GSI Executive Search Blog

Private Club Strategic Planning – Why Your Club Needs It, and How It Should Be Done

As part of the GSI Executive Search and Ethos Club & Leisure consulting package of services, our professionals work collaboratively with private clubs, communities and leisure properties to formulate their strategic plans. As part of this, we help to develop annual goals and craft messaging strategies and tactics to relay this information to members, owners, the media and community stakeholders.

Strategic planning is a critically important endeavor for our clients within the private club and hospitality industry. At GSI Executive Search, we know this because our professionals are club industry veterans and have relied on strategic plans to help guide growth and sustainability at clubs we have managed. Yet, all too often, strategic plans, once created, are encased in thick binders and housed on shelves for years, where they collect dust, never to be reviewed again until the next cycle of planning.

If you are part of a board or committee charged with strategic planning, there is a better way forward. For our client clubs, we focus on creating a “live” (i.e., living and breathing) strategic plan that is reviewed monthly at committee, board, club leadership and staff meetings. Such a plan is linked to all club leadership and staff and tied to annual performance goals and compensation. Its contents also are communicated to each and every staff member who work weekly to deliver through a “cadence of responsibility.”

Through research and real-world experience with private clubs and hospitality organizations around the country, we strongly believe successful strategic plans are centered and delivered by the methodology in “The Four Discipline of Execution (4DX)”, a FranklinCovey leadership paradigm. In explaining the 4DX method, Ram Charan remarked, “What Six Sigma and Lean are to manufacturing, the Four Disciplines of Execution is to executing your strategy. 4DX is a practical methodology that can solve every leader’s number-one challenge: execution.”

Private club strategic plans developed and implemented through this approach forge strong alliances and partnerships throughout the organization—from executive leaders, boards and committees to rank and file employees and valued members. Utilizing a living plan regularly helps ensure that everyone operates and speaks using one voice. At GSI Executive Search, we also believe it must be executed every week for successful implementation.

If you are interested in the GSI Executive Search/Ethos Club & Leisure live strategic planning process, please contact me to discuss your challenges and set up a demonstration review. Our process is proven and will produce immediate positive results for your club—and serve it well for years to come.


About the Author

Terry Anglin, CCM, CCE, ECM, a Principal with GSI Executive Search, has over 40 years of experience in the private club and hospitality industry. Terry has served as General Manager of private clubs in Tennessee and California. Most recently, he served as GM/COO of San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC), a world-renowned private club. Under his leadership, SDYC rose to the rank of number-two yacht club in the country and was selected as a Platinum Club of the World as voted on by the Club Leaders Forum. As a Principal with GSI Executive Search, Terry focuses on placements throughout the Western U.S. He is also available to consult on executive searches throughout the country. You can reach Terry by email or at 901-550-9338.