Preparing for a successful future

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OWAA’s Strategic Planning Committee will meet for a weekend planning session at OWAA headquarters in Missoula, Mont. This Nov. 18-20 meeting is not a “retreat,” as we’ve done enough retreating in the past.
OWAA has been operating without a strategic plan since 2008. None of us would go afield without planning, maps, maybe a GPS and a time frame for action. Why then would we allow our organization to operate in such a way?
The committee will finalize a draft put together by co-chairs Jason Jenkins and Matt Miller. The committee’s final plan will be presented for approval at the upcoming winter board meeting, slated for early 2013.
Key preliminary goals of the new strategic plan include:

  • By 2013: Brand the organization as the “how-to” organization for outdoor communicators — for students, for aspiring outdoor communicators and for accomplished professionals.
  • By 2015: Stop our membership decline and begin to increase membership within the next five years. This includes increasing the retention rate for existing members and reaching attendance goals for each conference.

The new strategic plan will cover 2012-2015 and the committee will put follow-up dates within the plan to evaluate the steps being taken as part of the action.
None of us want this version of a strategic plan for OWAA to be accepted, cheered and then just shelved. We also cannot wait until “next year” to make things happen. That’s why I am encouraged that these co-chairs, who have done an excellent job on previous assignments, will include checkpoints within the plan to keep all involved on the straight and narrow.
Highlights from the November meeting will be included in the January issue of Outdoors Unlimited. The final plan, once approved by the Board, will be detailed further in OU next spring.


Steve Jobs, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple, who was responsible for so many computer and communication devices, such as the Macintosh computer and iPhone, died Oct. 5 at the age of 56.
He died on my birthday, so I will always have an unfortunate reference to that date. The irony is I learned about his death on my iPhone. I still have one of the first Macintosh computers; it is sitting on a bookcase in my office and it still works after all these years.
Yes, I am a Machead!
Jobs offered an elegant alternative in new technologies, and as it has been said, he “made a dent in the universe.” He built Apple into one of the largest companies in the world.
There are entrepreneurs within our membership, and while not every one of them will make a dent in the universe like Jobs did, they certainly are creating viable businesses for themselves and their families.


If you aren’t reading INC. Magazine, you may be missing out on ideas that can make a difference in your work and business. For example, in the October issue, Malcolm Faulds wrote a story about how social media is not a waste of time and explains how you can make Facebook, Twitter and Groupon, among others, work for your small business. Go to to read to a lot of useful articles, including Faulds’ piece.
I know several outdoor and boating writers who use social media to generate additional income for themselves. So, don’t whine about a tough economy, do something about it. ♦
— OWAA President Mike Walker

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