Business as usual in the fitness industry is no longer good enough. In fact business as usual is dead. In a world where choice is expanding and business models are being reengineered there is only one place left to innovate and that place is with you as a professional. You are at the center of a raging storm of change fueled by digitization, mobilization, augmentation, disintermediation and automation. By continually learning, enhancing your skills, innovating your abilities, and opening your eyes to possibilities will you will make a bigger impact during this time of exponential change.
Science fiction is now becoming science fact. Think about self driving cars and computers that can learn and think. The way we work will never be the same and the skills we require will evolve. Success or failure is happening faster than ever before. So how should you respond ? How will you as a fitness industry leader seek opportunities during one of the most transformational times in history ? You must drive change and not be driven by it.
Fitness industry disruption is the new normal and change has become truly exponential. Things that used to be dumb will become intelligent. Ports, cities, farms, health clubs and even our bodies will all be connected and intelligently interfaced. Quantum computing is fueling big data and the Internet of things is fueling machine learning. We are only just beginning and the impact to fitness will be transformational.
The good news is that anything that cannot be digitized or automated will become extremely valuable. Human traits, traits that great fitness professionals like you exhibit such as creativity, intuition, emotion and ethics, will become even more important. Technologies are very good at simulating but not at being. Technology will do more of our work in the fitness industry but this will allow professionals like you to focus on things that can’t be automated.
We all have to start thinking about this future and what might be, not what is. We must immerse ourselves in the immediate future five years out and go beyond technology to gain human insights and wisdom. Technology represents the how of change but fitness professionals and their clients represent the why. The future is in creating holistic business models. We must be flexible, continuously learn and seek not single improvements but complete transformations; not individual systems but the creation of new ecosystems.
Humanity is where true and lasting value will be created in the fitness industry and that means you. People will relate to and buy things because of the experiences they provide. The future is happening and the way forward is to embrace technology but not become it. The future is in technology but the bigger future lies in transcending it. Let’s embrace the change upon us and realize we are in the midst of the greatest opportunity for the fitness industry that has every existed in history and you friends are at the center of it.
Bryan O’Rourke is an advisor, speaker, author and investor, who serves in a variety of executive and board roles in the fitness industry. He is considered a leading expert on technology and recently joined the IHRSA board of directors. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com and for the latest follow him @bryankorourke on all the major social networks.