I wrote yesterday about bowling, and when I think about it, except for the high-tech mechanisms, not much has changed since I first rolled a ball. The bumper sides now come up electronically, the pins return automatically and a software program does the scoring for you, but otherwise the sport has not really evolved. 

So many other institutions have reinvented themselves to serve a new purpose or to fulfill their original function in dramatically new ways. Libraries are now multimedia centers with 3D printers, Blueray rentals and MP3 downloads. Basketball has added 3point lines and shot clocks to fundamentally change the way the game is played and scored. Coffee has evolved from one pot being served at diners to a “third place” that is on nearly every street corner. 

But bowling is basically still bowling as we have always known it. I think that it is because the focus is on camaraderie as much as sport, and the true value is delivering an activity where a group of any age or skill level can interact.

Think about what you are doing to assess your organization. Maybe you need to radically reinvent or perhaps just make more subtle advances. Either way, you need to articulate what you truly deliver.

Bowling is about more than knocking down ten pins with a ball. How can you roll with your message?

Thanks to bg for the observation.

— beth triplett

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