Take a chance and do something radical

Apr 16, 2013   //   by Mike   //   Latest News  //  Comments Off on Take a chance and do something radical

recent story about the golf equipment manufacturer TaylorMade-adidas’s recent strong operational performance really captured some of my thoughts on our golf industry as a whole and the challenges that face all organisations, big and small.  It shows how thinking BIG, breaking the mould and making massively swinging innovative changes to an operation can save your business.

During his closing keynote at the Winning Is Everything conference recently held in Las Vegas, TaylorMade-adidas Golf CEO Mark King told a story from 18 months ago to illustrate the corporate philosophy that transformed the golf equipment manufacturer from a “not really good company” into the industry leader in the span of a decade. Someone at the company suggested TaylorMade offer its traditionally black-coloured drivers in white. “To which I said, ‘That’s the dumbest idea in the world,’” King recounted. “I said, ‘You should be embarrassed and ashamed. We don’t do that stuff around here.’”

Take the initiative and make a difference

I ask each of you reading this story- have you ever had a crazy idea that you haven’t acted on yet, or you have acted and had some great results, or something you think the industry bodies should think about implementing? (Id love to hear from you for an upcoming story were writing.)

When that employee took initiative, painting a driver white and introducing it to some professional golfers, who gave it an enthusiastic response, King changed his tune. “I thought it was the worst idea in the world,” King recalled. “That story captures how we run our company, with the courage to say: why don’t we do something radical and take a chance? Within a month, it was the craze of the industry.” Not only that, but the company’s market share went from 35 to 48 percent.


According to King, TaylorMade had the environment in place to foster this innovation.

What kind of environment do you have in your operation? Is it one that allows input from all and fosters creativity?

When he became CEO in 1999, he was tasked with drawing up a three-year strategic business plan. With the help of his team, King quickly eschewed a more conservative goal of raising sales 5 percent every year. Instead he pursued a dream of becoming the “best performance golf brand in the world.”

A new vision and structure

This vision sprouted from King’s “number one job” as a leader. “The leader has to inspire the people of the company,” he said. “It’s about creating an inspired work environment, where you believe that extraordinary things can happen. When you change the conversation, you change the results.” All employees should be involved in that conversation, he advised. That “created a culture of innovation for us,” he said. “Almost every major initiative we implement at our company comes from the people.”


King admitted that not everyone embraces this model, including company leaders.


“There’s a struggle in the organization, and that struggle produces results,” he explained. “The traditional hierarchy in American business is about organizing control. When you organize something to run smoothly, you have no chaos and you limit innovation.” “The only way you can take over a leadership position, is you have to create a new model,” King said. “You can’t play the game the way it’s currently being played and think you can out-execute the [previous] leader.”

SO, what is our current vision for growing the game in our region or at your club? What does it look like? We mostlyseem to go year-to-year with only making slight adjustments for CPI, and other increasing costs, but do we ever just throw the status quo thing out the door and start from scratch?

Ask ourselves, if we could start over, what should the industry or your club’s operation really look like in 2012 and beyond. I know that it’s not that simple especially when we mostly have member bases that wouldn’t not allow major cosmic shifts to happen. But what if at least we thought along these lines and see what massive changes we could get implemented. Think BIG, reach for the stars so we may at least reach to the moon.

Click here for full golf story and golf news source Do something radical and lets take a chance