Spa Managers – time to slow down?

We live in a world that never stops talking, with information that never stops flowing and new projects for future development and improvements that never seem to end. We usually find new challenges at the floor as well as at our desk every morning; not to mention in our inbox – it is easy to get stuck. Are you having a hard time to be one step ahead, proactively plan for your operations to move smoothly as well as for your people to develop? What about living your values and inspiring other with your passion?

We often already know what we want or need to do as managers, but we seem to never have enough time to act before we really have to, which often is too late and we have already doubled our workload. Like the Pareto principle say, 80% of your outcome come from 20% of your input which means that there are certain activities you do (your 20%) that account for the majority (your 80%) of your happiness and success. Remember, you are accountable for the success (within your business) but also for your happiness (your own health and balance.) If you not find time for what really will make a difference, you will not succeed.

You are not alone. But we are glad to tell you that there is also a solution or actually there are several. You can go from over-time to time over and be successful at the same time. You can slow down, and instead make a difference. It is called Strategy. Self- and Energy Management. Strategic Planning. Conscious Leadership. Balance. Sustainable Lifestyle. Vision.

With our Spa Management Online Program we would like to help you and all spa industry professionals the best we can to put the right priorities in place and strategically plan the next coming 12 months together. If you let us, we will lift you up to the next level through the online studies; flexible enough to fit an already busy schedule.

You have your chance to start June 2nd and October 6th this year and you will reach us directly at: smc@raisondetrespas.com

Warmly Welcome!
And have a peek:

smc 1

 

Kindness – trendy again?

Talking about trends, we have seen many healthy and sustainable trends during the past years that have gone from “trends” to “lifestyle choices”, and we often refer to the generation called “G”.

Generation G consists of people who are environmentally conscious, love Mother Earth, want to stay “clean” inside and outside, and chose to live more consciously due to the many problems that the materialistic lifestyle has been bringing. Gen G is all about generosity, giving, compassion and sharing. A person who has made a decision in life – to make a difference! A person who makes active choices.

This has influenced many of us to search for ways to contribute and help and we really need to “do something” to compensate for the life we are living, through volunteering work or donating blood etc.  A few years ago, the buzzword “Random Act of Kindness” (R.A.K) got a lot of attention and was a huge trend for global marketers and brand consultants. Focusing a lot in digital marketing and social media this act of kindness have been integrated in many organizations and strategies, even if it has not the same attention today as back in 2011. Even though this way of taking action has a kind and great intention, it is also as a business strategy (which means earn more money.)

Kindess picBut as we live in an unsteady world, it often brings forward the true and instinctively good in people. A great example of this is Hannah Brencher (24) from New York that one day just decided to write a letter to a stranger on the train that looked miserable.  She continued to leave letters like that on the bus, the library, the café and so on all over New York City. One year and 400 letters later she started the organization “Write more love letters” that today have 20,000 individuals across 49 different countries leaving letters and writing emails to strangers in need.
The interesting part of this trend that starts to bloom again in 2013 is that it is spread in younger ages and at a personal stage in social media, which is in great need in the digital world that often is quite rough, honest and mean. It is again trendy to be kind, both to your friends, but also strangers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

All these ideas, actions and efforts (like R.A.K) are truly lovely but sometimes they make me a bit confused. I believe kindness is a natural possession for all of us, a part of us as human beings.  To be exact, when someone does something kind towards another, the brain produces dopamine and endorphins, which make you happy.  Face-to-face kindness also produces oxytocin, which may lower the blood pressure ad stimulates the nervous system. This is natural. We live for love and happiness. Our vision at Raison d’Etre is to “Light lights” in everyone we meet or touch, and that is a great daily reminder for me to continue to spread love and kindness.

But, are we really so busy in our lives that we only have enough kindness to share with our chosen people? Either what we answer that question with; if kindness really needs systems and this kind of trendy actions and attention, so be it. If this is what it takes, so be it.

Ps. Have you ever written a love letter? It is absolutely magical.

/Josefin

Swedish Classic Massage celebrates 200 years!

The Swedish gymnast Per Henrik Ling is called the “father of Swedish Classic Massage”  from when he opened the Royal Gymnasium Institute in Stockholm – 1813, 200 years ago. He developed his own comprehensive system of athleticism and treatments – Swedish gymnastics and massage, to stimulate blood circulation, strengthen the muscles and create a better balance between bones and muscle tissue.

massage 1Ling’s system was fast spread over Europe and the popular treatment method was one of the greatest exports from Sweden under the nineteenth century. Students arrived to Sweden from different parts of the world to learn and then started their own practice in their home countries and both the methods and literature was spread early and translated into several languages. Many of the international expressions within manual therapy and massage came from Ling’s followers, such as “medicina gymnastica”, “therapeutic manipulation” and “kinesitherapie”.  Note that these were published in the beginning of the nineteenth century, long before the establishment of other western manual therapies (such as osteopathy, chiropractic and orthopedic manual therapy.)

At our LivNordic Spa in Stockholm, this treatment is of course the most popular one and our Swedish Training Director, Isabella dos Santos, has developed the basic techniques further, to create an exceptional massage – unique for Raison d’Etre and LivNordic.

Wall inscriptionlabout Swedish Classic Massage at LivNoric Spa in Stockholm.

Wall inscription about Swedish Classic Massage at our LivNordic Spa in Stockholm.

Swedish Classic Massage (or actually just ‘Classic Massage’ as we say in Sweden) has definitely been a source of inspiration for most of the western massage techniques and is still one of the most popular treatments booked in the world. So, why do not do as we do, go ahead and find a place near to enjoy a Swedish Classic Massage and celebrate the 200 years anniversary with us!

Spa Management Education

We are happy to announce that our next Spa Mangement Online Course starts already June 3rd, because of high interest this year and many that cannot wait until next one in September! Anna recently shared her spa management knowledge and thoughts about online education on spastaff.com, you can read her blog post below:

Photo Mark Earthy   COPYRIGHT © Photographer Mark Earthy.WWW.PHOTOGRAPHER.SE“A fundamental challenge facing Spa business is the lack of people with the right skills to fill management level positions.”  Anna Bjurstam writes:
The driving force behind any spa’s success is the Spa Manager/Director; the captain of the ship – his or her way of leading the business will make or break the spa. An expert knowledge of spa and wellness and strong people skills is not enough for a leading spa manager, who also needs to be on top of operations fundamentals, customer service and be an excellent manager, administrator, able to act on performance statistics, (KPIs), and ultimately, possess the wisdom and confidence to lead the team through the inevitable ups and downs. The key shortcomings of most aspiring Spa Managers – according to a recent survey – are hard business skills such as strategic planning, spa finance, revenue management and marketing. So in order to stand out in today’s tough, competitive job market, education is paramount…

Three typical sources of spa managers:
1. Hiring someone from outside the spa business
Since most spas believe that on-the-job learning and mentoring are still the most important ways for spa managers/directors to gain their skills, this is the challenge with hiring someone with the right education but yet outside the spa business.

2. Recruiting a spa management graduate from university or college
There are approximately 64 spa management-related degree programs available in universities, colleges, and schools around the world. Most of these programs are still new and have very little recognition among the spa industry and are as not as well-connected as they need to be.  These courses are usually taken prior to entering the workforce.

Managers/directors who come into their jobs directly out of a university/college degree program or out of a non-spa job do not come equipped with a deep, first hand understanding of the spa world and its intricacies. So while these managers/directors may be strong on hard skills like management, finance and marketing, they are often weak on the soft skills (such as understanding of the detail of spa operations) and people skills needed to manage the therapists and clients in the spa.

3. Promoting existing spa employees into management positions
Providers of continuing education services are also new, fragmented, and constantly evolving, and there is no one “proven” model for effectively delivering training to employees already in the workforce to equip them for senior positions.

Promoting existing spa employees into management roles also has its pros and cons. There are at least 41 providers of spa management continuing education globally. Most are private companies (offering short courses, workshops), but some are schools/universities offering longer professional certificate programs. The challenge with these is that there is still not any well-defined educational or career pathway for entering spa management or worldwide spa management accreditation. Many spa industry executives believe promoting from within is a very successful and desirable model for sourcing managers because people who have already worked in the spa have a deep, first hand understanding of that spa’s culture and operational structure. They can bring that knowledge to their management role, and for this purpose shorter spa management courses are ideal. On the other hand, for a person without spa experience seeking a management position, a shorter course is unlikely to be adequate.

What about online education?
Online education is increasing fast and is clearly the future in education. While you lose personal contact and the discipline of someone else telling you exactly what to do, what you gain is time, flexibility, support whenever you need it and the chance to study the way that suits you.

Raison d’Etre has worked with more than 100 spas in 60 different countries, created eight of the world’s best known spa brands and educated over 150 spa managers in the past 8 years. Our bespoke spa training has strongly contributed to making each of our spas profitable and sustainable. One of the company’s core values is to “Grow People” and our commitment to this and to meeting the needs of the spa industry has led to the creation of an online and easily accessible spa management education programme. Our mission is to share our spa management knowledge and contribute skills that will make the spa management market stronger by helping to solve the problem of under-educated spa managers.

The center of the Raison d’Etre Spa Management Online Course is reality based training, built on the solid operational experience of the senior industry experts who have created this course. Market orientation is crucial and so the course is updated every year following global spa management research. We teach all the key steps to success in spa management and provide the best tools, ideas and strategies for the student’s future spa while developing their own confidence and leadership skills. The students leave with a customized and successful business plan for their own spa.

This is only one of the courses on the market and there will be many more in the future as the spa and wellness industry grows. Along the way, the Global Spa & Wellness Spa Management committee will continue their work in improving the spa management workforce system.

Anna Bjurstam

Board member, Global Spa & Wellness Summit
Committee member, Spa Management Education committee
Vice President, Six Senses Spas
Owner, Raison d’Etre

Resources:

2012 Research Report: “Spa Management Workforce and education: Addressing Market Gaps

Spa Management Online Course started today!

Today is the start date for our Spa Management Online Course and we are as always very excited to start and learn more about our participants and what we can do to make them even more successful within Spa Management than they are today.

After the introduction and trends section they begin with the first part of the course which is Marketing & PR lead by course leader Maria Nystedt. She will lead our participants into a strategic way of working with sales, marketing and PR and share the most important things when it comes to marketing specifically for the spa and wellness industry. After video lectures and manuals read, she will guide them through creating their own Spa Marketing Plan.

Marketing Maria

Spa SelctionGood luck to all new participants!

Ps. There is still a chance to join in last minute.

/Josefin

Preview on Raison d’Etres Spa Management Online Course

Online educations have become very popular and offers you a different way of studying. Many people wonder if it will suit them to study online and are not yet comfortable with to interact with a computer instead of teachers in a classroom…

So, why study online?
You can study whenever you want, wherever you want and you can watch the online lectures how many times you wish. This actually creates a more tailor-made course after your needs since you choose where to put your own time and focus. The course can be taken even if you are working full-time or travelling a lot and the support is not limited to a classroom, because it is simply just: online.  Isn’t that just great?

In our Spa Management Online Course we work with close and personal contact with all participants during the whole course. Our purpose is easy: to help people become successful spa managers.

To get a better understanding and feeling of what it is like to take the online course, I will show you a preview of our introduction module. Enjoy!

Contact me on smc@raisondetrespas.com for more information.

/Josefin

Wellness Trends 2013 – Part 2

Last week i touched upon the fitness and health & wellness packaged food, this week the second part – enjoy!!

Beauty industry trends

According to Euromonitor consumers wants when it comes to skin care

  • Understand the benefits
  • Buy organic
  • Buy anything labeled “Anti-aging”

The McCann Group conducted 7,249 online interviews, a conjoint study, and 40+ focus groups in 15 global markets resulted in the very interesting “The Truth About Beauty 2012”. Among the findings were

  • 76% believe that the right beauty products makes us look longer
  • Almost 70% of women in Brazil and Mexico consult a beauty blog for tips and advice at least once a month
  • 63% of Chinese women and 55% of Brazilian women change their beauty routines once every couple of months or more.
  • 70% of women globally think that being beautiful helps them get what they want out of life
  • 70% believes that beauty equals happiness (and vice versa!)

The rise of the WHOLE beauty

Women are looking within for beauty. And according to McCann there are four key components that women think about when it comes to building and maintaining their beauty: Foundation Beauty (skin care), Enhancement Beauty (color cosmetic), Wellness Beauty (food sleep, fitness), and Emotional Beauty (confidence, charisma).

The Whole Beauty Ecosystem is a virtual circle; women around the world believe that if they look more beautiful then they will feel healthier and more confident…and if they feel healthy and confident then this will shine through, making them look more physically beautiful.

 

Retail trends

Retail is the spa industry Achilles. We are always struggling with retail sales and motivating the staff to enhance the guest’s result with products (or why not food!).

McCann researched the In-Store experience and found that there were 3 top things to address

  1. Able to touch and feel the items
  2. Easy to find
  3. Beautifully displayed

PKF’s “Future of retail report 2012” shows that “Shopper to Shopper Service” is on the rise – meaning “help me to decide which one to buy!” with brand fans share their expertise and provide one-on-one advice to fellow shoppers.

 

Spa industry tips!

We have identified that the next trend in spa retail is “Shop Communication”. This is not dependent on the individual, but is a strategic system that can be put in place with moderate effort.Most buying decisions takes place in the actual shop. Therefore exposure and communication in the shop have significant impact on sales.

Yet, do not forget the power of one-on-one recommendation and create a forum for your guests to recommend items and treatments to other guests.

Shop communication purposes

  • Communicating the retail range in an attractive manner
  • Provide information on product characteristics
  • Help the customer to make purchasing decisions on their own
  • Controlling the sale of the goods with the highest profitability and turnover
  • Inspiring add on buying
  • Communicate the retail brand 

HOW?

Exposure affects profitability. Products given more space and clear exposures will sell more. The products that you want to sell most of should have prominent positions at the entrance, near the checkout and the “main shopping street”.

Some tips…

Eye tracking– There have been numerous studies to show how our eye is tracking the retail item in terms of packaging design, placement, preferences and search behaviors. Studies have then shown that the eye perceives the most exclusive products to be on the top shelf, and budget/low cost products on the bottom shelf. Research has also shown that the most effective retail display is the ones that include a face and those products that are repeated in display and in an actual product sells better, as customers like to purchase products the feel familiar with.

Guest round – The way your customer “walks” the shop; studies shows that 80% of the customer walks clockwise and that they are most interested in the beginning in the “round”. Further that the customer best sees an item from knee height up to just above eye height. This gives you hints on how to strategically place retail products to encourage flow and minimize “cold” spaces.

First impression – Eye tracking has also shown the crucial importance of first impression, capturing the customer’s interest to explore the shop further. The goal is to inspire and simplify the first impression.

Final words

The future is truly bright, one of Susie Ellis and Spa Finders trends for 2013 is “The healthy hotel & Wellness focused traveller” showing that hotels are more and more focusing on ensuring that their guest keeps well with healthy food, great sleep and spas and fitness to relax and rejuvenate in.

Embrace the shift and be creative, start small, trial and error and slowly grow and success will be around the corner.

//Anna

The ISPA Research and trend session

I was honored to be invited to speak at the general session at ISPA this year, and going around speaking at several events every year, I was truly impressed with their professionalism. Back stage there were make up artists (thank God!), coffee, great technicians that helped with my lost font on my presentation making it look like my 6-year old had made it.

Being a founding board member of the Global Spa & Wellness summit, myself and Mary Tabacchi (professor at Cornell) are responsible for collecting and tailoring the research each year and this was a summary with my analysis.

When it comes to fitness, I only need to say two words 

  1. Personal Training
  2. Functional fitness

And if you are not onto that yet, you need to get on the bandwagon fast.

Health and Wellness packaged food and beverage, there are two new words

  1. Nutroceuticals – which is food and beverage with a purpose, for example “White tea for radiant skin”
  2. Comseceuticals – is a suppment you take for stronger hair, brighter skin etc.

Health & Wellness package food is a USD 680 billion market, 10 times the spa industry and we have a huge opportunity to tap into this market. I found a couple of interesting companies trying to convince the spa market on the Expo, namely Forte Tea and FOHAÅFOH

When it comes to beauty, we find that women are starting to change beauty products more often depending on how well the skin care companies communicate benefits and if it also talks about anti-aging and organic, we are more likely to buy the product.

70% of women believe that beauty = happiness. Hey guys, we are not that complicated, make a woman feel beautiful and we are happy. Simple as that.

Now to the crown jewel. Every year the amazing Susie Ellis releases her top 10 trends for the coming years. The minute they are released they are broadcasted on television, blogs, twitter, magazines and news paper. It is an explosion of Susie’s trends world wide who everyone is talking about. I am not sure if she is spotting a trend or actually creating it, but the truth is that they are very much a reality 12 months later.

Working closely with Susie for the past 7 years on the GSWS board, I asked her if she didn’t want to give me a sneak preview of one of the trends to present – and she did! The trend that she predicts, and I wholeheartedly agree with from our own research, is that the traveler wants WELLNESS when staying at a hotel. Experience is great, but closer to their heart is sleeping really well, eating well, being able to enjoy great fitness offerings to stay fit and simply being well and there are several initiatives that are showing that hotels are catching on. One example is Even hotels www.evenhotels.com Check it out!

A little snippet from ISPA, you will probably hear more the coming weeks, a great event and fantastic people and a whole of sharing.

//Anna

THE ISPA Expo – spa news!

I spent just a bout a whole day, having planned 3-4 hours, I had truly underestimated the expo and the quality of the vendors. And I have to say there were some interesting stuff there…..

LED light therapy – this is called biophotonic technology (comes form NASA as everything else) that you can apply to any part of the body by choosing either 1) Acne, 2) Anti-aging or 3) Aches and pains and you put this on for 30 minutes. Usually when seeing these types of things I just walk passed, but this one was endorsed by people that I trust, so will definitely try this device.

Floating bed or Relaxing swing – it is just a great idea for relaxation areas, however mythought process is that it is much easier and cheaper to build then and there, then purchase and ship it…..

Clarisonic brush – this little brush, only available in the US now, but will go international next year, works wonders for your skin. It cleanses the poores on a deeper, gentle, more effective ways than hands and helps products to penetrate deeper. Again, I heard sooo many recommendations from people on this little device, that this is something I think we will incorporate in our facials for sure!

Living Earthcrafts manicure and pedicure chair – finally!!! A combined manicure and pedicure chair where you can do professional manicures. This means that we can take away the space requiring manicure tables in salons and use this all in one chair instead. Well done Living Earthcrafts!

Sand therapy massage bed – a really cool bed actually with heated sand that you lie on and really relaxes you, while receiving a treatment with poultices and accupressure. Can be used as stand alone relaxation beds or transformed with a foam to a massage bed. Might have to look into this one!

So, great Expo, lots to try, have a whole pile of brochures to go through and see what are gimmicks and what actually works!

//Anna

ISPA conference update!

I am just on my way back from the ISPA conference in Kissemmee/Orlando Florida. Orlando. Once my home for a year (1987) when I was there on a basketball scholarship, and it brought fond memories back and I regretted only staying for 2 nights. The spa event was super professional, great organization, and although it is in essence a US centric event, it has attendees from over 40 countries.

It is set up in a way that there are general sessions for 1.5 hours in the morning, then the expo opens and one can chose to walk the expo or attend the many valuable breakout sessions or why not book a facial at the small mini-spas set up. There is lots of time for network and in the evenings there are myriads of parties and gatherings to join. Some for all, and some by invitation.

What ISPA is really about is networking and I did my fair share of that. After arriving at 6.30pm (00.30 my time in Sweden) I went straight into dinner with some dear friends, Anne McCall from Fairmont, Polly Johnson from SpaEquip and Elaine Fernard from SpaStrategy, who had Moet waiting and we had a great dinner. I was invited to a party at Universal Studios, but after the dinner bed was calling….

Susie Ellis, Deborah Szekely  and Nicki Bryan

Susie Ellis, Deborah Szekely and Nicki Bryan

As we are on the dinner theme, the following night I was invited to the late “Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award dinner”. Alex was taken from us way too early by cancer, and the dinner hosted by his mother Deborah Szekely, 90 years, founder of Rancho la Puerta (a fantastic destination spa), Susie Ellis from Spa Finder and Mary Elisabeth Gilford from Washington Spa Alliances. This was a moving event which showcased the passion and love that is all around us and why we all love working in this industry. People shared fond memories of Alex and experience and great conversations were held. Poker, spa management workforce gaps, the US election debate, the future vision of the spa industry and how we have to evolve in the coming years wear dealt with and I was honored to be part of that. I even sat next to a married couple, who actually met 7 years ago at the same dinner event!

In the next blog post I will tell you a bit what I found walking the expo – some very interesting stuff and also a bit about today’s speech I held at the general session, before whisking off to the airport and back to good old Stockholm.

 

//Anna

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

Innovation is NOT Invention

“I have failed over and over again in my life, that is why I succeed” – Michael Jordan

I had the pleasure of listening to John Kao, one of the worlds most famous drivers of innovation. He said that we were living in a time where we are “Problem rich  and Solution poor”, but the good news is that we are reaching a tipping point with a new paradigm. I think that this is something that many of us are feeling in general during teh very exciting 2012.

The solution to come to the tipping point is – Innovation. To innovate, one needs to come in to a “flow” and not think too much. John likened it with any

John Kao

John Kao

craftsman, that we have to practice and practice, not give up our innovation and sooner or later the reward will come. The case is however often the opposite, where we innovate, put some effort to it, and then give up. Give up and innovation does not go hand in hand.

To innovate, we must be creative. Creativity is the universal human ability to generate new ideas. Imagination is the ability to form images and sensations without reference to the actual senses.

What he also said was that innovation is not invention. Innovation is creativity applied to a purpose to realize value, as a distinction to invention.

His formula for innovation is: Discipline + imagination = Innovation. Just as Michael Jordan, above, said in other words.

I personally think that we all have the imagination, it is the discipline that we often lack. We lose the perseverance, we have an idea, sometimes it stays there and never becomes more than idea. Other times we implement it and then let go of it when we step upon some challenges.

One thing that my good friend and former business partner, Roz, taught me was that if you believe in an idea – a vision – and firecfully apply it against all odds, you will eventually succeed.

I think that is what Michael Jordan did and many other people around the world. The failed, then failed again, and finally failed better.

//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.