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By Alice Till and Walter T. Marlowe

Walt MarloweAAPS was founded to be the premier organization for all pharmaceutical scientists, and as our profession has evolved, so has the organization. We, AAPS staff, and AAPS leadership have reviewed and revised our mission and vision statements, and core values, and mapped out a strategic management approach for the next five years that will ensure AAPS remains true to its founding principles.

A strategic plan focuses an organization’s efforts and ensures that members and staff are working toward the same goals. For AAPS, it requires feeling the pulse of the industry, academic, and regulatory environments in which we operate, and of our membership. We’re excited to move forward with implementing a plan crucial to the future of the association and pharmaceutical sciences.

Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg said, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that [is] changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” We couldn’t agree more when it comes to the importance and approach to a new strategic plan. Defining AAPS’ direction is crucial, and taking risks with that conversation and vision is not only important, but necessary.

Strategic planning is vital to the future success of any organization. It asks the question, “Where do we want to be in the future? Where do we see ourselves?” Thinking about the larger picture and what the end goal is allows us to focus and prioritize projects along the way to achieve this goal. Without stopping to think about the finished product, the details along the way can get lost, but the strategic plan serves as the framework and master plan for all other plans along the way.

A strategic plan allows us to make decisions and allocate resources to pursue this strategy. As we develop new programming ideas and member services, we now have a valuable tool we can use. The approved strategic plan will serve as a framework and management tool for the association to move forward. It will guide us as we evaluate current activities and new initiatives. It will be a living road map that enables the organization to stay ahead of the curve and adapt quickly to its very dynamic environment. For more information on AAPS’ strategic plan, visit http://www.aaps.org/StrategicVisioning/.


A crucial element of strategic planning is knowing how well the plan is serving the organization. Are we offering programs and activities that are useful and relevant to you? Are we in step with where the field of pharmaceutical sciences in all the sectors represented by our membership is headed? Please write us!

Alice Till, Ph.D., is the 2015 AAPS president.
Walter T. Marlowe, M.B.A., C.A.E, is the AAPS executive director.