IN CONNECTION WITH… STRATEGY
“Being professional is never a coincidence. Passion gives birth to professionalism. Professionalism gives birth to quality, and quality is a luxury in life.” (Jacek Walkiewicz, Full Power of Possibilities)
In February, work began on redefining the strategy of the Polish Stone Industry Association (Polski Związek Kamieniarski). Due to the wide variety of segments of the stonemasonry market and differences in the specificity of the activities of individual companies belonging to the association, the definition of the strategy is not easy at all and requires further reflection.
The beginning is simple, it comes down to a question asked by members, potential members, supporters and opponents. To be precise, there are more formulations of this question (“What do I get from it?”, “Is my company not too small for that?”, “Can I afford it?”), but it can practically always be transformed into this one: “Why do we need an association?”
The answers to this question are many. Sometimes they are about expectations, other times about the benefits already obtained. Thus, some emphasise that the organisation creates a community, the community facilitates the flow of information, which in turn develops cooperation. Another answer is the need for professional development and an educational offer, which can be developed at the branch organisation level. A frequent response was to create a place and a group that can help with the various problems we encounter in our businesses. Virtually everyone who joined the discussion emphasised the need for and role of integration. And finally, as the most general effect, there is the desire to build the prestige of the stonemasonry profession, not only in terms of our own company, but more broadly, of the whole industry, so that the effect is greater.
How do we define our organisation’s strategy, then? What vision makes such different expectations, benefits and concepts possible for different companies? This can perhaps best be encapsulated in the two words that define the relationship most broadly, and yet most accurately. It is a platform for cooperation.
By defining the role of an association as precisely that of a platform for cooperation, we enable the members of an organisation to pursue very different objectives, based on experience, the market segment it occupies, company size, location and many, many other factors. Despite the differences, all the objectives can be grouped into just a few areas: education, cooperation, integration and promotion. However, from these four areas the main lines of action emerge. In the area of education, these are: confirmation of professional qualifications, improvement of qualifications through organisation of courses and training, organisation of practical vocational training, preparation of textbooks and learning materials.
B2B cooperation includes activities in the field of facilitating the flow of information, promoting cooperation and sharing resources, providing contract templates or standardisation.
The integration area of the association’s activity should include the initiation and organisation of industry meetings (congresses, conventions), support for the creation of thematic sections, local businesses, building up professional identity and nurturing the heritage of stonemasonry.
The last area of activity is promotion. It is a very important and wide area which includes a whole lot of activities. On the one hand, promotion must be directed inwards so that the idea of the association reaches and convinces more companies within our branch. On the other hand, and much more importantly, we need to multiply our efforts in promoting stonemasonry and the materials used in stonemasonry.
The presented areas and directions of activities resulting from them are the first draft and only the most important points. I encourage everyone, first of all members of the Polish Stone Industry Association, but also those who are not members of the organisation, to join the discussion on how and with what means we should implement the tasks we are facing. I will be grateful for every voice and contribution to building an efficient and strong stone industry organization. Contact details can be found at www.kamieniarze.org.pl.
Source: Kurier kamieniarski
Author: Krzysztof Skolak PZK | Published: 2.3.2021