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Believing in the Desirability of Change

Simon Sinek (www.simonsinek.com), author of five books and national speaker, including “Start with the Why”, recently posted on “Linked In” the following (September 7, 2021):


“We have to dream. How else will we make a future that does not yet exist?”


My answer to Simon’s post on LinkedIn was as following:


Building any future depends on believing in the desirability of change. Believing in setting fair conditions, and then being spontaneous by letting events unfold through competition. One must believe in the “Why” he or she is in business.


And here is “WHY” it matters:


The club industry is unique; but it is a business, regardless of its tax code.


When was the last time a club changed its bylaws, rules and regulations with the determination to build a new future for the Club?


Or better yet; when was the last time a club updated its, handbook, guidance, bylaws and rules driven by building a club for the future for its members today and for tomorrow?


It will not surprise many of my colleagues, or anyone that has served on the board of a private club in the past when reading this blog that any changes to a club’s document was reactionary at best.


Seldomly a change in bylaws, rules and regulations was driven by being a step ahead of the times, but rather a timid, reactive response to generational changes within one club’s community. Changes that were simply driven by customers’ habits. The club industry was never known for setting trends, other than for “noblesse oblige”. Times have changed and times have changed rather quickly.


Building Clubs of the Future is driven by one belief and one belief only. The leadership team believes in the desirability of change. Always. Otherwise, growth will be starved of oxygen.


The club industry was given a unique opportunity over the past 18 months. Many clubs found their fighting spirit and many found the courage to say “no” in many ways. Bravo.


Membership levels have grown to new heights at many clubs, and most of them had to introduce a waiting list or have limited access to their golf courses or tennis courts to simply avoid overcrowding, hence preserving membership value for its customers.


Over the past decade, obtaining a club membership has become more and more equitable and over the past 18 months, a club membership has become a new way of life for many families in the country. The latter has meant a lot to me. I have always believed that a club should be more inclusive than exclusive. It has meant a lot to me having been of service to so many families and having been part of change and growth.


The only way a club can screw up its path forward is by reintroducing its “old habits”. Those that are driven by a board of governors or management that reminisce of reintroducing cancerous restrictions to their bylaws, rules and regulations, fostering entrenched interests of a few, while starving change. It is a recipe for failure. On that very day that a club stops providing value for its membership, or anyone it interacts with, it will be obsolete tomorrow.


The club industry is a business like any other, and with a few exceptions, clubs that provide value on a daily basis will emerge as winners. But never forget, that club industry is a service industry and every day there is an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.


So, how do we create a club of the future?


“By always believing in the desirability of change. By believing in setting fair conditions, and then, by being spontaneous by letting events unfold through competition. One must believe in the “Why” he or she is in business.”


Christian, serving the club industry for 30 years.

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