is an open mind, there will always be a frontier."
by inventor Charles Kettering describes our profession. It is the
basis for scientific discovery and prospecting for petroleum and
EXPLORER you will find AAPG's
Strategic Plan, which looks into the frontier of our collective
future. The plan is an important document, and I urge you to take
time to read it, contemplate its direction and see if you agree
with its conclusions.
urge you to respond directly to me by e-mail at ,
or in writing to P.O. Box 979, Tulsa, Okla. 74101.
of our strategic plan
started last year, when then-AAPG President Steve Sonnenberg asked
Dan Smith, chair of the Advisory Council, to develop of a comprehensive
strategic plan. After some evaluation, we asked Paul Meyer of Tecker
and Associates to help facilitate the plan's development, working
with the Executive Committee, Advisory Council, divisions and staff.
note that the plan is not designed to be an exact document. Think
of it as a road map. The purpose is to define the Association's
ultimate destination. We may take a detour here or find a new road
there, but in the end we know the direction and design of our journey.
This allows us to build better business plans for the immediate
Assumptions About the Relevant Future
are important to read, because they are the basis for the plan.
first assumption under demographics, for example, the plan states
that "the industry's professional community will increasingly become
global." You may think that this is just stating the obvious, but
it sparked a lively debate among participants about whether AAPG
is really an international organization (domestic entity with international
members) or a truly global organization (worldwide mindset).
that AAPG is the former, but would move to the latter, so we should
prepare and plan for this eventuality.
the assumptions may need to be adjusted, such as "Global Business,"
where we state that "oil prices will remain somewhat predictable
and within a stable range." Of course, this depends on whether you
are discussing current conditions or an average into the future.
next section, 10-15 Year Planning Horizon,
contains members' thoughts on the Association's philosophy. We state
in the "Core Purpose" that "AAPG members want to advance the science
and profession of energy-related geosciences worldwide." This is
a simple expression, but it is important that the majority of members
agree on the core purpose in order to set plans for the Association's
last part of the philosophic planning horizon is the envisioned
future. This is a statement of the ultimate goal -- of
"setting the bar" so high that it is almost impossible to reach.
contains a "wish list" of goals that should guide AAPG in the detailed
planning of each of AAPG's programs.
of the plan are contained in the 1-10 Year Planning Horizon. This
section is divided into goal areas that describe the strategic objectives
for each of AAPG's programs. It also includes the priorities for
each objective. It is this section that the AAPG leadership and
staff will use to build and maintain its five-year business plan.
last section, 5-10 Year Planning Horizon,
is a set of "Mega Issues" for the society. Essentially, it is a
series of key questions that are asked when considering the strategic
objectives, such as:
will AAPG address the increasing interest in alternative energy
we plan for this?
we build programs for our members for working on alternative energy?
of these questions is answered, it further defines our direction.
goal of strategic planning is to set the stage for tactical operations
on a day-to-day basis. It allows us to examine each program and
decide how it fits into the future. Should we keep it, maintain
it, or grow it? The strategy allows us to decide which new programs
to accept and develop for the membership.
is often dictated by effort and, since we have limited resources,
we do not want that effort misplaced. The strategic plan helps the
AAPG leadership and staff work more efficiently.
who participated in the strategic process defined AAPG's "Big Audacious
Goal" as "To be indispensable to all professionals in the energy-related
geosciences worldwide." This is basically saying that AAPG would
like to work toward a goal where every geoscientist needs to be
a member of AAPG to do their work and achieve their professional
high mark, but it is certainly one worth the effort.