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Gregg Patterson: “Idea Banking” Your Networks!

POSTED ON April 18, 2024 @ 3:26 pm

Needing—The BIG THREE

Managers who “do good” need an unending stream of IDEAS to solve problems and pursue opportunities.  Networks are needed to generate those ideas.

Networks are the Connections between club professionals and The BIG THREE—people, places and ideas.  Networks “done right” generate ideas, stimulate a heightened enthusiasm for clubdom and underpin success in the business of CLUB.

Growing The Network is a deliberate, unending project fueled by curiosity and utility. Club professionals need to actively pursue, Inventory and use The BIG THREE.

Here’s how.

Stage One—Fill the Toolbox

You’ll need tools to build The Network.

  • CURIOSITY—which is the driver of exploration and the engine for asking, looking, listening and engaging.
  • TARGETING—which is the ability to identify and then focus on consequential people, places and ideas.
  • The REACH—which is the active, intentional pursuit of people, places and ideas.
  • CONVERSATION—which is the art of stimulating, questioning and listening to targeted personalities.
  • The SCRIBBLE—which is the continuous note-taking while talking to people, visiting places or consuming ideas.
  • The VISUALS—which involves the photographing and video-ing of people, places and “stuff” to energize the memory and dramatize, for self and others, what was seen and why it meant what it did.
  • DEBRIEFING—which requires, “post-encounter”, discussing and dissecting what was experienced,  reviewing notes, prioritizing ideas, organizing and then inventorying those insights, observations and ideas for future retrieval.

Once The Tools have been mastered, the encounter can begin………

Stage Two—Doing “The Reach”

REACHING requires purpose and confidence.  The engine of REACH is curiosity.  Once the who, the what and the why are identified, The Reaching can begin.

Reaching Out—To People

Once accomplished, interesting and approachable people have been identified, once the reason for connecting has been established, the reaching can begin using email, the phone, snail mail or ZOOM and talk times / meet times be established.

Reaching Out—To Places

Once worthwhile places have been identified, time needs to be set aside and the visit must be CALENDARED to ensure that the visit gets done.  Targets should include Golf, Country, City, Beach and Yacht clubs; hotels and resorts; restaurants; schools; event and entertainment locations.

Reaching Out—To Ideas

Just as with people and place, Ideas must be sought out and pursued. Classes, webinars, podcasts, books, periodicals and videos worth reading, watching, listening to must be identified and digested.

Reading is the key to concentrated “idea generation”.  Club management professionals who want to focus on a high octane, highly concentrated “one publication” delivery of The BIG THREE— People, Places and Ideas—need to have Board Room magazine on their “MUST READ” reading list.

Every article in Board Room is filled with IDEAS that deserve review and digestion.  Clubs are highlighted, systems and processes are discussed and people are identified in every article.  And, best of all, the authors of each of the articles WANT to be part of your network and will happily write back if YOU reach out and connect.

Stage Three—Idea Banking the Networks

To be useful, ideas need to be separated, organized and inventoried in a searchable Idea Bank for easy retrieval when problems occur and opportunities arise.   A notebook with 300 pages of scribbled, disjointed ideas is super when capturing the raw info from a visit, a book, a video, a seminar or a discussion—but a chore to review when insights are needed “Right Now” for a specific issue, problem or opportunity.

For ease of inventorying and retrieval, a computerized Idea Bank should be created where useful insights are cataloged and the worthless cast aside.  Here’s how……

Identify a “you-friendly” computer program such as EXCEL or WORD that provides a searchable database.

Determine the “sortable categories” that work for you and create a series of columns on the spreadsheet.  The first column will always address and be sortable into one of The Big Three—People, Places and Ideas.  The last column is for comments and details and needn’t be set up as a sortable column.  The intermediate columns are sortable into whatever categories you, The Sort-er, find most useful.

The key is to identify as many “search” categories as possible to allow for a speedy search whenever specific people, places and ideas are needed.

Here’s an example of a “Searchable Grid” for The Big Three…………

Stage Four—Continuous Cultivation

Review people, places and ideas stockpiled in the Idea Bank randomly and regularly to keep the ideas, the people and the experiences fresh.

Continue looking for new places to visit, people to meet, books to read, videos to watch and podcasts to listen to.  GROW the Idea Bank incrementally and continuously.

Follow up with interesting people you met—often.  Always have a reason for connecting—something you’ve read, place visited, question that reminded you of them.  Communicate regularly—face-to-face, via ZOOM, with videos, email or messaging.  Offer up info—videos, books, insights because those who give, get back.

Stage Five—Use The Networks

Problems will arise and opportunities will present themselves.  Whether searching for a job, solving a problem, stimulating reflection, answering questions, creating relationships or developing a Peer Community, look to your Idea Bank for insights and suggestions.


BE Warned—Killers of Network

Networks are grown…incrementally…one connection at a time and they wither without nourishment.

Your Networks will perish if your curiosity vanishes, you lose The BUZZ for the business, networking  becomes a bore, engaging becomes a chore and you develop “been there, seen that, heard that, done that” thinking.

Networks are fragile and shrink if ignored.   Inventoried ideas get stale and dusty if never used or discounted when needs arise.


The BIG Three networks are the engines of professional success—people, places and ideas.

Know the Networks that are needed.

Reach out and create, inventory, cultivate and USE your Networks.

And enjoy the journey…………..

Gregg Patterson – Founder and President – “Tribal Magic!!!” will be presenting at these upcoming forums.


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