Step 11 to uniting the diving industry is to join a Specialty Advisory Group in the Diving Industry. The purpose of an advisory group is to stimulate discussions concerning Industry SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats). A good example is the Dive Industry Marketing Professionals Group we have at the Association. I want to know what other successful Marketing Professionals are doing in the diving industry, not just what one person thinks. Qualified Advisers give an organization a number of different perspectives, allows you the opportunity to bounce ideas off each other and creates a checks & balance safeguard that keeps your company from falling under the control of one person, one idea, and one way of doing things. We just had that happen to a company in the diving industry not too long ago. Had they had an Advisory Board, things may never have gotten as bad as it did. Of course, an Advisory Board has to have purpose, direction, authority and recourse to be effective.
The diving industry has so many wonderful things to be thankful for and it’s a community that is unique and pleasant to be in. We are an industry of adventurous, opinionated, independent and charismatic individuals. These are good traits, by the way. In my opinion, the weak link in our community is still the ignorance and arrogance of a select few. This type of behavior stifles activity and growth. It keeps the industry from uniting and working together, and it divides and fragments what little resources we have. It puts the focus of leadership and control in the hands of a select few. And all the while, the select few think they are protecting their market share and control of the industry, when in fact they are limiting their own potential and that of their peers.
The business community in our industry needs to have more Good Stewards and Wise Advisers. True Industry Professionals that give freely of their expertise and experience and are not afraid to work together for the good of the industry. I’m hearing about such a group of professionals called THE DIVE PROFESSIONAL, lead by Henri Hemmerechts. Our organization has been following Henri for a few months and I have spoken with him on the telephone a few time. I’m interested enough to want to know more. You may want to check them out and let me know what you think.
Not all diving organizations are going to be open to creating a Board of Advisers, true advisers, but the ones who do will give an opportunity to many of the good stewards in the industry who care enough to make the industry better and grow it. As we learn of these companies, we will pass their information on to the dive industry professionals who are following our twelve steps. Perhaps this could lead to the formation of an Industry Think Tank?