The Motorcycle Industry Council, known for such hits as the near-useless Gear Up Every Ride, the pretty much actually-useless Motorcycles.org, and being real bad at math is—according to a press release sent out today—finally doing their job of preserving, protecting, and promoting motorcycling in the US, emphasis on promoting.
Just kidding! I think we all know this is gonna be another dead-end boondoggle, just busywork optics to make sure the suits can keep sucking up salaries for their lackadaisical efforts at preserving, protecting and promoting.
The facts are these:
1. Press release, dated today, July 31st, 2019: “MIC Launches Long-Term Initiative to Attract New Riders.”
“It’s clear the industry needs to reach and inspire new customers. While many of us, with our individual businesses, have taken steps to grow ridership, we also should be working together, and the MIC wants to help make that happen,” said Paul Vitrano, MIC board chair and senior assistant general counsel at Indian Motorcycle and Polaris Inc. “To help us fully understand the barriers to entry, and to create an inclusive strategic plan to conquer those barriers that will be available to all stakeholders, we have partnered with a team of researchers and strategists to bring fresh perspectives to this challenge and opportunity.”
The MIC wants to “make that happen.” That’s a given, although we’ve seen enough inaction, non-results and bullshit press releases to know that’s just jibber-jabber. But: “To help us fully understand the barriers to entry… we have partnered with a team of researchers and strategists to bring fresh perspectives to this challenge and opportunity.”
Wait a tick. You’re the motherfuckin’ Motorcycle Industry Council and you need to partner with a team of researchers and strategists to figure this out? This is what y’all do. Core competency and all that.
2. The MIC has hired consulting firm Centauric LLC to help the organization get its collective cabeza out of its culo: “Centauric has committed an impressive multi-disciplinary team of behavioral scientists, engineers, and business consultants, and takes a unique approach to problem-solving. We are excited to be working with them on this critical initiative,” Vitrano said.
I’m a consultant myself, so I don’t find fault with that approach, exactly, except for the part where the Motorcycle Industry Council needs outside help to understand the motorcycle industry. But horses for courses, as they say, and there’s zero evidence that Centauric has any background in the motorcycle industry, and moreover, looks an awful lot like the epitome of what consulting firms are often accused of being: high-priced hand-wavers who show up, “analyze things,” spit some jargon and wave their hands, and then collect a fat check and hit the road without a care to whether their recommendations made a bit of difference, the typical PWC/Deloitte circle jerk.
Further, the Centauric services page is like buzzword checklist of thing that sound good and mean nothing, like “innovation” and “strategy execution,” and let’s not forget the always-effective “alignment for action.” And it’s mostly internal organizational stuff, so-called change management and other nonsense words, not market conditions/dying industry stuff.
This was the best the MIC’s “months-long competitive search” could come up with, huh? I’d surmise someone at Centauric must know someone at the MIC, but that’d be so out of character with how the MIC and the industry at large works.
3. “The plan will be presented at the MIC’s American International Motorcycle Expo Presented by Nationwide in September in Columbus, Ohio.”
So these apparently non-motorcycle people are gonna figure out the solution to this problem, which the MIC seems to have given up on—despite the organization’s “long history of working hard to expand the market”—in less than two months? Oh sure, “fresh eyes” and all that, but now I almost want to attend AIM just to see this “solution” presented. Anyone wanna put odds on the likelihood that it’ll be as substantial as the promised-but-nonexistent follow-up to last year’s big news from the MIC on the supposed-but-essentially-unsupported-with-real-data increase in women riders?
Oh, but check out this stock photo of people riding motorcycles that was included with the press release. You just gotta believe, y’all!