“Luxury Ecosystems”: “Controlling Your Brand While Letting It Go” | Consumer Brands | BCG

Not so long ago, “Nokia” was a powerhouse in the mobile-phone business—arguably the industry’s dominant brand worldwide, with a market capitalization that had made the company one of the largest blue chips in Europe.

Then along came “Apple”.

The ” iPhone” shattered the prevailing ideas of value creation in personal mobile communications. “Apple” was not just making and selling a product, it was bringing together a range of attractive offerings from a whole universe of partners, large and small. Yet despite the size and diversity of this universe, the offerings were tightly integrated: “Apple” was guaranteeing a homogenous and pleasing experience for the customer—a crucial factor in its success.

For Nokia, there was worse to come. The company began losing ground to manufacturers of phones using the Android operating system—in particular, the attractive, feature-rich handsets from Samsung. When Nokia’s new chief executive sent out an internal wake-up memo, he described the company’s challenges this way: “Our competitors are not taking our market share with devices; they are taking our market share with an entire ecosystem.”

There is a powerful message here for CEOs in the luxury goods and services sector. By assembling such a powerful coalition, Apple did a very unusual thing: it established a balance between control and openness—two historically incompatible ways of managing a brand. (See Exhibit 1.) Apple had long been famous for its tightly controlled, or closed, business model. Yet the company had opened itself up to a host of partners, from giant telecom companies to independent contractors.

exhibit

More and more luxury houses will have to master that balancing act. Because most luxury companies feel strongly about maintaining control of their brands, they have been reluctant to work with partners on strategic projects and have retained most aspects of their value chains in-house. But that approach is rapidly being challenged by market circumstances. In today’s “wiki world” of increasing openness—between customers and suppliers and between shoppers and brands, and where the lines between competition and cooperation have begun to blur—companies increasingly benefit by bringing in ideas and expertise from the outside. That is especially so in the luxury world, where future growth for many companies will depend on success in new market categories, locations, and channels—and where partnerships, when thoughtfully and carefully orchestrated, can make the difference between success and failure.

The Elements and Benefits of a Luxury Ecosystem :

A luxury ecosystem describes a confederation of partners assembled by a luxury brand and united over the long term by a shared vision of the future. The brand is effectively the gravitational center of the ecosystem; it orchestrates many of the actions taken by the partners and plays the leading role in building and maintaining trust among all parties. Companies that have established the right partnerships can benefit from cumulative expertise that would take years to build independently. At the same time, a luxury ecosystem ensures that the consumer perceives the brand as a unique, well-designed, and valued product or experience.

So how does this alliance differ from the many partnerships and license agreements that most luxury CEOs have already signed? The distinctions are subtle—more a matter of degree than substance—but their impact is far-reaching.

The partners in a luxury ecosystem may be tightly connected, through formal joint ventures or alliances, or loosely attached, through affiliations that bring mutual advantage from time to time. The partnerships may center on a wide variety of topic areas, such as new-product development, entry into new markets, or new channels through which the partners can reach to forge relationships with customers. The interactions between partners generally involve more integration and greater trust—key for achieving the compromise between control and openness—regardless of how tightly scripted a contract agreement might be; partners treat each other’s teams as if they were their own. In addition, there is an exchange of give-and-take: each partner puts something at stake in expectation of greater gains later on, with economic incentives increasing for both sides as the ecosystem evolves. Effective ecosystems also share processes for monitoring progress and gauging results.

Specifically, luxury ecosystems provide competitive advantages that are not readily attained within the traditional confines of the industry. They help reduce the risks and costs of innovation because many more sources are contributing to the pool of new concepts. In a world where innovation in everything from new materials to new luxury experiences happens in much more open ways—and often follows quite unpredictable paths as a result—relying solely on an internal team can easily blind an organization to what’s coming next. Furthermore, the luxury ecosystem model helps overcome the challenges of scale required to build a specific and distinctive competence. This point is all the more relevant given the extent to which luxury companies must demonstrate a wider range of competencies today, from digital to retail.

Luxury ecosystems deliver an un-matchable advantage—agility—even for brands that are largely immune to issues of scale or time to market. When a company must move more quickly and forcefully, a luxury ecosystem can amplify or accelerate the process. When circumstances dictate a slower, more measured approach, the ecosystem can be scaled back without hurting the core brand.

Overall, a luxury ecosystem can create a stronger competitive advantage for a luxury brand because it requires more sophisticated modes of control, precisely calibrated processes, and carefully planned outcomes. Competitors can easily blunt any edge a company might gain by opening a larger, fancier flagship store. But it’s not as easy for them to match the nuanced blend of hard and soft skills needed to successfully manage a luxury ecosystem centered on a brand. That innovation is far more difficult to decipher—let alone to replicate.

The Right Time for Ecosystems :

Quite simply, the competencies and characteristics that got luxury brands this far cannot be relied upon to carry them forward in an increasingly volatile world. A greater proportion of the sector’s growth will occur in new categories and territories: online sales will continue to power ahead, and consumers in nations with growing economies, such as China and Brazil, will begin to demonstrate increased appetites for luxury. BCG’s calculations show that from 2011 through 2015, the traditional markets of Europe, Japan, and the U.S. will grow at a rate of only 2 to 6 percent per year, while new markets will soar at more than 15 to 20 percent year on year, and online markets will surge ahead more than 20 percent annually. The consequence: luxury brands’ management teams must soon begin exploring other options.

Multiple factors are converging to make the ecosystem model critical for luxury brands’ long-term success. To begin with, the sector is becoming more crowded, and brands need new ways to differentiate themselves and increase their visibility. At the same time, the industry remains very fragmented: BCG’s data show that the top four players in personal luxury products have just 21 percent of the available market, whereas the top four in mobile-phone handsets command a 55 percent share, and the top four sports-equipment companies account for almost two-thirds of their market.

This fragmentation bodes ill for luxury brands’ ability to scale up—not in absolute terms but in terms of being able to add the right competencies when and where needed—and thus for their ability to grow as they expect. Many luxury houses are effectively “subscale,” especially now that the bar is higher for what constitutes scale in the luxury business. A decade ago, producing annual revenues of around $500 million was enough for a typical global brand, whose clients would have been concentrated in a few large cities in traditional markets. The company also would have had consumer segments that were both fewer in number and more homogenous in terms of culture, earning power, social class, and retail buying patterns than those of companies today. The customer and market aspects of luxury brands now are very different; Chinese buyers alone account for as much as 40 percent of global sales of some key brands, for example. For a company to become a relevant global brand, it must achieve yearly sales revenues of at least $1 billion—preferably closer to $2 billion.

Concurrently, tastes in luxury are changing, especially among buyers from new markets….

Complexity follows the rapid growth of luxury markets everywhere, including in China, India, Indonesia, Russia, and Vietnam. Because each nation has its own culture, regulatory environment, political system, and retail network, luxury brands will need to acquire additional expertise and knowledge that are specific for their locales. New categories of luxury offer a host of fresh opportunities, all of which demand different capabilities. For instance, the growth numbers for experiential luxury—everything from spas to luxury kitchen installations—show that the category is expanding by more than 12 percent a year on average, compared with about half that for personal luxury products, such as watches and cosmetics. Meanwhile, the bar for what constitutes luxury continues to rise, as increasingly sophisticated consumers demand the best in everything. One small example is the clamor for Poltrona Frau leather seating in Bugatti and Maserati cars.

Technology is certainly playing a role, too, and not only in terms of Web presence and online shopping. In fact, it has expanded far beyond the digital: new raw materials, such as bio-materials and high-gravity plastics, are being explored by leading fashion houses, such as Gucci. And working with those materials will likely require skills that many of today’s providers just do not have. Clearly, hiring a few IT-savvy graduates will no longer suffice.

Finally, there’s the element of time. In today’s fast-paced world, consumers and businesses alike place greater value on saving time. And increasing volatility both puts a premium on agility and spurs further scrutiny of the old ways of doing things.

For all of these reasons—a more volatile world, the rising importance of scale, the new capabilities required to grow successfully in fresh territories, technology’s broader role, and tighter time constraints—it is crucial for luxury companies to be more open to partnerships of all kinds and to carefully consider how they might start to design and build their own luxury ecosystems.

How to Create a Healthy Ecosystem :

Shifting to an ecosystem approach is less a disruption than a progression. There is no one business process or organizational element that must be entirely rethought; much depends on where along the value chain a partnership can have the most impact—for instance in product design, production, retail channel, or online.

The Elements of an Ecosystem Advantage :-

BCG has identified several factors that can help luxury brands master the concept of a luxury ecosystem.

1.Keep customers’ interests front and center at all times. Stay alert to how customers want to engage and interact, how they might assume control of your brand—whether knowingly or unwittingly—and what they seem to expect over the long term.

2. Know your own organization. Make sure you are familiar with not only your company’s strengths and capabilities but also its limits and the capabilities and cultural attributes that it needs to succeed. With that knowledge, you can proceed to a clear performance-gap assessment.

3. Learn and develop first-rate capabilities for screening potential partners.While staying open-minded about types of partners is crucial, it’s equally essential to set up and use clear, consistent screening criteria.

4. Define clear rules for working and operating within an ecosystem. Develop and communicate definitive governance rules and specifications for the give-and-take between partners. It is important to be unequivocal about what can never change and what might well benefit from a partner’s creativity.

5. Engineer a culture of openness. Externally, treat your ecosystem partners as equal members of your team. Internally, find ways to communicate the idea that control and openness are not mutually exclusive. Reward all senior managers who demonstrate that they accept and nurture both dimensions.

6. Ensure face-to-face sharing of ideas and knowledge between partners.Don’t rely solely on video conferencing and e-mail. Collocate key professionals wherever and whenever possible.

7. Build long-lasting trust. Building solid trust in each brand, the partnerships, and the collaboration model will help all the partners act for the good of the whole ecosystem.

8. Align incentives as much as possible. If full alignment is not possible, at least recognize any diverging incentives and potential conflicts of interest and address them.

9. Take controlled risks. Launch a range of ecosystem experiments. Pilot new products and services, test them rigorously, and learn from the failures as well as the successes.

Partnerships per se do not require actual organizational changes, of course. But they are likely to lead to flatter organization structures as luxury companies increase their outsourcing and confer the requisite authority on executives who manage the partner relationships. But partnering arrangements almost always call for new business processes, capabilities, and cultural modes. BCG envisions the necessary approach in three key categories: creating a system for building and maintaining an ecosystem advantage, maintaining adaptability, and extracting value. (See Exhibit 4.)

exhibit

Some of these elements merit closer examination. Consumers are an essential part of any luxury ecosystem, and examining how their roles and expectations will change is critical. Consumers are very active in today’s Web-enabled world; they seek a high level of engagement with the brands they buy. Since this is especially true in luxury markets, companies must continually reevaluate their customer-engagement models, looking beyond straightforward purchase transactions to review the type of relationship that consumers want and expect.

The importance of this point extends far beyond tactics such as inviting select customers to special events. For example, consider Pinterest, the popular social-media site where users “pin” photos and illustrations of favorite things. The Pinterest phenomenon hints at how luxury companies need to think and act differently about their customers’ roles in the ecosystem. Many organizations do not want images of their brands to be pinned because they cannot control the outcomes. A customer who uses a mobile phone to take photos of a product in a magazine, for instance, may publish images of inferior quality that don’t flatter the product. In such circumstances, luxury companies will have to reevaluate the benefits of control versus the opportunities that openness affords.

At the same time, luxury companies will have to develop new skills for identifying and selecting partners, orchestrating highly effective partner networks, managing relationships, ensuring that all partners are fully and rewardingly engaged, and practicing good governance. The goals are to make sure that the roles and responsibilities for all partners are properly defined and communicated and that points of integration between and among partners are made clear.

The world is too volatile, complex, and fast moving for companies to continue controlling every aspect of every brand from beginning to end. CEOs of luxury brands must adopt a partnership mindset and recognize that success today requires creating an ecosystem of partners united over the long term by a shared vision of the future. They must also develop partnering structures, governance modes, skills, and competencies to turn that mindset into a practical, agile, growth-oriented business model—and, of course, choose partners whose complementary strengths can bring the new model to life.

” Companies that embrace this new mindset and are ready and willing to work across traditional corporate boundaries will have the edge over competitors that cling to control “… 

The “Ingenious Enterprise”: “Competing amid Rising Complexity” |by:Martin Reeves & Jussi Lehtinen | BCG

“ Creating a great culture, finding the right people, managing them to do great things, and solving problems creatively and systematically are challenges faced by all organizations. What differentiates (organizations) is how they approach these challenges – Ray Dalio, Founder, President, and CIO, Bridgewater Associates “. 

Business, at its heart, is about solving problems. Problem solving is performed both explicitly by analysts and computers and implicitly by your organization as a whole. And the way your organization is designed—the structure, processes, communication policies, incentives, training, and talent management you have in place—shapes the way your problems are approached and solved. Many organizations, however, lack explicit strategies for problem solving. This has come at little cost to these organizations historically, given that many of the problems they faced could be solved using straightforward, well-known methods. But today’s business environment, characterized by sharply rising complexity and hence increasingly complicated problems, is putting a rising premium on more sophisticated approaches to problem solving.

The rise in complexity—defined as the number of calculation steps required to reach a solution—is being driven by the rapid growth of three variables: data, inter-connectedness, and the speed of change.

First, the volume and variety of data available are expanding exponentially. From 2002 through 2012, the amount of digital data generated annually increased from 5 to 2,800 exabytes, or roughly 400 times the number of grains of sand in the world.

Second, companies, individuals, and machines are increasingly interconnected. Also from 2002 through 2012, the number of Internet users rose from 500 million to 2.4 billion. But the degree of inter-connectedness among those users is increasing even more sharply. While the number of Facebook users increased from 13 million to 700 million from 2007 through 2011, for example, the number of connections between those users increased from 600 million to 70 billion.

And third, the rate of change in the business environment is accelerating. Whereas it took 64 years for the telephone to reach 40 percent penetration in the U.S., it took the mobile phone only 18 years to reach that level and smart phones only 10 years to do so. For Facebook, it took only 4 years.

Many problems, by their sheer nature, are rising in complexity even more quickly than the growth rate of these variables would suggest. Take the challenge of parsing Facebook’s user population, for example. While the number of connections among Facebook users increased by a factor of 11 from 2007 through 2011, the problem of identifying the largest number of users who are not “friends” now takes 1.4 x 10^51,599,743 times the number of computations it took a decade ago. This sharp rise in complexity means that, for the most complex problems—those involving many variables or a high degree of inter-connectedness—finding an exact solution becomes in-feasible.

Fortunately, there are a growing number of ways to reach approximate solutions to such problems, including metaheuristics, new approximation algorithms, and social problem-solving methods such as crowd sourcing. Some companies are already taking advantage of these new tools and techniques, and, in the process, they are raising the competitive bar for problem solving in their industries.

A New Basis of Competitive Advantage :

Understanding how to frame and approach the key problems a company faces—and having the ability to solve these problems more accurately, quickly, or economically than the competition solves its problems—will be an increasingly critical competitive differentiator among businesses going forward. This capability demands change across the organization; it is far more than simply applying “big data” to existing approaches and behaviors. We draw a distinction between “classical enterprises” and “ingenious enterprises.” Classical enterprises approach the management and operation of their core business without thinking explicitly about how to solve problems. Ingenious enterprises, in contrast, see problem solving as a critical capability and have explicit strategies for managing it.

The effectiveness of a company’s problem solving, as measured along the dimensions of cost, speed, and accuracy, is influenced by five elements: strategy (that is, the core of the company’s problem-solving approach, which drives decisions about the other elements), framing, data selection, choice and implementation of a solution method, and selection of problem solvers. (See Exhibit 1.) Classical enterprises typically lack a strategy for problem solving. They try to frame problems as simply as possible, to employ limited amounts of data and a limited repertoire of approaches, to aim for exact solutions, and to keep the effort entirely in-house. Ingenious enterprises approach problems very differently. They develop explicit problem-solving strategies that take into account the types of problems encountered. They frame each problem in a way that allows it to be solved optimally. They employ large volumes of data, if necessary; vary the problem-solving methods based on the complexity of the problems at hand, using artful approximations as needed; and turn to social networks and other open-problem-solving approaches when doing so is beneficial.

exhibit

Google in the search engine arena circa 1997 is an example of how an ingenious enterprise tackles a highly complex problem—and the results that such an approach can yield. Before the advent of Google, users faced the choice between human-curated directories, such as LookSmart, that were slow to update their results and expensive to maintain (emphasizing accuracy over speed and low cost) and automated search engines, such as Lycos, that were susceptible to manipulation and often returned low-quality results (emphasizing speed and low cost over accuracy). Google managed to break this compromise by taking a new approach to the problem. (See Exhibit 2.) Rather than relying on a massive database of Web pages or an army of editors, Google changed both the method and the data. It created Page-Rank—an algorithm that approximates the significance of a page on the basis of the number of links it has received from other pages—as a heuristic to identify and rank relevant results. By changing the problem-solving elements, Google was able to deliver the holy grail of acceptable speed, low cost, and accuracy. And, in the process, Google transformed itself into a company with a market capitalization of more than $250 billion as of April 2013.

exhibit

The high-technology sector is an obvious hotbed for ingenious enterprises. But such problem-solving ingenuity can also be found in other industries. Take property insurers’ response to Hurricane Andrew. Prior to Andrew, the industry’s practice for estimating potential losses from large catastrophes was based largely on extrapolation from historical data. The problem with this, in hindsight, was that there were limited relevant data from which to draw. Hence, the industry was caught flat-footed when, in 1992, Andrew struck, with much greater force than anticipated: rather than losses ranging from a few hundred million dollars to a maximum of $8 billion, as the industry had expected, Andrew’s damages exceeded $15 billion (in 1992 dollars). The industry had solved the problem—but with very low accuracy. As a result, 11 insurers in Florida went bankrupt.

In response, the industry changed both the way it framed the problem as well as the method and data it employed. Rather than focusing only on previous catastrophes to estimate the potential costs of damage from future storms, insurers increased the complexity of their calculations by factoring in potential changes in other variables (for example, building codes and the amount of housing stock). With the help of specialized risk-management firms, the industry also took a more sophisticated approach to predicting the occurrence of future catastrophic storms by incorporating advances in the modeling of climate change. The value of these changes became evident when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005: despite claims that were almost double those related to Hurricane Andrew, only one insurer went bankrupt.

Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds, is illustrative of an ingenious enterprise that has embedded problem solving into its organization. Ray Dalio (Bridgewater’s founder, president, and CIO), who has compiled his insights into a book, Principles, espouses such management principles as the following: Consider the organization a machine built for particular goals. Evaluate the organization’s performance against those goals and make adjustments as needed. Diagnose your problems to understand what the root causes are. Think not only of the first-order consequences but also of the second- and third-order ones of any solution. Create a culture in which criticism is encouraged and making mistakes is acceptable as long as the mistakes are analyzed and learned from. Build your organization in a way that enables effective problem-solving and train your entire workforce in the problem-solving methods that you want them to use.

Bridgewater has done more than simply create a lofty corporate vision—it has incorporated specific problem-solving practices into its organizational behavior. The effort has clearly paid off for the company, which currently has more than $150 billion under management and whose flagship fund has generated average annual returns of 21 percent (gross of fees) over a span of more than two decades.

Becoming an Ingenious Enterprise :

Ingenious enterprises stand to gain an increasingly powerful competitive advantage over their competitors as complexity in the business landscape continues to rise. Managers who aspire for their company to join the ranks of these organizations should do the following:

Identify your problems. The first and most important step is to identify and define the most critical challenges your company faces. Focus on high-value problems whose complexity rises quickly with an increase in input variables. Look beyond your industry to understand where similar problems occur. Do not oversimplify your problems or obscure them in industry-specific jargon but take a broad view and identify the problems’ underlying structure.

Benchmark your algorithms. Gauge where your company stands versus its key competitors with regard to the cost, speed, and accuracy of its problem solving. What approaches and methods are competitors using? Identify gaps in your performance. Find out how companies in other industries have solved problems similar to yours. Are some organizations changing the game the same way Google changed Web search?

Develop a repertoire. Create a toolbox of techniques for problem solving. Embrace both explicit algorithms and implicit organizational techniques. Develop a framework for when each technique should be used and for how the techniques should be deployed. Practice what you preach. Make sure your organization embraces and embodies the problem-solving techniques that you are advocating.

Make problem solving a key capability. Re-engineer your systems to reward creativity in problem solving. Train your organization and managers in problem framing and solving. Create the incentives and structure that enable them to break from established models of thinking and try new approaches. Make problem solving a key criterion in talent management.

Evaluate and experiment. Measure the results of your problem solving constantly. Try out new methods, uses of data, and framing techniques. Compare the results with those yielded by your old techniques to ensure progress. Vary the composition and structure of your problem-solving teams. Identify opportunities where external partners and open-problem-solving techniques can bring new ideas and solutions to your problems.

Today, most companies define themselves on the basis of their competitive standing within their industry. Increasingly, however, as complexity in the business environment continues to rise, the most successful companies will be those that define their prospective competitiveness by a different metric: how, and how well, they approach and solve problems.

“Assembling a Creative Team” for the new-age | by:Manuel Sosa | INSEAD Knowledge

“A shared history of creative interactions can be the key to unleash innovation.” 

Creativity is strongly influenced by the way individuals are organised. A strong creative team is able to collaborate, inspire and work together effectively to produce something that is both novel and useful. So understanding cognitive and behavioural aspects of the design process is critical to advancing any company’s research agenda.

Identifying who should be assigned to a specific team to maximise the generation of creative ideas is an important challenge for innovation managers but unfortunately it’s one that is often addressed on an ad hoc basis.

Opinion is split as to the benefits of assembling a team based on familiarity – the extent to which team members have worked together. Some argue it fosters psychological safety and trust and facilitates coordination and cooperation among team members, others say it can be detrimental and that long-lasting teams may suffer inertia or lack diversity detrimental to creative performance.

There is empirical evidence supporting both views. What hasn’t been looked at to any great degree is how different types of familiarity and the quality of past interactions affect creative output. When pursuing the research reported in our paper Assembling Creative Teams in New Product Development Using Creative Team Familiarity (written in collaboration with Franck Marle from École Centrale Paris), we worked on the hypothesis that when people have created something innovative together in the past they are likely to act as creative catalysts again.

A great example of illustrating this hypothesis is Apple.  As one of the world’s most innovative companies, Apple was not a one-man show; rather it was a series of dynamic and creative interactions among a core group of people over many years.  There may have been some tensions within the core Apple team but there was also an environment of trust where members were comfortable bouncing ideas off each other and trying things out leading to the development of many new and radical products.

The paper tests the hypothesis that it is this creative familiarity – a history of triggering the generation of potentially creative ideas in one another – rather than simply a high level of team familiarity that contributes to a group’s ability to produce innovative outcomes.

Conducted in a unique empirical setting the research involved participants in an international EMBA programme offered by Tsinghua University and INSEAD. Data was gathered during the ninth module of an 11-module programme, providing a set of participants who had a significantly long history (11 months) of task-related interactions. This setting was replicated for two consecutive classes, one in Singapore, the other in Fontainebleau.

To measure the overall familiarity between team members, each participant was asked to complete a survey noting the dyadic closeness and frequency of communication with classmates, whereas to capture creative team familiarity participants were asked to assess the ease with which they felt their interaction with the classmate facilitated the generation of potentially novel ideas.

Each class was then split into design teams. Apart from short interactions with random “customers” all interactions took place within the teams. Over an eight-hour day, the teams were asked to design an artifact that would help facilitate grocery shopping in a fresh market typical either to France or Singapore, balancing design features against cost considerations. At the end of the session they presented their products which were judged by other participants (and external judges).

The results were robust, as teams with a higher fraction of past positive creative interactions proved more likely to produce better product concepts.

Cultivating Creative Teams : 

Our empirical results highlight the benefits of cultivating creative team familiarity within a selected new product development (NPD) team and the advantages of taking creative team familiarity into account when forming new creative teams.

To assist innovation managers we’ve used our findings to put forward a structured approach to identifying potential team members with maximum creative team familiarity.

The first step is to map out the social network – both formal and informal – within the organisation; recognising and assessing how people communicate with each at work, and how familiarity between members is happening. In many cases work-related interaction may happen spontaneously. Capturing this “snapshot” can be a matter of analysing the social network of the organisation most of which is now facilitated by information technology systems.

Step two is to measure creative dyadic interactions. This is crucial to capturing the quality of task-related interactions between potential team members and can be achieved using a dyadic question, asking recipients whom they go to for information and the frequency and ease with which they generate potentially creative ideas.

This information should then be mapped out and used to identify candidates for creative teams (step 3). There are many clustering algorithms available to facilitate this task. We have developed one that more specifically identifies the set of individuals in the organisation that would form a team (of a given size) with maximum creative team familiarity. The output of this step would allow managers to visualise not only the configuration of the suggested creative team but also the links between such a team and the rest of the organisation.

Once the information is gathered, managers can easily see the people who should be put together, taking into consideration a balance of diversity and similarity of knowledge backgrounds, availability, expertise and connections between departments.

The Manager’s Role : 

Finally, it is up to innovation managers to visualise the potential of the new organisational structure, how the new team will co-exist with existing organisational groups including the number and quality of links both within the team and with other groups in the broader organisation.

The challenge of assembling creative teams is not trivial but has not been fully addressed in the past, partly because of the perceived conflicting forces driving creativity. Our approach avoids teams based solely on traditional criteria – the diversity of team members’ backgrounds, how well members get along and how long teams have been together – and takes a closer look at the history of social interactions in the organisation. It won’t solve the challenge and complex decisions associated with putting together successful creative teams but it will help.

“Health-Club Industry Leaders”, make their mark on Capitol Hill & across the U.S | PR Newswire

Leaders from the health-club industry gathered on Capitol Hill during National Physical Fitness and Sports Month in May. They pulled together to urge Congress to support public policies and legislation to help create a national environment that champions physical activity and healthy lifestyles—the building blocks for a healthy workforce, economy, and nation. Their gathering was part of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association’s (IHRSA) 11th Annual Summit.

” For two days in May, the health club industry was on Capitol Hill urging Congress to support legislation to promote physical activity in an effort to restore the health of our nation,” said Joe Moore, IHRSA’s President and CEO. “But every day, all across America, health club owners and operators are moving our country toward greater economic and national security by leading our local communities toward healthier lifestyles.”

Presentations at IHRSA’s Summit made clear that moving America back to wellness—and especially solving the dual problem of physical inactivity and obesity—won’t be simple. These are complex issues affected by many aspects of American life and influenced by all sectors of society.

Attendees at IHRSA’s Summit for a Healthier America clearly demonstrated that the health club industry is a critically important part of the solution. In fact, the health club industry is a composite of a million solutions—all working in tandem across America to reverse the plague of inactivity and unhealthy lifestyles that has undermined our nation’s health, economy, competitiveness, and global standing.

”  The health club industry is central to solving our nation’s physical and fiscal health problems,” said Helen Durkin, IHRSA’s Executive Vice President of Public Policy. “And although not every club owner or manager is able to come to Washington, D.C.for the Summit each year, the role they play on the local level is both essential and valued.”

“What we do on the national level in Washington affects clubs and the communities they serve,” Durkin continued. “But what clubs do on the local level equally affect what happens in Washington. As our Summit’s keynote speaker reminded us, ‘Politics is local.’ Health club professionals are the foot soldiers for change in America. Collectively, we have the power to create a national groundswell for increased physical activity, healthy lifestyles, and primary prevention. From Main Street in our hometowns—to K Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, and Capitol Hill in Washington, DC—we are the drivers for positive change in America. We are a vibrant and healthy ‘change’ industry.”

During the two-day Summit, health and fitness industry leaders spoke to Members of Congress and their staffs about specific pieces of legislations, including the Workforce Health Improvement Program (WHIP) Act; the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act; and the Physical Activity Guidelines Act. Industry leaders also requested full funding for the Carol M. White “PEP” grants.

IHRSA and many other health-promotion organizations—which have been working tirelessly to foster a national climate wherein physical activity and healthy lifestyles become the easy choice for all Americans—applauded Congress on May 23when it introduced three bills aimed at promoting physical activity: The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PAG) Act, the Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids (FIT Kids) Act, and the Promoting Health for Youth Skills in Classrooms and Life (PHYSICAL) Act.

The Impact of America’s Health Clubs : 

Change operates on the ripple effect. And all across our country, health clubs are working in their local communities to affect change toward a healthier, more prosperous America.

Because of health clubs : 

  • More than 51 million Americans are finding support and encouragement to exercise and live healthy lives.
  • More than $21 billion are being pumped into economies across America as more than 30,000 health club facilities work to inspire millions of Americans to embrace a culture of health and wellness.
  • Hundreds of thousands of families are providing their children with the memories and legacy of enjoyable physical activity and active lifestyles.
  • Hundreds of thousands of Americans with diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis and other illnesses are finding it easier to manage their chronic conditions and enjoy life.
  • Hundreds of thousands of Americans confronted with stress, anxiety and depression are finding a healthy way to cope—along with the social and professional support of other club members and fitness professionals.
  • An unstoppable movement of wellness—and the belief in a strong America for generations to come—is taking hold across the country, one health club and one healthy community at a time.

How Health Clubs Create a Positive Domino Effect on Wellness in America :

When people exercise :

  • They improve their health. Wellness goes up. The risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, dementia, depression, anxiety, osteoporosis and even some cancers goes down.
  • They better control their weight. Fitness goes up. Obesity goes down.
  • They build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints. Mobility and its enjoyment go up. Immobility and pain go down.
  • They decrease their likelihood of falling. Balance improves. Fall-related injuries drop.
  • Their energy levels go up. Enjoyment and productivity on the job increase. Presenteeism goes down.
  • They are more productive at work. Employees succeed. Employers profit.
  • They stimulate their creative thinking. Ideas are borne. Solutions are found.
  • Their mood lifts. Feeling good becomes a regular part of life. Quality of life improves.
  • Their stress levels go down. The ability to cope improves. Stress-induced fatigue, illness, and unhealthy behaviors diminish.
  • We all enjoy the benefits of wellness. Healthcare costs are contained. Dollars are saved. The vision for a healthier, more prosperous America is realized.

About IHRSA :

IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA is committed to taking a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical to America’s health and the battle against obesity and disease.