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Entries in Fast Company (3)


Innovation: Word or Fact?

I recently heard that, today, “innovation” is one of the most overused words. Really? Frankly, I think that our industry needs true innovation to engage people in exercise and foster positive behavior change—now more than ever!

To better understand the current “state of innovation,” I consulted Fast Company, one of my favorite magazines, which frequently spotlights organizations and individuals that dare to innovate in an intentional, strategically profitable way.

Conveniently, my research led me to several examples that I’m quite familiar with.

Earlier this year, Fast Company published a list of “The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 in Fitness.” Among them were Polar Electro, Inc., Beachbody, Equinox, and EXOS, the corporate parent of MediFit, the firm I work for.

Why were we selected? The magazine said it was “for improving the entire health and fitness industry. EXOS continues to find new ways to help everyone become healthier.” MediFit does so, in part, by utilizing a multidisciplinary approach to help people achieve their health and fitness goals—one that encompasses mindset, physical activity, nutrition, and recovery.

Because human beings are complex, multifaceted, and multilayered creatures, we incorporate our understanding of those traits in all that we do.

Looking elsewhere, we find examples such as Airbnb and Uber, innovative organizations that have thoroughly disrupted the hotel and taxi industries, respectively. How did they do so? By identifying real, unmet needs—gaps in the ever-lengthening spectrum of consumer expectations. And, then, by giving customers direct control, using networked platforms, incorporating dynamic pricing, and changing the way service is delivered.

What does all of this have to do with you and your business?

Consider this: Do you say, think, and believe that yours is a truly transformative organization? Or do you simply overuse the word innovation? Is your team structurally aligned to create and implement great new ideas? Are there systems in place to track the actions you take and to assess the results you achieve?

We, as club operators, are faced with an endless series of challenges, both perennial and newborn, having to do with issues such as member and staff acquisition/retention, emerging trends, evolving technology, and “disruptive” new forms of competition.

How can we deal with them efficiently, effectively, successfully?

Likely not by utilizing the same approach we’ve relied on for the past two-and-a-half decades.

It’s time to ask candid questions, tough questions, never-before-thought-of questions.

Only then will we realize true, redemptive innovation.


Sport England Campaign Features, Targets Everyday Women to Exercise

Sport England created a commercial with heavy women.Fast Company's weekly ranking of top "brand creativity" found a positive message in the fitness industry come in at number 2.

Sport England's This Girl Can campaign urges women to exercise. However, those in the commercial aren't fitness models, professional athletes or females in incredible shape. They use everyday folks, focusing on flappy parts of the body that jiggle and bounce up and down.

In the Why We Care section of the rankings, Fast Company said, "It's no secret why. Instead of making the bodies and talents of professional athletes the goal, it's a fitness ad that makes the satisfaction and fun real women are getting from real activities the aspiration."

Check out This Girl Can here.



Fast Company announces most innovative fitness companies

Fast Company magazine announced its Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Fitness and there are some companies we all know, while there are also newbies that are making a name for themselves.

At the top of the list is Nike - with FuelBand and sensors in running shoes that "report" on social media - and Zombies, Run, which is part audio book, part video game and part trainer.

Others recognized include Zumba, CrossFit and SoulCycle.

For the complete list, visit Fast Company.