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No, this week’s Huddle Up isn’t about Darwinism or any other human evolutionary theory. It is about the evolution of a company. Or lack thereof...

Among the numerous news feeds over the Thanksgiving holiday, one story caught our eye. One of the world’s largest auto manufacturers was touting its move to an all-electric fleet. The problem with the pathway they are taking? The company in question won’t make it to the finish line on this pivot until…..wait for it…..2035. 2035? If it takes them 15 years to make this move away from gas powered vehicles the company will be passed by virtually every other forward-thinking automaker on earth. They will quickly become proverbial dinosaurs in the fuel free automobile space (no pun intended).

We get it. There are surely major shifts in technology that need to be made at all their manufacturing plants. New education for their work teams. Going 100% electric is a big task for sure, but if it takes them that long, Tesla may own this company by then. Maybe a stretch, however if we as organizational leaders don’t make effective pivots more quickly, we too may become extinct species in our industries.

So, what do we do about it in the sports tourism industry? Here are some thoughts.

New Thinking

One of our partner destinations just had the best two sales quarters they have had in 10 years. All while working remotely during the pandemic. Who needs an office? Why didn’t we know before COVID-19 that working remotely could be a positive thing and make the shift before we were forced to? As leaders, we need to think ahead of the curve and make positive transitions before it's necessary.

New Tools

Find new technologies to allow your organization to transact business more efficiently. We like the EventConnect event management platform a great deal. Our new Scout tool is great for virtual business development. This is going to be a Zoom world for a while, so arm your work teams with any technology they think will help them advance the ball down the field in 2021 and beyond.

Change Agent

Many of the top organizations have someone in charge of innovation. Basically they are responsible for change. Across all kinds of businesses, assigning someone the specific task of thinking about and anticipating market shifts is essential. Have you ever had a meeting purely focused on envisioning the future? If not, do so as often as time permits. Also, assign someone to be the agent of change within your organization. If you are a one-person shop, that falls on you. In that case, block time on your calendar to think about what pivots may be in front of your industry and start to account for them as they become reality.

Data Drivers

Our industry is going to be more reliant on measuring ROI now than at any time in the past. As our resources have been compromised, how and where we deploy the limited assets we have left will be under the microscope. We will need to lean on as much data as we can to make sound decisions on how those resources are allocated. One example on how destinations can lean on data is to use an event scorecard to determine how they allocate grants or bid fees to future events. We like Visit Eau Claire’s scorecard the best. A scorecard offers up a consistent measurement platform to make sound financial decisions.

Think differently. Think about change. Add tools to enhance efficiency. Lean on the data. Those things will help us all evolve and to become more sustainable as we navigate the future.

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