From the CEO

G'day Clubland,

I’m writing this on a Saturday morning at home, as 30 knot south-easterly winds batter the trees outside my window, fresh from having whipped up the waters in Moreton Bay just 100 metres away.

Intermittent rain, heavy showers and a bleak sky are ever present; however, that said, it has been a week of some of the best rain Queensland has seen in years, particularly in northern, central and western Queensland for which I’m very grateful to the sky gods, given the years of drought we’ve experienced in regional and rural Queensland. The downside is that our State’s North has been disaster declared due to the inundation, businesses are shut, roads are cut and some of those affected have been evacuated.

Many who live in those areas are used to the challenges mother nature presents, however, I expect the feast and famine hardship that presents at this time of year is never easy when it comes to their social, mental and financial wellbeing. For what it’s worth, you are all in my thoughts.

“To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how to make a positive contribution to society”.

BlackRock Founder, Chairman and CEO Larry Fink shared a letter to CEOs worldwide in January this year warning that companies needed to find a purpose beyond making money. “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how to make a positive contribution to society. Companies must benefit all their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate”. For those unaware, BlackRock is a $6.3 trillion asset manager.

Now this mandate or objective is not new when it comes to the community club sector both here in Queensland and across Australia, given the communities our clubs service are genuinely at the heart of their very existence and the reason for being. While there is an overly simplistic view of community clubs as just liquor and gaming venues, they are important community hubs for social interaction and engagement. Members have a shared sense of values and belonging, and this strengthens the social fabric and promotes strong community cohesion.

Community clubs must therefore deliver trading surpluses to ensure their viability, relevance and currency in their club offer. The annual surplus generated by clubs is used to deliver important and highly valued services in their surrounding communities and to visitors to their region. This support includes cash contributions, non-cash benefits, community assets and the mobilisation of volunteers.

That said, clubland is not always good at publically sharing the great work it does, and is often shy or, maybe in some cases, scared of the public spotlight. This goes beyond the normal entertainment, event or hospitality marketing specials that are blasted out weekly.
If I was asked to offer some sage advice, it would be that you (clubland) should be prepared to speak out on social issues more often, share your human side and continually connect with the community at this level. 

Promoting yourself in this way is a no-brainer given all you do, and it will deliver in spades in terms of trust and custom. This is your real point of difference to most competitors and offers, and is thus worthy of consideration through leadership by way of speaking up. 

Of course, there will be times you’ll cop criticism from some people for whatever reason; however, trust and leadership as a consequence of your preparedness to communicate and take a position will deliver more positive than negative results.

Be proud of who you are and what you do, share it regularly, and I can almost guarantee this stance will deliver positive outcomes, both commercially and socially, with all those in your community.

Ciao and warm regards

Doug Flockhart
chief executive officer