date BACC has trained 60 community leaders in Strategic Foresight and offers two training workshops a year, one in the fall and a second in the winter/spring.

With the help of a capacity building grant from the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and the generosity of matching grants, the door that has now opened is the completion of the BACC rebranding project and changing our name to reflect our new focus on bringing Foresight Analysis to the community. Watch for the news about our name change later this month!

BACC has set an ambitious future for our organization. Decisions about our future will continue to challenge us, but we know that once we courageously step through a door, or close it, we have changed our organizations and the lives we touch forever.