club governance – best model?

There are two main models:

1) private ownership
2) volunteer Board of Directors

It would be difficult to find a professional gymnastics coach who prefers a Board of Directors.

The privately owned club — especially if it is owned by the coaches — is far more stable. More predictable. It is governed by the free market.

Volunteer Board managed clubs are up and down. They have good years and bad.

Most of the club management horror stories I hear come from volunteer Board clubs.

Yet in Canada most clubs are governed by a volunteer Board. This is a legacy of well-meaning federal government legislation. Socialist thinking is that “democratic” governance is better over the long run than the free market.

In fact, it has hobbled the development of gymnastics clubs in Canada. The gyms in the USA without a penny of government assistance are far ahead.

Ultimately the privately owned clubs anywhere will be more efficient. Quicker to react. More decisive.

That opinion stated — my own club is run by a Board of Directors. And (right now) it is an excellent Board. We met this past weekend with an expert consultant in the field of strategic planning for non-profit organizations.

She strongly recommended this book.

The Strategic Board: The Step-by-Step Guide to High-Impact Governance

The Strategic Board: The Step-by-Step Guide to High-Impact Governance

If you have input on this topic, please leave a comment.

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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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