In his book “How the Mighty Fall”, Jim Collins provides a sobering example of the staged process that industries often suffer when there is no strategic vision or risk management process.
Stage 1: Hubris Born of Success Stage 2: Undisciplined Pursuit of More Stage 3: Denial of Risk and Peril Stage 4: Grasping for Salvation Stage 5: Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death
As he also states, “Great companies can stumble badly and recover.” But, he adds, “Every institution, no matter how great, is vulnerable to decline”.
As our country and industry continue to struggle with COVID-19 and civil unrest, there‘s extreme potential for ongoing and perhaps even unseen risk ahead. Likewise, anticipating or preparing for risk requires analyzing several levels of indicators. What we see most obviously today is COVID and the resulting safety issues and governmental restrictions. Not as obvious are the underlying attitudes of members and their tolerances for continued restriction on their usage, enjoyment and the sense of community that COVID has compromised.
These examples demonstrate the impact of national and international influences on the industry as well as the internal pressures exerted via member’s reactions to them. Compounding these pressures will be the impact of business failures, job losses and budget cutting. So, what risks can you expect and what form will they take?
Risk management is the process of identifying and forecasting risks along with the identification of processes to avoid or mitigate them. Internally, while we may honestly believe that our eyes and ears are the best barometers, it’s quite likely that you would be wrong more often than right. You may see the surface issues, but it is generally below the surface where risk is formed and manifests. This requires analytics, surveys and data development for quantitative and qualitative information.
Externally, while the media appears to be less than trustworthy at any level, headlines should most likely be ignored and replaced by your honest evaluation of the issues from multiple sources. The relevance of this is readily apparent in the ongoing COVID issue. Who’s right? Is there motivation for varying points of view? The point is, not many sources can be trusted nor can the motivations.
Most importantly, ask your members. Turn the information into knowledge by segregating their responses so that you know how new members are reacting, how women versus men may see an issue, how families are reacting and how age may affect ongoing decisions regarding usage and retaining membership.
The industry is changing again, this time perhaps for the better. As we rely more and more on feedback, hard data and research to understand our issues even before they occur, the healthier we will be as an industry and in our respective clubs.
I’d like to talk to you about several opportunities that ClubInsights has to offer clubs from COVID risk management, to full and complete data development and strategic planning and long term strategies for membership stability.
We’ve been doing this for over 50 years, with lots of successful clubs and clients. Known risks can be managed and mitigated.
I look forward to discussing the possibilities.