The level of thinking that got us here will not solve the ongoing problems of Dancesport’s future. For our sport to grow and develop, it will require a different level of thinking and the ability to see fresh perspectives for our industry. It is not even about providing what our members “want”. Many successful businesses have failed while appearing to do the right things of product improvement and providing better services for their membership. We need to see the world as it is evolving and recognise that Dancesport is in the middle of disruption. To understand what is emerging, and align our strategy to meet the challenges requires an open mind and to realise that there is no returning to the glory days of the past, we can only plan for a different future.
I am proposing we lead Dancesport towards the future with clear strategies. Resist the temptation to be merely reactive, I propose we decide what we want our industry to be and work towards it.
To understand the disruption that is coming I’d like to put forward my summary in the following paragraphs:
The world is changing rapidly, the OECD recently presented an Educational Framework -“Towards the year 2030”. Thirty-Seven of the finest educators in the world representing their countries have created a report predicting the needs of children as they grow unto adults. The truth is they actually don’t know what is coming, no one does, the rapidity of change through artificial intelligence, medical advancement, technological development and climate change is so immense that the world is dealing with “unknown – unknowns”. This means we will be dealing with things we have never experienced. Humans are not good at dealing with this scenario: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity…. This acronym ( VUCA ) is the future we are all facing. The one thing they have all agreed on and is peppered throughout the entire educational report is the importance of human interaction and the significance of values. Values, they agree will act as a compass to guide our children and us through the volatility of change.
Dancesport has the golden opportunity to deliver experiential learning for this generation. Human interaction, communication, resilience, critical thinking, positive body language, creativity, self-confidence all listed in the OECD report are just the beginning of the compass to navigate the future. Like a Trojan horse, Dancesport can uniquely deliver these values without knowing it. For example to unplug from the world of computers and mobile phones is to reset your balance and refresh by dancing with another human being to music. This ideology is not new, but it is newly important to Dancesport.
If our role was defined more clearly and marketed correctly, Dancesport could gain exponential leaps of growth but it wont happen without transition and open minded thinking. Provided our emerging teachers are trained to see new perspectives other than traditional ways of viewing their craft and are exposed to new ways of thinking about the structure of business models the opportunity is endless.
If we adopt the Pareto Principal of the 80/20 rule. That 80 % of results come from the top 20 % of effort, identifying the core components of successful studios will be easier to implement. There are wonderful successful studios that I want to approach and ask their assistance in preparing a package for aspiring teachers. Gaining the best knowledge from industry leaders is a skill that many quality dancers are familiar, all we need to do is transfer that skill to other areas of the industry.
Change is difficult, especially in an industry so fixed in its ways that anything that challenges the status quo is absorbed like a springboard then flung back. For change to be accepted, the only way is tiny increments, one at a time. A trim tab on a ships rudder is the best metaphor I can suggest, tiny increments will eventually turn an massive ship as will change the cultural outlook and behavior of an industry.