The key to effective strategic planning is that at some point you have to ask yourself three questions:
- Does our strategic process produce a plan that’s “real?”
- Does our plan really work for the organization? In other words, “does the strategy match our culture?”
- Is anybody doing anything? Are we moving toward effective change?
Your AAPG Executive Committee has focused on strategic planning and now we are answering those questions, especially No. 3. Change is critical to taking advantage of new opportunities. One of my favorite quotes on change is from Albert Einstein, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
Announcing the Joint Annual Meeting
A key part of our “changing our thinking” strategy this year included meeting with our sister societies to discuss partnerships and other potential relationships. In our discussions with the Society of Exploration Geophysicists we began talking about developing a joint annual meeting. Both societies have seen the dismantling of our economic engines as conferences were canceled or postponed. It was time to consider a new model.
In our first meetings with the SEG leadership, it was clear that we were all of the same mindset. The leadership of AAPG and SEG and both staffs understood the same vision. Regarding leadership and management, it is often said that “management (staff) is doing things right; leadership (members) is doing the right things.” It is the right thing – the right time and conditions – for a joint annual meeting of the two societies. I am pleased to announce that SEG and AAPG are now preparing for our first joint meeting since 1955 on Sept. 26-Oct 1, 2021 in Denver. It’s Denver in September!
The joint AAPG-SEG meeting will be a landmark event. It’s a program based on cooperation, not desperation. It gives each society strategic opportunities. That’s why it is planned for at least five continuous years.
The merger of AAPG’s Annual Convention and Exhibition (ACE) and SEG’s Annual Meeting (AM) will create one of the world’s largest gatherings of Earth scientists and energy professionals. It will be a week focused on the geosciences, with the events fully integrated, online and in-person, with a comprehensive technical program featuring more than 20 concurrent technical sessions and a joint exhibition showcasing the latest products, services and technologies.
SEG and AAPG have a lot in common. We share purpose, vision, values and strategic direction. Both societies have made adjustments to post-COVID-19 realities focusing on the “three Es”: energy, environment and emissions. In a recent article by SEG President Maurice Nessim, he talked about the six pillars of SEG strategy. Two of those, “innovation and collaboration,” are key in this decision to merge the AAPG and SEG annual meetings.
A Time of New Energy
Connecting our geosciences communities to better serve our members and customers is a strategic response to rapidly changing industry conditions. The move allows us to further cement SEG and AAPG’s respective positions as the recognized global leaders in delivering high-quality applied geoscience knowledge and data, and to realize significant efficiencies in operations. The event will be managed by an integrated AAPG and SEG staff team.
This is an extraordinary time in the history of our profession. It’s a time of new energy. The mission of our joint annual meeting is to continually improve our members’ knowledge of science and technology, demonstrate the critical roles geoscientists play in the world’s energy future and help industry professionals connect with new products and services to prepare for the career opportunities that lay ahead.
Helen Keller is quoted as saying, “A bend in the road is not the end of the road … unless you fail to make the turn.” I want to emphasize that this turn in the road to a joint venture with SEG is a great opportunity for both societies. I encourage all members to support this important new venture and work to make a smooth transition.