HackGolf. Why not?
That’s the question asked by Taylor Made Adidas Group CEO Mark King during a packed house conference last night at the PGA Merchandise Show. Mark was introducing HackGolf. What is HackGolf, a provocative name considering the connotation of a golf hacker? Yes, it has many definitions, and one of its modern meanings is “to improvise something new and highly effective.”
HackGolf is the brainchild of King and management and innovation guru Gary Hamel, who has consulted organizations around the world on innovation. The Wall Street Journal calls Hamel the “most influential business thinker in the world.”
Both men, in concert with National Golf Foundation Joe Beditz and PGA of America Chairman Ted Bishop, believe that golf must change to counter its decline especially with the important 18-34 age group. Or what I call some of my Lincoln Park neighbors who are more likely to play Fantasy Football, Call of Duty and line up at dawn to watch televised college football games at local bars than tee it up.
So, HackGolf will be launching three initiatives here at the show. First and the center of last night’s meeting is to ask those “on the fringes of the sport” to solicit ideas to improve the ratio of fun to frustration in today’s game. Second, TMAG will be launching two initiatives today to boost this ratio.
The company also will commit $5 million and a TMAG team to make HackGolf a success, the proverbial money where your mouth is. King invites all golf organizations to help support this initiative.
HackGolf is a compelling idea. Will it work? Will it reverse this serious decline in golf participation among the future of golf?
Who knows, even King and Hamel feel that way? But why not as other initiatives don’t seem to be addressing this serious issue. Here is why I think HackGolf might work:
- In today’s cyber speed business environment where reaction is as important as action, the secret is prompt and attentive response not dictation.
- The customer runs and is your brand and it is critical to know, understand, believe and activate based on their input and direction.
- Your brand and business is your brand experience, and if you aren’t delivering it, your consumers, in this case, will flock to Call of Duty.
- Open innovation programs have driven success for IBM, Intel and Cisco where hackathons have produced real innovation.
- Leadership and commitment to the mission, and this one has one of business’ most competent and inspired leaders willing to provide the resources and more important, the resourcefulness to truly innovate.
- An alliance is already forming with influential thinkers and activators like NGF and the PGA.
- “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them, ” Albert Einstein.
I say why not, what’s the downside of this effort? I say go HackGolf GO!
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