The Spa Management dilemma

Around this time last year, I had an idea. We had run our Spa management courses for about 7 years and we are constantly getting queries from students on where they can find and compare spa management educations (such as candidate and bachelor) as well as shorter courses, such as ours, for those already working in the spa business.

We as employers had a huge challenge to find qualified spa managers, and so had all my colleagues in the business. And the ones that actually did graduate did not have the skillset that the industry want to hire.

Confused yet? You should be. Basically we are all over the place, as educational institutes, students and also the industry.

It had been lingering in my head for a long time that we have to do something about the spa management challenge, as spa managers are essentially those who build our future.

Beautiful Aspen

Beautiful Aspen

So we commissioned a study via the Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS), where I happened to be on the board and we presented the result this week in Aspen,

In short (the long version can soon be downloaded at www.globalspaandwellnessummit.org )

a)    educational institutes are not educating the spa managers that the industry wants to hire

b)   the industry is not investing in the spa managers they already have, and therefore many of today’s spa managers do not have the tools to lead a successful and profitable spa

The industry has a lot of responsibility in this, we have to communicate with the educational institutes and tell them what core competencies that we want them to educate in.

As Dave Ramsay says “ we can either chose to educate our staff and risk looking them OR keep them dumb and slow” – we as an industry has chosen the latter.

We had a very productive round table discussion about this, that I led and we agreed to that it is now time for the industry to step up to the plate, and although I promised myself that I would not take on a leading role in this (it took quite some time to get this research together with SRI International….), I found myself passionately saying that I would head the initiative up.

I hope that we will in one year have a website where students can find all spa management educations and courses, that we have a set of core competencies that we are all educating in and that we have an active industry where we are communicating with students and educational institutes

Stay tuned and I will keep you posted on new advancement as we go along!

 

//Anna

Telomeres – the new hot solution to youth?

During the Global Spa & Wellness Summit, we had the opportunity to measure our Telomeres (for free!).

Telomeres you might wonder?? Or you are one of those that has followed the very intense discussions the past year??

Advocates says that Telomeres is the answer to many chornic diseases. And given that 80% of the population at the age 65 has at least one chronic disease this is really good news. Would it be true….

Telomeres are two caps at each end of the chromosomes that we have in each cell (see picture). It is said that if we have long Telemores, we are biologically young (er), and if they are short, we are prone to get diseases.

Telomeres are said to be connected to our mental health (isn’t everything??), and if we are stressed and negative, it immediately leads to shorter Teleomeres. Another interesting observation is that if you are one of those that lets your mind wonder, well then you are more prone to depression.

So how can we lengthen our Teleomeres – not that surprisingly, research says that it is the same thing that we should always practice to be healthy, namely eat Omega 3, exercise, sleep well, have social support and practice mindfulness.

Isn’t it strange how everything is connected – or maybe not, as we are one ecosystem within a larger one. Practice the above, and you don’t have to worry about Telomeres.

I also want to say that there is A LOT of discussions if measuring Telomeres actually is valid, and if so in what way. If you have cancer, for example, then the Telemores are very long on the actual cancer cells. The many pills one today can take to lengthen Telemores should most likely be avoided, as if we are prone to have cancer, then we would help it on its way.

If you want to read more about the good, the bad and the ugly – check out Mark Sissons blog http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-tall-tail-of-telomeres/#axzz1xaOcGblt  where he has a very good (and long!)  discussion about Telomeres.

I will let you all know my result when I get it in a about 2 months!

//Anna

There is no Plan(et) B…..

The Global Spa & Wellness Summit is right now taking place at the Aspen Institute in the US. I am one of the founding board members and have been to each one since the start 7 years ago. It is an amazing event, and this year is unparalleled.

I will give you some insight to what is happening the coming days and weeks. Today will be perhaps not the most uplifting brief, but no doubt a wake up call!

The first day was about innovation and also talking about how the world as we know it is changing. As Costa Rica’s former president Jose Maria Figueres Olsen said – there is no Planet B, we have no second chance, we need to act now. What we are currently doing, he said, is re-arranging the deck chairs on Titanic….

An equally grim picture came from Philippe Bourgingon. Who said that the economy and growth that we have experienced since World War II is coming to an end, the consumption led as well as the export led economy are dying. We have been living above our means, the current lack of consumption is pushing countries to debt and the western methods to correct this do not work any longer. This recover is the worst recover of the last 11 crisis recoveries. What we are doing right now is giving the economies pain killers, takes away some of the symptoms but does not cure the root cause….

So what do we do?

Innovate and imagine!

Former US Chief Surgeon, Dr Richard Carmona talked about – among others – that he got an advice from Senator Kennedy when he took the position “when you enter Washington, bring a dog, this will be your only friend”…

He also spoke about that the world today is delivering a “sick care” system and not a “health care” system. 2 of our 7 billion inhabitants on the planet is living on less than USD 1/day. That the declining state of our environment is directly linked with many of the diseases today, such as for example asthma.

The good thing is that what science has found is that 3 our of 4 people do not need to be in the hospitals if it wasn’t for our behavioral problem we are showing. Food, drugs, domestic violence, life style etc. is what in 75% of the cases pushes us into the sick care system.

This is good news! We can do something about it – wellness and spas play a very important part here!

Well, that was the wake up call! Tomorrow I will speak about what John Kao (innovation activist) and Ted Souder (Google) said. That will make you happy again!

//Anna

Ps. Ted SOuder from Goole congratulated the very innovative idea to give out our LivNordic bath brushes to market our new brand! Ds.