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  • Writer's pictureJoe Wise

Breaking Things Down Instead of Breaking a Club

A Golfer’s Guide to Continuous Improvement at Work


Think about a golf swing. Whether it’s your first time or your thousandth, the frustrating days are inevitable. So much can go wrong with a swing. Your grip; your club and body placement; your hips; your torso; your wrists.  Then there’s the timing of it all.  The list goes on and on.

Golfers who tend to improve (and have fun doing it) are the players that understand this key concept: don’t try to fix everything all at once. They break things down into pieces.  They take on the issues one at a time.  By simplifying things, they become less overwhelming.  By making them less overwhelming, they become a lot less frustrating.

The same thinking can be applied to organizations.

Companies are always trying to strengthen their weaknesses and discover where their opportunities lie.  Some are able to identify the specific gaps and address them with precision.  They apply the right discipline and practice.  From there, they put the different pieces together and build upon what’s newly working well.  Incremental improvements fuel confidence, attitude, and momentum.  Other companies, like some golfers, let their impatience get the best of them.  They try to fix everything at the same time, often creating nothing but more chaos for themselves.  They can’t see the parts where progress is being made.  They let their emotions block out their objectivity…even blaming the club, the course, or the conditions instead of looking at the real issues at hand.

By choosing to focus on one or two parts of their golf swing, leaders give themselves the best chance to see tangible improvement.  Understanding how organizations approach ways to improve their “golf swings” can create space for better decision-making, more sustainable success, and a more enjoyable, rewarding experience overall.


Joe is the Vice President of Communications + Learning Systems at pro-voke.

You can reach him at

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