Exciting Times at PAGD

Steve Neidlinger, CAE

Too many association executives dread the strategic planning session. Most association staff just want to know what buttons to press and be provided the time necessary to whittle down their inbox. But there is value to a good strategic plan. It allows me to focus my time on priority projects to fulfill PAGD’s strategic goals, and to adapt to the evolving needs of PAGD members.

This summer, the PAGD board developed a three-year strategic plan and finalized its measurable action steps in late 2022. The last strategic plan was derailed largely by pandemic, but I feel this new plan concentrates our time and resources under a new and encompassing mission. Here are some of what we will undertake in 2023.

  • New mission: Assuming it is approved by the membership at large at the PAGD Annual Meeting in April, PAGD’s new mission will be to promote excellence and growth in dentistry through education and professional relationships. This is our north star. The strategic goals below are in pursuit of that. The pursuit of any other goals will be secondary.
  • Engage first-year members: Most associations identify engaging young members among its greatest challenges. But we need to know what new graduates identify as their greatest challenges before adapting PAGD programming to address them. Younger docs, you will likely hear from PAGD soon to convene focus groups in early 2023. We’re great listeners, and we want to hear what you have to say.
  • Provide mentorship opportunities: The experience of GPs who have worked in associateships, plunged into practice acquisition, or expanded their hand skills through education can help to guide a new graduate who is looking to do some of the same. And while social media can serve as a sounding board, the crowd on the other end of the line may not have the same priorities or sound advice that an experienced colleague might. A planning group of PAGD leaders, both young and…not-as-young…has already convened to come up with a framework for what we trust will forge a new PAGD mentorship network.
  • Social media content plan: You may have noticed that PAGD has already done a website overhaul to make both the user and the administrator experience easier and more esthetically pleasing. The development of a PAGD social media content strategy is also crucial. The strength of PAGD’s membership lies in its ability to learn and perform beautiful dentistry, and the thousands of followers in our social media reach need to know what opportunities participating in PAGD can afford you.

A goal without a plan is a wish, and an association without a strategic plan is adrift in the ocean. This strategic plan sets a destination for PAGD. I look forward to working with PAGD leadership in building the roads to get to where we need to be by the time of its completion.