A Blueprint for Good Governance 

GCMA CEO Tom Brooke, governance expert Jerry Kilby and England Golf’s Matt Draper and Gavin Anderson were all involved in creating this new tool. They explain why clubs should be using it to ensure their club's governance is in the right place  The GCMA’s collaboration with England Golf has resulted in the publication of A Blueprint for Good Governance – offering golf clubs help, insight and guidance to build a successful future – all in an easily digested and manageable format, which members can download for free from the GCMA Information Library. It considers leadership frameworks within clubs, diversity, change management and culture – among many others – and is also supported by a range of self-review checklists, templates, research and in-depth guides.    The guide, which is designed to encourage a direction of travel to help make structured improvements, breaking the key components into modular stages with a suggested order, dictated by the relative importance of each element.  Kicking off the discussion, Brooke explained that one of the reasons the association was keen to collaborate on the project was to help the working environment for golf club managers, as well as the wider success of golf clubs.  “We know governance very much underpins the culture of the golf club,” he said. “Good governance can underpin a great culture and a thriving golf club, and poor governance can do the absolute opposite.  “It has such a fundamental impact on the professional and personal wellbeing of a golf club manager and the team of employees at a golf club.”  England Golf club support manager Gavin Anderson agreed, explaining the catalyst of comprehensively updating a guide that has existed in one form or another for nearly a decade: “We see, day-to-day, lots of problems that are happening in golf clubs, and, in most cases, you can take them back to something not being quite right with their governance.”  Acknowledging that even though there was nothing wrong with the governance support available in the past, there was a recognition that there was a challenge in trying to get clubs to buy-in to upgrading their governance, to get them to see things slightly differently and that it’s not always a difficult and serious topic to tackle.  Anderson explained how the new guide tries to help clubs on that journey: “What we've tried to do was maintain the depth and detail of content that we provided, but try to break that up into a more modular format and, in doing so, put it together in a suggested pathway, so that others can understand that there were some things that had to be done, and done right, before we then move on to making other tweaks.”  While there are four headline areas to the toolkit, England Golf club, county and membership director Matt Draper explained how there are more than 250 further resources available once clubs start delving into the guide, which can help clubs take an evolutionary approach to updating their governance.  “People we talk to,...
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