How Much Wellness Innovation is Good for Your Business?
And How Much is Not?
By Michael Koethner Wellness & Healing Consultant, Michael Koethner | April 28, 2013
For more than over 10 years there has been a tendency that the wellness industry is following the "Steve Jobs Syndrome – We sell the Customers what we think they need, rather than serve them on their current Requirements!" He certainly has been very successful in creating and selling products that have never been seen before on the market, and have created a new awareness and understanding of how humans communicate. The wellness industry is booming and it is growing in a pace similar to his company in the best days. But is this growth based on what people really need and want or is it because some hotel and wellness companies just want to increase their business portfolio to attract more financial funds.
There is this endless urge for companies to create something that catches the eye and all other senses, either to distract others from something, which is not worth enough to talk about or to get more attention. Some guests might have noticed that there are spas and wellness centers with a huge fish tank and exotic small and very colorful fishes from the tropical oceans of the world. In other places there is this fascinating in-door gardens to create a strong feeling of nature inside the lobby. Then again in other places there is even a small river running through the reception area. But there is nothing more exciting than something new, out-of-this-world experience, especially in times of constant change and instant gratification.
To plan, develop and create a wellness center or spa can bring up the same feelings that a newborn child has when discovering something new pretty much every second. It is exciting to be part of a creation process and develop new concepts, programs or systems. But how much change and creation is really needed, and how many new things can be taken for granted in a world where humans are about to find out that the greatest thing that they are actually looking for is not about how much they can consume or accumulate, but instead what they are going to do with it, once it has consumed them. Similarly, any innovation or new concept in a hotel, wellness center or spa that is based on the idea of creating a more exciting and attractive business portfolio does not work any longer these days.
A wellness center or spa does not require some extraordinary technology or special feature design in order to increase their guest database and revenue; it needs to have a feeling of belonging. It must represent a home away from home in a sense that the person visiting the spa has a strong feeling of being connected and part of. The attitude of the associates working there must be the same as the one attitude at home and anywhere else. It is also very important to find out who is giving the treatment. It means, is this person qualified as a therapist, grounded as a person, and has a professional understanding of the code of ethics and conduct. The next and most important point is about the connection to their guests and members. This connection only comes from the inside of the therapist. Only those who love themselves as they are, are the ones who will love others and therefore can pass on what it means to belong. The therapist really need to emphasize and put in enough care to make sure that the treatment will be a success, this is more important than anything else in a modern health & wellness center and/or spa.
The times of single-minded, archaic or gung-ho type of leadership, elbow fighting, relentless competition, egomaniac selfishness and righteousness is definitely a thought and behavior pattern of the very distant past. The world and its societies are evolving faster than ever before. It is time to re-think about the relationship between humans, their societies and environment. If the connection is not sustainable and has no purpose to enrich the life of everyone, then it should be discarded immediately. Likewise, if a spa is not included in a hotel or resort operation then something needs to be done urgently to enable this family to grow up together.
Hotel and wellness companies who think they are currently the leader in the industry are living in the age of dinosaurs and need to realize that there are others on this planet earth with the same ideas and visions as they are. However, in order to bring us all together and work on a global vision of peace and harmony, the system needs to be changed as well. It is a system of separation, which has been around since the turn of the century and the beginning of the industrialization. When humans created the machine, they also created an image of themselves that made some of them superior to others. This feeling of superiority created the distortions we see in our world today.