- Written by Steve Scales
Working in a wide array of roles in my career, I’ve come across two main types of organisation. The first is unchanging – parroting lethargic and exasperated clichés such as ‘nothing really changes’, remaining stagnant and unresponsive to the world around them.
The other type of organisation, however, (which I would say make up the majority of our sector) are the opposite. These dynamic organisations draw on their experience and knowledge to create a culture of progression – continuing to strive for better and evolving to match the landscape around them.
The physical activity sector is undergoing huge changes – consumer habits are shifting, the way we interact with each other is evolving, even the way we see our own health is changing. It’s vital, therefore, that we as a sector (as individuals and organisations) are ready to adapt and evolve in response.
That means collaborating both within and outside the sector. In the past year, we have seen incredible examples in which organisations have worked together to not only respond to changes but to place themselves ahead of the curve.
The first example is GM Active, a collective of 12 leisure and community organisations from across Greater Manchester that have come together as part of the same movement, to get more people physically active.
The results have been very positive – shared workforce and expertise has enabled GM Active to provide major health solutions for local people in the region. Although at an early stage in the project, existing successes could not have been achieved without unity across the partner organisations.
Another example is the DataHub repository, which allows organisations to not only benchmark their operational performance, but also understand behavioural habits behind more than 500 million visits. This in-depth insight into the sector allows operators to make informed decisions based on statistics – bringing us in line with similar industries such as retail. DataHub is a sum of its parts and as more and more operators integrate their data, all of the sector will be able to better understand their customers’ habits.
These are just two pioneering schemes among many, but we must continue to do more to encourage collaboration and partnership from each and every member of our sector. The physical inactivity crisis can only be solved through the collective endeavour of a united sector.
Uniting the movement begins with a willingness not just to talk, but to take action.
And that will be a key theme of Active Uprisingon 6 June – bringing the collective power of our sector, and major partners such as the Spa Association, Sport England, CIMSPA, Nike and Sainsbury’s, into one room. Not just to talk – but to collaborate, to take action.
Partnership allows us to not only adapt to the market, but change it