Continual Reinvention

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started."   — Mark Twain

It's not the New Year yet, and yet I find myself in one of those reinvention phases. You know how it is. You take a look around and take stock and think, I'm bored with myself. What next? Should I sign up for a class? Revive a favorite hobby that's slipped by the wayside? Take a vacation to someplace I've never been?


You do it in your personal life, and you do it in your professional life. And, no doubt, you do it (or you should) when it comes to your facility. You need new ideas, new hobbies, new habits, new programs, new blood, new amenities, new ways to reach your audience. And you don't have to wait for any special date to make it happen. In fact, you should be doing this continually (which means on a regular basis, as opposed to "continuously," which means on a constant basis).

No matter what type of facility (or facilities) you're responsible for—a swimming pool or a park system, a high school or a Y, a health club or a golf club—near-constant innovation is one key to keeping yourself moving forward. It's how you engage your target audience and keep them engaged. But more, it's how you keep yourself engaged.

But what happens when you're not sure what to do next? For the most part, we don't have any problem coming up with new ideas and innovations. We know where to go for those: industry publications (Hello!), conferences and trade shows, conversations with peers, or even just tours of similar facilities in other locations.

Using all the means at your disposal, it's no hardship to come up with a long, long wishlist for your facility. But once you've got that list, how do you decide where to start? Where do you prioritize?

For some, it's simple: Budget constraints mean you start with the lowest-cost item that will deliver the biggest bang for the buck. Others have more leeway, financially, and can afford to dream big. Then you can ask yourself questions like: Who are we not reaching that we'd like to see enjoying our offerings? What are some of the holes in our offerings?

Either way, you have to start somewhere, and now is as good a time as any, isn't it?

If you're still looking for ideas on how to get started, we've got plenty for you this month, from a feature on some of the newest fitness equipment trends to smart ideas to help you market your offerings better and more.

So grab your pen and paper. Have a look. Make a list. And now, what are you waiting for?

The best time to begin is right now.


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management

[email protected]