This issue of Promotional Consultant Today looks at PPAI's goal No. 3 as part of a weeklong series on the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan.

Perhaps the boldest and most innovative goal of the new strategic plan is the third one: Develop and leverage strategic foresight.

Throughout the planning process to develop this strategic plan, there was a great deal of discussion about disruptors and technology, and that the industry in the midst of change largely because of these. It's not likely that you can have any discussion regarding the future of the promotional products industry without these topics coming to mind. As technology advances, and the world becomes smaller, its impact on the promotional product industry will become more compelling and create greater opportunities to grow this industry.

PPAI's Board of Directors has recognized the need for PPAI to have more than a keen vision—it needs to be able to recognize the trends, sift through information, examine the data and be alert to swift changes on the horizon. Like a perch high atop a ship's mast, PPAI must be able to foresee what's ahead to prepare itself and its members to succeed. That realization and discussion led to development of the strategic foresight goal.

"Strategic foresight is important because we need to be able to feed information back to our members on what's happening in the industry and the world," says Tom Goos, MAS, PPAI immediate past chair. "We need to gather and review information from our members, the economy, trends and other industry experts, to develop information and tools that can be given to our members, so that they can prepare themselves for what's ahead.

"Globalization is happening in this industry," Goos continues, "and it is and will impact our industry. This goal challenges the Association to help the membership and industry prepare. Strategic foresight is not a goal you see on many, if any, other associations' strategic plans. This is a goal from which the PPAI membership will undoubtedly benefit."

In the final installment in this series, coming on Friday, PCT will look deeper into goal No. 4: manage an efficient and progressive organization.

Source: Keith Vincent is director of marketing at Promotional Products Association International.