Are You Ready to Engage?
by Gene Muchanski, Editor
The Dive Industry Professional
Welcome to the April 2022 Editorial of The Dive Industry Professional. As an Industry Planner I am frequently asked to help companies organize their thoughts into a well laid-out, step-by-step, strategic plan, that can be used to guide their company from conception to completion, whether they are dealing with programs, products, or an organizational direction. I love a good challenge, but I only accept an invitation if I can deal with the task in a holistic manner. For me, no detail or component is too small to address, if it is considered as a part of the big picture. Like a puzzle, all the pieces have a place in the sum total, and usually every piece is somehow interrelated to the other pieces. When dealing with an organizational challenge, I first like to look at the current situation and then ask where the company would like to go from there before we start suggesting potential solutions to the situation. Once we have our priorities straight, the next step is to design a plan of action that includes the tasks we will work on to achieve our planned outcomes. This is where the rubber meets the road. Once you have your Action Plan, you have to start working on it. You have to engage. Today. Now.
Two days ago I worked on a Hall of Fame project with a group of dive industry philanthropists. We started by stating our purpose for the project. Why were we doing this and what were we trying to accomplish? Once we knew why, we were able to clearly see the type of organizational structure that was needed. The rest were details, and section by section, it all fell into place. The vision became clear. The roadmap is being written now and is a work in process. We would not have gotten this far had we not engaged.
That brings us to the situation at hand. You are reading an editorial from the Dive Industry Association’s monthly marketing communique, The Dive Industry Professional. Except, it is not in a newsletter format anymore but has evolved into a magazine format. That took a combination of decisions made, advanced planning, and engagement. At the Dive Industry Association, our Vision is to “Build a Better Industry, One Member at a Time.” Our Mission is to bring buyers and sellers together, to facilitate business success and industry growth. Our Focus is to concentrate on the sales of diving equipment, training, travel, and lifestyle products. Our Purpose is to build a cohesive and functional Global Diving Business Network.
With a 21-year history of successfully building and operating a member-centric organization, Dive Industry Association is on track to become the diving industry’s Premier Marketing and Trade Association. We focus only on marketing and trade programs, products and services. We work for our Members so they can become more professional, productive, and profitable. Our past accomplishments and future projects are spelled out, in writing, in our Members Guide, available to DIA members and non-members alike.
Staying engaged in the Global Diving Business Network has allowed us to actively bring our industry trade programs, products, and services to life, for the benefit of all Dive Industry Professionals Worldwide. Our Weekly Dive News has been reaching Dive Industry Professionals, across the global for over four years. Our third Trade Directory and Industry Publication brings the Worldwide Diving Community an Industry Trade Directory, Buyers Guide, and Shows and Events Calendar. As of this month, our Monthly Trade Magazine, The Dive Industry Professional, is available to the entire international Diving Community, on a monthly basis, as the organ for diving news worldwide.
Being engaged means you are an active participant in the direction of your business. When a company is large and many people are involved in various aspects of a program, at least one person needs to be actively engaged from conception to completion. This way, nothing falls through the cracks during handoff from one section to another, or from one person to another. In a perfect world, a company should always be in a state of forward progression. To ensure that you are continually moving in a forward direction, adopt these easy-to-follow concepts. 1) Conduct an Audit. It should be a complete Business Audit, but if you are not up to the task, start with a department audit. A Marketing Audit is a good one to start with. 2) Sit down with your senior staff and define where you want your company to be in one year, two years, or three years from now. Commit to it in writing and call it “Desired Outcomes.” 3) Brainstorm ideas on things you have to do to achieve each planned outcome. Prioritize each possible solution as to their likely merit. 4) Create a campaign to try your best possible solution for each desired outcome. 5) Create a “Playbook” that tracts each campaign and monitors your progress. This way you know where you are, know where you want to be, know what you are doing about it, and you can see if it’s working. The big thing is to keep your eyes on your progress and you will surely see the need to adjust your inputs as you see successes or setbacks.
The only thing I advise against is the desire to look for quick-fixes. Don’t look for a silver bullet. They do not exist. There are no short-term fixes to long-term problems. In today’s post pandemic economy we are in the process of reinventing many business procedures, business models, and paradigms. There is no such thing as doing things the way we used to and leaving the process in automatic mode. We now have to do things in a new way and monitor the progress as we go.
For more information, contact Gene Muchanski, Executive Director, Dive Industry Association, Inc., at firstname.lastname@example.org