My aim in writing this book has been to make a difference - a difference to you as a member of a club or organisation, a difference to the club or organisation to which you belong, and a difference to the community at large.

What your needs are, and how you feel you can best support your club or organisation, will, of course, be distinctive and unique, and so I have tried to make this book as flexible as possible, in order for you to be able to read it in the way that works best for you, and take from it the information and advice which is most relevant to where you and your organisation are today.

The research that forms the basis of this book was originally carried out to provide the content and structure for a 36-hour training workshop, which I ran for guys in the club I was a member of at the time.  This workshop provided a plan, a campaign, the inspiration and the motivation to save that club.

Later, I was asked to replicate this for the clubs in my area (there were about 12).  It was felt that 36 hours was too much time, so I distilled it down to an 8-hour/one day workshop.  This worked well and received awards, the greatest of which was the success of increasing the number of members across those clubs collectively by over 20% inside two years.

This success was later further recognised and I have since been asked to run workshops sharing these stories and the ideas across the UK, and internationally, at various meetings and conferences.  The ideas and stories have been enhanced, added to, changed over time, and now have been distilled into a book that I hope everyone involved in the world of clubs and membership organisations will find useful.

The book is divided into three parts - a story, real life examples and observations drawn from actual organisations, and a summary of key learning points.  The story involves a young man called Billy, and his development into a thoughtful and helpful member of his community, through the guidance of a mentor called Alex.  Billy’s experiences are based on my own - either on things I went through myself, or else things I saw others go through. I have woven each one into an episode in Billy’s development, and each episode in Billy’s development also corresponds to a key area in terms of the successful development and growth of a membership organisation.

In this way, each crucial area of growth and development in a membership organisation is looked at from three different perspectives:
through the story of Billy, Alex and a café called Archie’s Place
through examples and observations drawn from actual organisations
through a series of key learning points

Whether you wish to read the book as a whole, moving through each chapter from story to examples to key learning points, or whether you simply would like to concentrate on the examples, or the key learning points, or just the stories, is entirely up to you and what suits you best.  However you approach this book, I firmly believe there will be something here for your to learn and apply, to make your own club or organisation more focused, more popular, more successful.

There are also some pages at the back of the book left blank specifically to allow you to make notes on actions as they crop up in your mind, so that they are captured in the same place and contained between the same covers for future reference as you start putting your ideas into action.

Enjoy the read!


How this book can work for you  
Chapter One Hidden Gems and Unlocked Doors
Chapter Two Crossing Streams and Backward Planning
Chapter Three Two Ears and Four
Chapter Four Corners
Chapter Five Goldilocks and the Two Pubs
Chapter Six The Seven Mistakes
Chapter Seven Doing Sums and Building Jigsaws Archie’s Story
Chapter Eight Rubber Rings and Scales
Chapter Nine Flying and Playing Rugby
Chapter Ten The Elephant Story
Chapter Eleven Horns and Haloes
Chapter Twelve Black Ties and Bungee Jumps

Share your ideas and Thoughts

Once you have read this book, I encourage you to log on to the website and register on the forum pages to share the ideas and thoughts that work for you.  Here, you can also learn from those who are sharing their ideas and connect with others who are in the same boat or have been and have found a solution.

Download a Sample Chapter

Download a PDF format sample chapter.