April 11, 2017 / Tom Grumbles, CIH

President's Message: Developing a New Strategic Plan

This year marks the Product Stewardship Society’s fifth anniversary. In those five years, the Society has progressed from a small startup group to a community of nearly 3,000 professionals.

Our original five-year development plan was created to guide the organization through its initial formation. What we have accomplished together – building a new organization framework, developing the Core Competencies for the Product Stewardship Professional​, publishing our first book on the Business Value of PS, and launching the Product Stewardship Conference to name a few – have exceeded many expectations.

To prepare for the next phase of growth for the Society, we used your feedback from the membership needs assessment last summer and examined where the Society was in its development. At the Fall Board meeting, Board members explored the results of the research and, from the information gathered, developed a new five-year strategic plan.

Developing the Plan

The first step in developing the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan was to review the Society’s mission and vision. Both of these are critical for associations as they guide the overall direction of the organization. The mission statement describes why the Society exists and whom it serves, while the vision articulates the Society’s aspirations for the ideal future.

Our updated mission – enable professionals to promote responsible design, development, and management of products throughout their life cycle – better reflects the broad group of professionals moving into or interfacing with product stewardship.

Our new vision – a world of safe and trusted products – is our desired end-state resulting from fulfilling our mission.

Strategic Domains

Based on the new vision and updated mission, the Board identified four strategic domains for the next five years:

  • Community – Be the community for information sharing, collaboration, and networking for the product stewardship profession.
  • Professional Development – Be the preferred provider of educational programming and resources that advance the practice of product stewardship.
  • Awareness – Increase the visibility and credibility of the profession to related stakeholder groups.
  • Program Management – Support organizations in developing a premier product stewardship management system.

Additionally, we identified strategic objectives to support each of the domains and provide a clear path forward while also allowing flexibility to adjust to any changing needs of members. We’ll be covering each domain in more detail in future updates, but I do want to highlight several recent developments:

  • Full Circle Blog has been updated and now allows you to browse articles by topic and share comments on posts. We’ve also been increasing the number of articles we publish to provide more relevant information to you. Let us know if you have an idea for an article or consider being a guest author​.
  • Stewardship Webinars launched last fall and more are being planned throughout the year. Our next webinar is The Confluence of HazCom and Product Stewardship – Communication Across the Value Chain, taking place on April 27.
  • Product Stewardship 2017 moves to its new timeslot this November in Tampa, Florida. Our signature event will be the best one yet so plan to attend and bring your team. Registration will open in May.

There are several other significant projects underway that we’ll be announcing in the coming months so stay tuned for those. If you have any thoughts or feedback about the strategic plan, send me an email or leave a comment below.

Tom Grumbles, CIH
President at Product Stewardship Society.


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