Sometimes the simple solutions to Golf’s sluggish economy are the hardest to make, but need to be made. More golfers need to be talking to their goverment representatives about helping Golf help itself. Join the conversation on Google+.
As the drought in the northern hemisphere of earth broadens, water for golf courses will be the biggest issue Country Clubs will face in sustaining their existence. It takes a lot of water to keep golf courses playable.
Here is a post made on Google+ that discusses the challenge potential buyers of country clubs face.
If you take a look around the golf course while you are playing you are more than likely going to see a large number of different combinations of people playing golf. There will be the men and women who play golf together..there will be the adults playing with their kids…there will be the twosome of men or women..the foursomes of mixed ages and genders..and yes..from time to time there will be the begrudging 5-somes or even more, all playing on the golf course.
One of the growing groups of golfers, for which I am very excited to report, is the Business Golfers. Business Golf has been around well before I started coaching on how to effectively using golf as a business tool. It is suspected that the very first round of golf, played over 450 years ago, was a round of Business Golf.
Though the way Business Golf is played has changed since then, the bottom-line still is..Golf is the best Business Relation Builder there is…and believe me, I have search for a better one and there are none.
A round of Business Golf can develop into a test of a person’s character. If someone cheats on the golf course, you can place a pretty solid bet they are going to cheat in the workplace. It is because of this testing as why some people will not play golf…they have too much to hide and a person’s true character usually is reveled on the golf course in High Definition.
8 out of every 10 golfers playing golf are decision makers in business. This does not mean they are all out playing golf today or they play Business Golf, but they do play golf. This makes for the possibility of running into a golfer in the business world a great likelihood.
Business Golfers are like all other golfers..they love the game and they make up a huge portion of the global golfing fraternities and sororities. It is easy to be part of this..learn to play golf.
Being a non-golfer today becomes a huge disadvantage when the business people in the market you are working it all play golf. This is why it is important to learn to play golf..and if you do play golf it is important to learn to play Business Golf.
With the economy improving on a broad scale, it will not be long before more of the people who put the golf clubs up to focus on business survival will be back out on the golf course. They will be looking for someone to play golf with..will you be ready?
Let me know how I can help.
Private Country Clubs are now seeing a beacon of hope of economic improvement in the luxury market. After many clubs lossing members during the down turn of the global economy their first reaction now is to attempt again to fill their dwindling membership roster. But how should they go about this? The answer to that question more than likely would come from within the club.
Many times a private club is better off finding out how their members feel about the club before they go about marketing the club to outsiders. The problem here is how to go about finding out what the members feel about the club. Obviously surveys are not trusted forms of information since there are so many ways to message the results to indicate what the current leadership wants to hear.
One solution many private clubs seem to not be interested in initiating, or have not thought of, is to developing a representative style organization of their management staff to keep the internal issues that kill external marketing campaigns at bay.
This new approach to private club operations management is based on one member of the management staff, or board of governors, representing 100 (depending on the size of the club) members of the club. Yes, this would be a fulltime position and to be taken very seriously since this representative will have their hands full.
A representative type of communication allows for the members to have an ear to the ownership through their designated representative. This fast track form of communication would offer the ownership or management knowledge of the memberships morale instantaneously.
The members are the people who use the club and they can tell the club’s management team where the problems are in the club that need to be taken care of before they become a larger problem. That is, if the club’s management team wants to listen. The members are also the people who pay the club’s bills, so there is significant risk if they are not listened to.
The representative style of communication also allows the representative to convey messages to his assigned members in a more personal and face-to-face manner. This can soften up any bad news a club might have to offer more so than the member receiving an email or newsletter. It also stimulates debate and gives the membership a feeling of ownership of potential solutions they could offer.
Promoting in the club’s marketing collateral this style of communication between the ownership and membership shows innovation. It allows the club’s marketing team to be more effective in attracting new members by showing how the membership is connected to how things are managed at the club. The fact each member is assigned a club representative to help them adjust to the club’s culture should be more appealing to potential members.
I am sure there are a number of other issues private country clubs need to address internally before attempting to market the club to potential members.
Next up… I address what Private Country Club have to do to appeal to the New more fast paced generations.
I am sure I am not the only one who has accepted an invitation to be a guest for a round of golf at someone’s very old school and well respected country club. I personally treat these rare occasions as an honor since I understand the importance a true country club has to a community and it’s membership. However, I am sad to see the aging clubs not modernizing.
Many of the aging country clubs around the country are struggling with accepting change. Interesting enough, I find from visiting with my host or hostess the tight economy of today is not the core reason why these icons of the golf world have trouble with embracing a more modern attitude. Most of the time it’s the club’s ownership or governing board feeling there being no need for a change.
For the past few years I have been frequently asked by members of private country clubs to join them for a round of golf and to give them my feedback of what I see the club needs to improve upon to bring in the more fickle younger generation of country club members.
Sometimes their motive for asking me to consult them is part of their plan of gaining outside reviews to present in their conversation with their club to encourage them to move forward into the new era of golf facilities. Members of the country club see the image of the club as a reflection on who they are and my feedback is to help them to decide to stay a member of the club or leave.
Generally, there are just a few things I observe private country clubs need to do to improve their appeal to a younger age group. However on occasion I have seen some major issues the older clubs are having which projects a negative image of the club to the younger generation as well as the current membership.
Many of the members of the Equity Clubs feel like they are being held hostage or used as the club’s cash cow for accessing funds which does nothing to modernize the club’s appeal. These old forms of managing a private club are starting to work against equity clubs when it comes time to replace or grow the membership.
Overall the most common of the needs private clubs should address first is to upgrade their technology throughout the club. This is usually where the rub starts between the ownership of a club and it’s newer membership. Most private clubs have been around for a few decades and are stuck on keeping a tradition they have established going or keeping a look they feel is the club’s brand.
I usually find I am not the first to suggest the Tech-Up approach to improving the appeal of a private club to the next generation of membership. I hear about how others who have already suggested the club make physical changes to the clubhouse like hanging large screen TV’s throughout the club to stream an array of different kinds of information and programs all day long. Or, place high tech devices out on the golf course for members to indulge in while waiting on slow pace of play.
Unfortunately, creating the image of the club being a space station sports bar is not what many private club’s board of governors are interested in doing which is what they hear I am saying when I tell them they need to Tech-Up their facility.
Most private clubs have not updated their facilities to having the basic needs business people need like Wi-Fi or hardwire access to the internet or more intuitive software for their internal operations. Tech scares the non-tech savvy owners or governing boards. Many times the lack of understanding what is needed or would
There are some obvious reasons why private clubs need to address change. To make the needed changes would call for many private club facilities to be completely rewired. This would result in remodeling of the facility which would take away from the image the club has developed. In many cases the update of the facility to accommodate the latest in technology cannot not be done without a very expensive construction project which nearly always would out-cost a complete rebuild of the facility.
Those private golf clubs who choose to not to change eventually are going to struggle to survive. Those who take the route of making only cosmetic changes, or the cheap way out, usually result in installing ugly wiring conduit hung from the ceiling or along baseboards which always screams to people entering a club as a cheap attempt to Tech-Up.
Updating a private golf club struggling with other dilapidated infrastructure issues, like outdated plumbing and electrical, will be an uphill battle. Dealing with accommodating the needs of the new generation of members while the inside of the facilities are caving in just does not make sense. Yet, that seems to be the common approach by many private clubs.
Things that may seem little to the ownership of private clubs, like pot holes in the parking lot, buckling cart paths on the golf course, back-up sewers, will quickly turn off any appeal anyone of any age group would have for the club. Dilapidation really cannot be disguised.
Many clubs over 50 years old are facing dealing with the problems of aging and more issues as the result of natural causes. To Tech-Up an old club to appeal to the next generation by making just cosmetic changes would be like putting lipstick on a pig.
I am still seeing bulldozers as viable options for older club’s to consider, while also seeing the new clubs of the last ten years has quickly gaining advantage of the younger private club market.
Solutions for private clubs to making the needed changes are many and difficult, but they have to be made if the private country clubs are to survive. If more club’s really listened to their memberships they will hear the need to make change. And if they are listening real close they will also hear they had best find the solution to Tech-Up their facilities without raising the costs to the current or future membership. Yes, it can be done.
Upgrading the private country clubs of the world to appease the interest of the golfers of tomorrow is a do or die for a major portion of the golf economy. Latest reports show over 40% of the golfing public are members of private country clubs or golf clubs. Disengaging this part of the economy of golf would make gaining access to the game of golf only to public courses which are already stressed to the maximum of their capabilities. Private Country Clubs hold a solid place in golf and lack of upgrading the facilities poses a serious problem for Golf’s future.
In order for Golf to grow many private golf clubs need to suck it up and deal with change. Let me know how I can help.
Sounds like a stupid question. However, during recent interviews with HR Managers this question seems to be the one I end up asking them the most since it seems many businesses have in mind an alternative method of hiring than what is obvious.
Yes, there are millions of job openings being advertised online and if you are one of the unemployed out networking you have more than likely noticed the offline professional recruiters now days are thicker than pharmaceutical salespeople in a hospital. Getting hire today really seems to be more of a game than a process. Unfortunately, it seems many businesses with jobs available are just going through the motions of interviewing applicants with no real intentions of hiring anyone from outside.
Many of the HR Managers I know personally are open to telling me they have a job opening they are interviewing for but already have a candidate in mind who is either from within the company or someone the owner of the company or HR Manager personal associate with. When I ask why they do this I usually get a remark like..Oh you’ve been there. You know the games we have to play!
They are correct, I have been there and I do know EVERY game large companies will play during their hiring process. Personally, it is a shame and angers me that these games are still being played. Now that I am on the other side of the desk from these hiring managers it makes it really hard to play the role of someone who does not know what they are doing. Unfortunately, I am sure my knowledge of what they have been trained to say and do has cost me a few jobs.
Getting hired for a job of interest should be as simple as applying and getting a chance to ask questions about the position to see if being hired is a win-win. If so, it is time to go to work..if not, move on to the next interview.
Unfortunately, businesses seem to be enjoying going thru the very time consuming process of interviewing people a number of times. Actually, all they are doing is attempting to appear politically correct. It is no secret the government has been putting pressure on big businesses to open up hiring to the millions unemployed who are filling the governments unemployment programs. To keep from getting negative press many businesses who have job openings will post their openings on job boards on the internet in hopes it puts a smiley face on their business’ image as supporting the government’s push to reduce unemployment.
Granted, some of the businesses end up hiring someone off the unemployment list, but it usually is for an entry level position, non-management, or non-skilled positions. But, you knew this didn’t you?
From the candid excuses I get when I ask the interviewers why they took four weeks of my time for the seemingly endless interviews with everyone, from the senior vice president of maintenance engineering…janitor to most of us…to the CEO or owner, I am told they want to make sure there are not missing qualified candidates in the market. Of course that is the company line they are trained to say when they come up against someone who knows more they they do of what is going on. The real reason for the endless interviews usually has to do with them being used as stale tactics while they finish the interviews of a number of people who they are also putting through the ringer of endless interviews.
In many cases these tactics are part of the documentation they can use to support them in a dispute that might go to court from someone who files an age discrimination or other violations of employment law. Basically, the hiring company has the ball in the hiring situation and they plan on keeping it during the entire process. Only the businesses who do not go thru this ridiculous process of long drawn out interviews run the risk of losing a labor law dispute.
Of course, I need to make it clear I am not an attorney and this is my interpretation of the process these businesses are going thru. See..I know the process…I also have been trained by the best attorneys in the world.
Having been a hiring manager I know the alternative motive behind this method of hiring. Internally many of the hiring companies are going to alert their internal candidates of the opening and tell them they are on the front row for the position. Some will even go so far as to tell them that they are going to also open the job up to the public for a few weeks, or months, to interview candidates outside, but not to worry, they are just being politically correct.
Now, if you are the person who just got ‘The Tap’, as it is called in the corporate world, for a new position or promotion what would you do? Nearly everyone who gets The Tap is going to step up their performance of their job to show their boss they can do more.
This is great for the company and your assumption would be correct that many companies will trump up a new position to offer someone a promotion to just to get more productivity out of the current workforce. Then after they get their productive up, or meet a goal internally from the increased production, a notice suddenly comes out from HR saying something like…Due to situations out of our control the position currently open has be withdrawn.
You may ask..why are businesses playing the games with the unemployed? It is a good question to ask and the real answer boils down to the businesses being overly concerned with picking up someone else’s problems.
One of the by products of the bust of the economy, that hit the heaviest back in 2008, was that this true catastrophe of the countries economic system was the move many big very top heavy businesses with a butt load of non-productive highly educated executives, were waiting for to unload them. Unfortunately, to do this they had to flush out the good ones with the bad. This was the start of the New Rules of Engagement for hiring people.
Many of these companies who put millions of people on the streets would wait a few months for the dust to settle and then go out to pick up the good people they let go during the ‘Flush’..most of whom were not college degreed but had very good work ethics and knew the business inside and out. Now that they had their ‘A Team’ back they just sit nice and pretty to wait for the economy to improve.
Once the economy improved and the pressure was put on them to hire people they set up their defenses at the front door to keep from filling their payroll with the unproductive people they let go a few years ago. To fill the positions they started playing games set up to prove to the government they are playing ball with them when actually they are just screening processes they put in place to keep from having to pick up the unproductive people they let go. It seems businesses learned their lessons from the 80’s when back then all they needed where more hands to get the work done. Today, businesses want people who can think and do instead specialist who either think or do, but not both. The problem is the businesses have a hard time finding people who know how to think and do without taking high risks of hiring someone who tells them they can think and do, but can’t.
The reality is, now that the economy is growing, business’ needs are naturally increasing and they are truly in a bind to finding new people to bring in to do the job. The question then becomes..if they are screening the unwanted thru elaborate hiring games, how are they filling the positions they have open?
Yes, there are many games played in the business world when it comes to hiring someone. Fortunately, there are more and more businesses who are starting to pull away for playing games and just get down to doing business. Most are starting to not post to the public their openings for management positions and doing the more productive thing of turning their employees loose to networking, either online or offline, to finding candidates to offer their executives for review.
Employee referrals are starting to replace the online job boards and the recruiters since these methods of job notifications are attracting people who have a enormous amounts of book sense but no practical experience of working under fire. So how does someone with business experience and has a long track record of being overly productive ever find these businesses who are using social networking to to find their candidates?
Another good question and one answered with explaining how business networking works. Of course, the internet is one of the most creative ways to find people who can make the connections to real jobs, but it is not the ONLY way. Offline networking, thru joining a special interest organization that meets at least monthly, is a start. Finding the group or club that fits your profession is also great. Find an activity that business people participate in is also another great way to business network.
There are also a number of non-productive methods of networking. Putting the word out on the street you are looking of a position with a company is not done by sending an email blast to your 10,000 people on your email list and thinking that the 5000 Friends you have on Facebook are going to work for you either. The only way that works is getting out on the street and letting people know face to face you are available and then building personal relationships with those who have jobs available so you can walk the talk.
Again, unfortunately, there are now millions of people doing just this and it is forcing the hiring managers and business executives to start to be very picky where they network or make an appearances publicly. Most tell me the situation is getting so bad that as soon as their company announces an opening of a job they are reluctant to step out into the public due to them getting covered up with people trying to build a personal relationship with them just to get to the jobs that are opened. Many executives are now hiring people to walk with them as a deflection of people attempting to corner them to give them the elevator speech they paid someone hundreds of dollars to tech them to say.
So what these executive using to screen thru those who are real and those who are just gold digging?
I am asked frequently..like nearly everyday..where and how do I get the information I blog about and do I gain access to executives of companies? It comes from the place where I do most of my job searching..on the golf course. Like it or not..so many of you prefer Not..business golf is one of the most productive ways to find a job, or information on where the jobs are located. Playing business golf with business people also allows you to obtain information you will not get from someone on Facebook or at a chamber of commerce gathering.
The facts are clear, 8 out of 10 people who play golf are decision makes in business. This means there are over 19 million business people out playing golf on a regular bases. However, getting around to playing golf with the business people who are hiring comes from being visible in the arena they network for business opportunities…i.e. networking groups, conferences and professional trade associations. Using basic social skill, online and offline, work to find those businesses executives who are hiring. The golf played only comes about after low key chats with them socially. That then usually leads to a professional meeting.
People who play golf usually will open up to other people who play golf. I say usually because golfers can tell from how someone carries themselves..not necessarily how well they play..on the golf course and will not open up to someone who demonstrates bad social manners. If someone has a tendency to be angry all the time on the golf course it is more than likely how they are going to be in business. If they are upbeat and intelligent while playing golf that will shine through any bad golf shot. So, golf is more than a game, it is a test of someone’s moral character that cannot be masked in a role play like many of the other methods of networking offer.
So that is how I gain the trust of the business people I know. How do you go about it?
My many visits with business owners and top executives of companies after a round of golf have furnished me with a wealth of knowledge on how things Really are done in business. It also has allowed me to gain the trust of hundreds of these business people.
The methods a business choices to use to hire someone for a position is purely up to them. However, the games the want to play to find the people they hire is purely up to you if you choose to play..or not. The path is pretty clear to me that the best way to the jobs that matter is thru networking to the jobs that will never be filled from the millions of applications forms people fill out. Formalities are formalities when it comes to correct process to follow for hiring someone but when it comes down to who the hiring manager hires it will be who they can trust to do the job not who produces the fanciest resume. Somehow, trust does not come out on a resume or a job application.
Put forth an effort to go to where the hiring manages hang out or can be accessed. Get to know them as a person and not like the someone holding your life in his/her hands. Things will work out for you in the hiring arena if you just get more social.
Let me know how I can help.