KOPPLIN & KUEBLER – Now An International Brand!

Since our last newsletter Kopplin & Kuebler International has started on its quest to deliver its brand outside of the US. The concept and benefits of Executive Search and consultancy in the club industry is relatively new internationally and therefore the story behind the brand has to be told.

In the last 4 months I have travelled to London, Madrid (twice),Milan, Dubai (twice), Edinburgh and Amsterdam. We have had articles published in numerous countries and have spoken at several conferences and seminars. In addition we sponsored the European Club Managers Conference in Madrid. The reaction has been amazing and the industry is excited by our brand and inquisitive about the services and products we provide.

We are delighted to have received more than 350 resumes from some of the most talented Club Managers, Directors of Golf, and Course Superintendents in the world. We have also been asked to endorse the new Director of Golf programme for the PGA of Great Britain and asked to support and teach some of the Golf Degree syllabus at Bournemouth University.

At a seminar held at Golf Club Milan for presidents,owners and managers in May, when Dick and Kurt joined me on a small European Tour, the question was asked “what does our brand represent?” The following answer was put forward by the group:  Knowledge, Trust, and Experience.

This is exactly what we wanted to hear as it endorsed the fact that, between us, we have over 60 years of experience (Dick having the most of course!) in the club industry at the very highest level, and can bring clubs a unique insight into helping them find exactly what they are looking for when requiring a search or undertaking a review of their operations or strategic planning. This is something that other search firms, especially outside of the US, cannot compete with and we believe this will help us to become one of the leading executive search firms for the club industry in the world.

Whilst traveling I have adopted the club’s mantra that “Leaders are Readers” and have read a number of books on leadership and best business practice. The two that stand out are Setting the Table, by Danny Mayer and Onward, by Howard Shultz, CEO of Starbucks. Both books provide so many examples of best practices for the club industry and how we can learn from our mistakes to deliver a great product for members, employees, and in some cases, the finance houses who now have a very big say in how some clubs operate.

Kurt has also been inspired by Onward, and watch out for some new material from Kopplin & Kuebler International as we are developing a series of presentations from some of the ideas and strategies identified by Howard and his team to turn around a billion dollar business and identify the core meaning of their brand and what it represents.  We believe these ideas and procedures can really help the club industry as we come out of recession.

My first few months with the company has also allowed me to re-establish long term friendships within the golf and club business and prove to me what a great profession we work in. I would especially like to thank Jerry Kilby, Orlaf Born, Arnaldo Cocuzza ,Daniel Asis, Jorgen Kjellgren ,Kevin Fish, the guys at KPMG, The Education Dept. at PGA of  Great Britain, and my colleagues at Kopplin & Kuebler International – especially Nan and Lisa, for all their technical help, for allowing me to establish our brand internationally and for their support and friendship in our start-up period. – NF

Niall G. Flanagan
Niall Flanagan is a Managing Partner of Kopplin & Kuebler International, spearheading International Executive Search Services and Consulting throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America.

KOPPLIN & KUEBLER – Now An International Brand!2019-09-04T20:00:37+00:00

News from the Club Managers Association of Europe

At the annual meeting in Madrid on March 31, 2011, CMAE members will confirm my role as their President for the next two years. To become CMAE’s fifth President and the first from outside the United Kingdom and Ireland feels great and I am extremely honoured. Taking over from John Hunt is very exciting, however not in any way easy.

CMAE celebrates its 10 year anniversary in 2011. The organization has quickly grown into one of the leaders in the golf and club industries. From a relatively anonymous existence in the first years, CMAE has, under the leadership of Jerry Kilby as our CEO, undergone a remarkable transformation. CMAE currently has 24 member countries and fills its role well as the collective body of club management and trade associations throughout Europe. The main tasks are to continually raise standards and promote professionalism in club management, which we live with every day.

CMAE was in its early days an organization which was Great Britain and Ireland, reflected in both Board and membership. Today the organization has become what it was created to be, representative of the club management profession with influences from all over Europe. The current Board is represented by nine different countries which is fantastic.

In the next two years, I see before me a number of great challenges, including to finally be able to deliver a structured education program for club managers and those seeking a career in our industry. The program will be based on CMAA’s “BMI system.” Many of the member countries have their own well-structured program which of course they should continue to develop. However, to achieve a common standard in Europe, coordination among the countries is a must, since the goal of increasing the number of CCMs in Europe is one of my major tasks during my tenure as President.

I also plan to further expand cooperation with other countries that already have adopted programs which lead to the CCM, such as Canada, South Africa and China. The opportunity for our CMAE club managers to learn from and share experiences will become more important in the future.

Another major goal is that Europe must come closer to creating its own “European Conference.” We are hoping our International Congress, now in its third year, will become our annual major European Conference, which we believe is a natural progression for our industry and I hope it becomes a reality before my time as President is over in 2013.

I look forward to meeting you all at future conferences and training sessions, which will give me the opportunity to exchange experiences with you.

Yours Sincerely,

Jörgen Kjellgren, Vice President, CMAE

Jörgen Kjellgren
Jörgen Kjellgren is Vice President of the Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) and General Manager of Rya Golf Club, Helsingborg, Sweden

News from the Club Managers Association of Europe2019-09-04T20:00:37+00:00

It’s Definitely Not All Bad News in the Club Industry These Days

In the course of our many travels around the country visiting and working with clubs of all types, we get to see some truly great leaders, and very enlightened and energized club operations. I recently had the good fortune to see three such operations first hand while conducting board retreats and a member ‘ambassador’ committee focus group.

The first club was holding its first off site board retreat wherein the new GM/COO was looking to both identify and prioritize goals and objectives for 2011, and also ensure that the board continued its already respectful, committed and energized ways. Getting off site at another club that had accommodations was the first key. Then, starting with an initial “what does our club of the future look like” discussion over dinner, the board became very introspective and thoughtful, recognizing that discussions the next morning would really start to clarify a number of scattered and unfocused discussions from the past year.

The next morning began with an insightful look at ‘best practices’ of boards and in club governance around the country, recognizing that the ‘same old, same old’ ways just don’t work very well any longer. That led into a full and balanced discussion of the club’s real strengths (to be leveraged), weaknesses (to be mitigated), opportunities (to be capitalized on) and threats (to be ever vigilant of). We were able to gain real consensus and had a great airing of thoughts and perspectives on each of these issues.

But, the REAL key in this case, was to see this group take the same approach (SWOT) to evaluate THEIR OWN performance as a board. Listening to them challenge one another (in a very positive way), support one another, and really ‘look in the mirror’ at themselves, how they make decisions, how they treat one another, and so on was really a wonderful thing. While I wouldn’t characterize it as a ‘group hug’ or ‘intervention’ as the group was already high performing and focused, it really gave them all pause for thought and reflective awareness of their roles and responsibilities in the greater well being of the club as a whole.

I have little doubt that as we monitor the future of that club, it will be one that out performs its neighbors in a very competitive club market!

The club where I was able to view and assist with a focus group session had a much different focus on its intended result, but nonetheless was impressive with its goal and execution.  Like many

[most?] clubs these days, this one would love to have about 40 more members than it does at present. Its manager recognized that it needed someone dedicated full time to the recruitment effort, beyond the traditional membership committee, which had highly variable results each year depending upon the dedication of its chairperson.

They recently hired a full time membership director and were looking to help her with an initial prospect list, as well as other thoughts to help identify prospective members to this well-established club. In this round table, focus group-like setting, we again employed the SWOT method of recognizing the member attendees’ perspectives on the club’s historical membership process, as well as its retention efforts. Being able to facilitate it to keep all discussions positive, productive and goal focused was my role.

In the end, the large number of attendees who were being asked for their input, suggestions and support were energized and the positive discussions led to a strong commitment for continued involvement and support of this ‘new normal’ world of necessary recruitment. It further focused the fact that existing members can be their own ‘best’ and ‘worst’ enemies in the recruitment and retention effort if always focused on what’s wrong rather than what’s right with the club. And, it gave the board in this case, welcome support to deal with the bad behavior exhibited by a few members, which this group identified as being a hindrance to attracting new members.

Please go on to the next page of Club Industry Good News…

It’s Definitely Not All Bad News in the Club Industry These Days2019-09-04T20:00:37+00:00
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