31 Years | 31 Lessons – Lesson 1

 

Managing a private club is  not an easy task. It requires knowledge, stamina, fortitude, patience and a sense of humor. With each new year comes new challenges, opportunities and lessons to learn.

When GGA Director Colin Burns, CCM, joined the firm, he shared the lessons he learned over a lifetime in the hospitality industry, as an advocate for club management and his three decades as the general manager of Winged Foot Golf Club with our team. In hearing those lessons, we were reminded how success comes from doing the right thing every day.

We asked Colin to record his common sense and professional advise for us to share with you. Today we present the first of Colin’s 31 Years | 31 Lessons videos. We will be releasing all 31 on our LinkedIn page over the next several months in the hope you find these lessons helpful as you navigate your own path to success as a leader in our industry.

Watch Lesson 1

 

The Three Keys to Effective Governance

Governance in private clubs can too often resemble what is seen on the evening news: factions, resentment, distrust, skepticism, cynicism. In troubled times, sound governance is essential.

In our continuing Whitepaper Series, Senior Partner Henry DeLozier highlights the three keys to effective governance and proactive steps leaders can take to address and improve it at their club.

 

 

Read our Governance Whitepaper

Four Factors That Impact Innovation

At GGA Partners, we have watched the pandemic create innovative opportunities and innovation in clubs unlike what we have seen in many years.

In our continuing Whitepaper Series, Senior Partner Henry DeLozier reminds managers and club leaders how critically important innovation is, especially during these pandemic times.

 

 

Read our Innovation Whitepaper

Getting the Right People on the Bus

This article continues a series of communications from GGA Partners to help private club leaders address challenges confronting their businesses and their employees as a result of the global health crisis. Today, in the second of two articles on strategic people planning, Patrick DeLozier (Director, GGA Partners) and Jodie Cunningham (Partner, Optimus Talent Partners) highlight the importance of talent planning and optimization for a post-COVID-19 future.

Now’s a great time to re-examine job requirements to ensure the best fit for your club

In our first article on strategic people planning we discussed the first two phases of talent optimization: 1) adapting your business strategy and 2) plotting your revised organizational structure. In part two, we will focus on phases three and four: 3) selecting the right talent and 4) inspiring people development and engagement.

This part of your strategic people plan centers on filling roles in your organization with people best suited for the job. It’s a process that author Jim Collins in Good to Great likened to bus drivers (leaders) getting the right people on the bus (team), the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats (roles).

One cautionary note as we begin: Someone who was right for a specific role pre-pandemic may not be right for the same role now. Your business has changed, and some people may need to change seats. Others may need to get off the bus.

Phase 3: Select the Right Talent

Define the job. Before you start inserting applicants and rehires into the selection equation, you need to define your jobs. Without clarity, anyone involved in the hiring process will simply be guessing about those best fit for the job. The answers to a few basic questions will help form a solid job description.

 

  • What are the most important and frequent activities of this role?
  • What specific knowledge, skills and abilities are required?
  • What skills and experiences are complementary to those of the current team?
  • What behavioral style and temperament is best suited in this role?
  • Is independent decision-making or collaboration more important?
  • Does this role require social interaction or a more analytical, introspective approach?
  • Are normal working conditions in this role stable and consistent or constantly changing and pressure-filled?
  • Does this role require a big picture, strategic view where risk taking is welcomed, or is it more task oriented and risk-averse in nature?

To win the war for talent, your managers must be fully invested in driving the hiring process from start to finish. When you train managers to use people data in the hiring process, they will make smart, objective decisions, as opposed to desperate or bias-filled ones. Managers should enter the hiring process with the following information, knowledge and understanding.

 

  • A plan for all three phases of the interview process: before, during and after the interview.
  • A list of functional and behavioral-based questions that ensure consistency across all interviews.
  • An understanding of how to probe for (and evaluate) detailed applicant responses.
  • An understanding of the information they should and should not share regarding club culture, benefits and working experience? (Remember, the applicants are interviewing the club as well.)

Phase 4: Inspire People Development and Engagement

Once you have hired your team, it is critical to keep them engaged and ensure they work effectively together. To do this, you need to be mindful of four forces that can lead to employee disengagement:

 

  • Misalignment with the job. Poorly defined positions, sloppy hiring practices and evolving business needs can create a mismatch between employees and their roles. A bad fit will ultimately affect motivation and productivity.
  • Misalignment with the manager. The relationship between employees and their managers is the most critical contributor to engagement. But many managers are poorly equipped or not trained to effectively understand their employees’ individual needs. They struggle to communicate with and motive their employees.
  • Misalignment with the team. Team-based work is more critical than ever, yet poor communication, insufficient collaboration and an inability to manage tensions inherent to teamwork extract a major toll on productivity and innovation.
  • Misalignment with the culture. To be productive and engaged, employees need to feel they belong. When they feel out of sync with their organization’s values, or when they lose trust in their leadership, their own performance suffers. The result can be a toxic work environment that undermines productivity.

As clubs emerge from a pandemic-enforced hibernation and begin to re-establish business operations, now is an ideal time to evaluate the roles and responsibilities that make your club function efficiently and effectively.

Carefully defining each important job, making sure those involved in the hiring process are well-prepared and being alert to employees who may not be the ideal fit will help ensure that you have the right people on the bus and that they’re in the right seats. Your club’s success depends on it.

Talent: The Big Differentiator

This article continues a series of communications from GGA Partners to help private club leaders address challenges confronting their businesses and their employees as a result of the global health crisis. Today, in the first of two articles on strategic people planning, Patrick DeLozier (Director, GGA Partners) and Jodie Cunningham (Partner, Optimus Talent Partners) highlight the importance of talent planning and optimization for a post-COVID-19 future.

A strategic people plan turns vision into reality.

“You can design and create and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

– Walt Disney

Every club has a strategy and a corresponding expectation: If it executes the strategy effectively, it will grow and prosper. Underpinning its strategy are detailed plans – financial plans, marketing plans, capital plans and agronomic plans. The most successful businesses, including the most successful private clubs, also have what we consider the most important plan – a people plan.

Creating a people plan – one that aligns the goals of an overall strategy with the talents and passions of your team – is a discipline known as talent optimization. Just as Walt Disney turned over the execution of his vision for “the most wonderful place in the world” to smart managers and thousands of Disney cast members, today’s astute club leaders turn to their teams of dedicated staff to implement their vision for long-term success.

As you face the challenges brought on by this crisis, there is no better time to examine your staffing model and create a strategic people plan to guide your new normal. In a post-pandemic future, your people strategy must change because the world has changed. There are four important phases to navigate to adjust your talent optimization plan:

Phase 1: Adapt your business strategy

Based on how business has changed recently, ask yourself:

 

  • What are you trying to accomplish?
  • What does success look like?
  • How will you flex to meet the demands of your new normal?
  • What new processes/products/services will you offer?
  • What processes/products/services will you eliminate?
  • Operationally and culturally, what’s working? What’s not working?

Recalibrating your strategy will involve tough decisions. You will need to assess the strength of the business, an exercise that will force an examination of people in key management positions, as well as support staff. For help, reach out to your network and bounce ideas off your colleagues. Enlist professional consultants to brainstorm best practices. And don’t be deterred if you hear “that will never work.”  Most great ideas start with critics who recite those exact words.

This is the perfect opportunity to hit the reset button. Think about all the times you wished you could make changes but allowed circumstances to delay acting. Now is the time to give yourself permission to pivot, to try new things and to take calculated risks.

Phase 2: Plot your revised organizational structure

As you finalize your new business strategy, you need to flex your people plan.

 

  • Take time to reimagine how your team should be optimally structured
  • What does your perfect world organizational chart look like?
  • What talents do you need more of? Less of?
  • Don’t think “specific people, specific titles, specific pay rates”
  • Instead, think “positions, responsibilities, behaviors, skills and talents”

As you create this new organizational structure, keep in mind how your operation is changing.  Will there be more curbside service in the future? Will there be fewer group activities? Will there be a greater need for virtual activities? Will there be a less formal food and beverage operation? Will there be a greater need for technology integration?

The Future Is Now

Let’s be clear about why a club business strategy is important:

 

  • It determines where the club is going
  • It gives a sense of direction for the entire club, employees and members alike
  • It supports smarter decision-making

Your club business strategy, which communicates key aspects of why and how the club operates, includes:

 

  • Objectives the club wants to achieve
  • Its services, products, stakeholders and members
  • Guidance on how the club competes and operates in its segment
  • Financial resources required to achieve the objectives and support the operating model

Talent is arguably the last big differentiator a business has. It is what stands between average clubs and innovative clubs. In our next article, we will dig into phases three and four and discuss the process of selecting the right talent to support your revised business strategy and creating a plan to develop that talent for long term success.

Webinar: A Changing Future for Golf Course Superintendents

This webinar was originally aired by the Florida Chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

The Florida Chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and Henry DeLozier, GGA Partners, have a frank discussion on golf and what the future might look like for golf and golf course superintendents in Florida.

Speaking with Nick Kearns, Director of Green and Grounds at The Oaks Club and President of the Florida GCSAA, Henry shares his big picture perspective on changes resulting from the global health crisis and the details to which golf course superintendents need to be paying attention.

Spotlight:

 

  • Budgets will come under pressure, anticipated economic slowdown and its impact on golf course maintenance budgets.
  • The significance of the golf course superintendent and his/her ability to provide patrons a safe platform to enjoy golf will increase.
  • Emerging trends and best practices in the industry, pre-vaccine and post-vaccine.
  • Accelerated pace of change and impacts on supply chain.
  • Heightened expectations for expertise, prioritization, and communication.
  • And much more.

 

(29 minute watch)

Menu