CCM Profile Q&A: Kevin Fish CCM

Kevin Fish CCM has over 20 years experience in the Club Industry. He was Club Manager at the Glen Golf Club in North Berwick from 1999 to 2008, picking up the award for UK Golf Club Manager of the Year in 2004 and was in the first group of Europeans to be awarded the CCM in 2008. He went on to work for the National Governing Body for golf in Scotland for 7 years, leading a team providing support to hundreds of Scottish Golf clubs. Kevin is now the Director of Contemporary Club Leadership Ltd, his own training and consultancy business, where he continues to provide support to Managers and Committees of clubs. 

Here we ask Kevin how his experience with the CCM aids him when advising clubs,  the effect it has on his career and where he sees club management education going in the years to come. 

1. You are justifiably proud to be one of the first tranche of CCM’s in Europe. Tell us about the difficulty in sitting the exam and where you were when you heard you had passed? 

My wife Carol will certainly remember the day of the CCM exam, it was her 40th birthday, and I had to miss her party in the Scottish Borders to travel to London for the CCM exam. She was hugely supportive as ever, but I returned with my tail between my legs as I feared that I may have failed the test in what was a very tough day. Two days later my brother and I were fishing in the middle of an idyllic Scottish loch when my mobile phone went off – a shock in itself as I hadn’t had phone reception for days ! It was Nigel Cartwright letting me know that CMAE had marked the papers and I had passed the CCM exam with the highest score recorded ! The fishing took a back seat and the Stella and hip flask took a big hit !  

2. Can you quantify the positive impact the CCM has had on your career, specifically in your role advising club managers? 

In my career, there is a period before my CCM qualification, and a period after that qualification.

The simple explanation for that is that the CCM certification is globally recognized as the benchmark by which you are measured in the industry, but in reality we all know it’s a little deeper than that. Everyone thinks they would be a better England football manager than the current incumbent (whoever they are), and we all know that many of those people also think that running a club must be just as easy.
All of your members have opinions, but if you have evidence, industry data, third party reports, and crucially, a globally recognized industry qualification, people listen to you.

Life in the board room got a whole lot easier for me after gaining my CCM.

3. You recently attended the CMAA World Conference, can you describe how closely aligned all the global partners are when delivering the CCM accreditation and the potential impact this may have on the club management industry? 

I am extremely proud to be the first European to be invited to sit on the CMAA Professional Development Committee that oversees the global curriculum and qualifications. This gives me a great insight in to the spread of the programme across the globe, and brings home just how similar the challenges are in other countries. Whilst those principles are most definitely global, the practices used to fix them are very local, and I have benefited hugely from working with clubs in the States such as Congressional, Augusta National and The Beach Club and bringing those solutions back to Europe.

The approved curriculum is now taught on 7 continents, and its great to see our own European Managers like Dave Gemmell CCM being recognized at World Conference alongside our peers around the world. Those countries & organisations who are not aligned to the global curriculum are becoming fewer in number but we continue to approach them with absolute respect for the training opportunities that they have chosen to pursue for their local managers. We firmly believe that the industry is best served by one continuously improving global curriculum and benchmark qualification and one day I am sure that employers in every country will be able to judge applicants in that way.

4. Where do you see club manager education going in the next five to ten years? 

I have had a unique opportunity to observe managers in Europe take their first tentative step on to the educational pathway. On reflection this was probably as revolutionary as the arrival of the mechanical mower was to greenkeepers, and the MDP pathway is now recognized as the obvious path to learn the competencies required of the modern club manager.

As our early trailblazing managers have worked their way through the pathway I have noticed that their educational needs develop and they become understandably less concerned about the mechanics of the job, and much more focused on the development of themselves and the qualities they need to bring to the table to ensure that club management is a fulfilling role for them. To reflect this, in the last 12 months we have introduced the Lumina personality profiling tools to MDP which provide a framework and common language for me to have those discussions with managers who are definitely gravitating towards this type of training and support, both for themselves and their staff.

Through the MDP pathway we have created tribes all around Europe and I know that CMAE are close to announcing further opportunities for those tribes to come together, for more continuous professional development, and fun!

5. You have recently started your own business as a trainer and consultant, how will your experience in helping develop the CCM pathway in Europe help you when advising clubs? 

I have received more letters of thanks from customers in the last 5 years of my working life than the previous 25, and eventually it dawned on me that I may well have found what I am good at. Those letters of thanks revealed that what I was actually doing both on MDP and in my work with Scottish Golf was helping to un-stick managers and their clubs through training and 1-2-1 support at their clubs. Having been a club manager I know how little support is available, and I have now experienced what is possible when you provide that support. Setting up my own training and consultancy business was therefore an obvious next step for me, and I am now providing that support managers need to be successful.

Through a combination of MDP sessions and my 7 years with Scottish Golf I have worked with over 1,000 club managers & officials to help them improve their Committee performance, their focus on a single plan, their financial performance and their own personal and professional development. I’m a results guy, and if people want to improve their results, they should give me a call – I help people do the right things right.

You can contact Kevin on [email protected] or 07398155908