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Stars and pyramids

A few things happened today which made me think more about the strategic level models that guide how the ATBA-UK works on its mission of supporting the growth of mountain boarding in the UK.

I currently have two models at different stages of completion and understanding.

The Riders Model

Mountainboarding rider's progession model


This pyramid shows the pathways approach we use to understand what types of mountainboarders there are, how people get into mountain boarding, what barriers get in the way, and what we do to help people overcome the barriers.

First timers are mostly those people who go to a centre and have a lesson. For most of them, that’s all the mountain boarding they will ever do and we recognise that one of the barriers that exists for this segment is the perception that mountainboarding is a one off activity like paintballing or zorbing but isn’t the kind of thing you do as a hobby.

Those that do take up mountainboarding as a hobby we call Hobbyists. These riders usually have a cheap board, will ride occasionally during the summer, and aren’t part of the community. A lot of these people are perfectly happy riding occasionally, but the barriers that prevent this group from moving up the model include the price of boards, not having others to ride with, and perhaps having lots of other things going on in their lives.

Those riders that are part of the community and ride regularly we call Recreational Riders. Moving a percentage of these riders up to the next level is a priority to counter the attrition rate of Competitive riders, who are those that participate in competitions. Arranging different types of competitions and choosing different locations for the competitions is one of the pathways we use to take Recreational Riders into the Competitive level, whilst also hopefully providing some variety for the Competitive Riders to keep them interested.

The Industry Model

Mountainboarding industry constellation model

This Constellation Model  is actually a model used by social enterprises to enable partner organisations to work together to achieve the same goal without having to be formally organised as a single entity. It means that any organisation within the constellation can get on with doing their thing regardless of the other organisations, but they are all working together in a loose way as they all have the same goal.

As I adapt this to fit the world of mountainboarding, I can see constellations developing for ‘Mountainboard Centres’, ‘Activity Centres’, and ‘Retailers’, with the ATBA-UK taking on the role of stewardship and the shared vision being one of growing mountainboarding in the UK. What is particularly interesting on this model, and why I think it fits mountainboarding so well, is the chaos/order line. This shows that all the elements of the various constellations can and do operate in a disorganised way, but that the shared goal and stewardship can bring order to the whole system and achieve more than the sum of it’s parts.

The final stage of this model development will be figuring out how the two models fit together and mutually support each other, e.g. with the Centres constellations having a focus on First-timers and all levels of riders in the Pyramid having a connection with the Retailers constellation.