Plan Provides Road Map to Goals
Several years ago I took a course on public speaking at the recommendation of then-President Robbie Gries.
The first night we were given a homework assignment to do three things outside of our comfort zone, and we were to “push the limit.” This technique is designed to put you at ease with speaking in front of a large audience.
I decided to make a plan, and for the first part of my homework I decided to go eat (that’s always my first choice).
I went to a popular family-style steak place and asked the hostess to seat me in the middle of a large crowd. I brought my notebook with me, and for my first course I ordered several appetizers. The waiter asked if anyone was joining me and I replied in the negative. After sampling the appetizers, I made a big production of writing my opinion in my notebook.
Next, I ordered a salad with all the various dressings on the side. This drew a few looks, including another raised eyebrow from the waiter. After trying the various salad dressings, I leaned over to a man in a group next to me and announced that I was an “independent food critic” and inquired which steak he preferred. He told me, and I promptly ordered the steak he recommended -- plus most of the sides. As the food arrived, I would consider each bite, make a face and log my opinion in my notebook.
By the end of the night, people were coming over to me and giving me their opinions while the waiter stood by my table looking over my shoulder at my opinions. One customer even whispered “this isn’t a very good steak place,” and recommended another establishment.
I wondered why he was there.
Most things in life require a plan that comprises a purpose, goals and action items. I could have said, “I want to do my assignment,” but that is just a mission statement unless you are willing to establish a plan.
To make a strategy complete, it is critical to build a tactical plan with measurable goals and action items to complete those goals.
AAPG recently completed our strategic plan (it was in the November 2004 EXPLORER and is located on the AAPG Web site at http://www.aapg.org/explorer/2004/11nov/strategicPlan.cfm). The big audacious goal from the strategic plan was to make AAPG indispensable to the petroleum geoscientist.”
The plan also contains six goal areas:
- Advance the Science.
- Continuous Professional Development.
- Public Awareness and Understanding.
- Membership and Member Services.
- Financial Strength.
- Global Presence.
To achieve these goals, we are building a five-year business plan. We contracted with a consultant, Hermann Eben, to help facilitate the building of our metrics. It is not a formal plan that you would take to the bank with lots of beautiful prose. Rather it is streamlined with each entity of AAPG using the following outline to build the plan:
- Current reality (you must know where you are starting).
- Goals with metrics.
- Action items with who and when.
- Special financial considerations.
- If needed, a summary or recommendation.
This is the first time in AAPG history that all the leadership and staff has been asked to consider their goals, set their metrics for the goals and establish the action items to reach those goals.
The purpose of this plan is to allow us to easily review and track all of the goals and metrics and to have a measurable system of reaching our goals. It also allows us to remove some of the clutter.
AAPG has a wonderful and colorful history of service to its members. Since the beginning in 1917, AAPG has distributed scientific information to its members and the general public. Now we are at a time of great demand and need worldwide.
I believe this plan is one of the most critical steps we have made to make AAPG truly indispensable to its petroleum professional.
Of course, everyone is an “independent food critic,” and our members are the best critics for this plan. We encourage everyone’s best ideas as we complete this important guide for our future.ou can review opportunities online at www.aapg.org.