Yes Technology Does Liberate Human Capital. The Future Of Work Is Here.

In a recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece, How Technology Liberates Human CapitalMichael Milken and Igor Tulchinsky posit that digital innovation, artificial intelligence and robots are opening new possibilities for workers across the U.S. economy. I agree and it isn't just happening in the U.S. While rapid change will be a painful process for some, in the end the future for humans is not being displaced by technology but instead interacting with technology to unleash human creativity, experience and insights . Technology is really a job creation machine; they're just new kinds of jobs.

A key challenge for industries, like health and fitness, medical, legal, finance and more, is understanding this change is already underway and therefore people need to evolve their skills and perspectives to take advantage of new opportunities. Business models need to reinvent themselves as well with this in mind. Innovation starts with me and you grasping this new era as an opportunity to leverage human capital.

McKinsey Global Institute reported in January of 2017 that almost half of paid work can be automated today with current technologies. Yet, 2 million manufacturing positions will go unfilled in the next 8 years according to Deloitte Consulting. This as a result of the "GAP" between employee skills and workplace needs and its just beginning. As hardware becomes cheaper and software become smarter the effects will continue to change industries and work itself.

So what should you and I do about it ? First, stay informed. Read books like Leading Digital , Digital Sense The Second Machine Age , and The Inevitable. Follow credible thought leaders on Twitter. Listen to great podcasts. Second, start thinking about your organization, career, and life with a 3-5 year minimum perspective. In other words what you are experiencing today will be vastly different in a 3-5 year window. Make sure you are preparing yourself with education and continue to upgrade your skills and knowledge. Finally, seek to align with organizations and people that see this future coming and have adopted or are adopting new paradigms of the future of work. Surrounding yourself with advocates and industry experts who are talking the new talk will help you embrace the upside of disruption. For my latest on how this is impacting the health club and fitness industry checkout my EHFF 2017 and my IHRSA 2017 presentations and more.

Bryan O’Rourke is a #CEO, #board member, #advisor, #keynote #speaker, #author and #investor, who has successfully expanded global brands for over 30 years. He is widely published and quoted in periodicals like Inc. Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times on consumer, technology and fitness industry trends and is CSO of a well known Houston based health club chain. He and his partners launched Vedere Ventures, a boutique private equity firm in 2016 . Bryan along with the Fitness Industry Technology Council support the Fitness + Technology Podcast . Check it out today. Get his recent book the 9 Partnership Principles written with his partner Robert Dyer and other top fitness industry leaders. Bryan also released with Europe Active the bookCustomer Engagement and Experience In The Fitness Sector. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com or follow him @bryankorourke .

IHRSA Institute 2014 - Looking Forward To Teaching Social Media And Digital Strategies

Ok, so you know I love Gary Vaynerchuk . What makes me a big fan of Gary is that what he says gets to the heart of the matter and in this case that matter is how businesses, including health clubs, are marketing in 2014. By the way if you missed him at IHRSA this year I'm sorry because he was great. Another big reason I love Gary is this video he made for me - please watch it ;) and that's another story in and of itself.

The bottom line is many businesses, and health clubs, are marketing like its 2005. That's why I am excited to be teaching a class at the IHRSA Institute this year in Chapel Hill, NC on August 7, 2014. I'll get to share specifics as to how health clubs can use social media and digital strategies effectively.

Marketing is confusing to may business people today because marketing is changing. Heck its confusing to experts and whole industries. The whole idea of marketing is being redefined by an increasingly knowledgeable and connected consumer. As my colleague Denise Lee Yohn says, "Marketing Is Customer Experience". It used to be you could publish and push a story or a message, promote it and sell your service or product around it and that was marketing. Now the "Moments of Truth" are a continual process and cycle that involves much more than just the initial message and buy in. You see increasingly brands are suffering from a gap between what the brand is promising and what is being delivered. This reflects misguided efforts to push a message while failing to deliver what is necessary to delight the customer. The problem exists across all industries and health clubs are no exception.

Brian Solis's book What's The Future Of Business , explores the challenges of competing in the marketplace today and identifies the customer's brand journey and the new way companies have to consider today's dynamics to be successful. You see to be successful we have to think like its 2015 not 2005 .

 

Gary Vaynerchuk's book , Jab Jab Jab Right Hook , further details how we need to tell stories in a world where there is an increasing competition for consumer's attention.

 

I'll address these and many other sources and subjects at the 2014 IHRSA Institute next month and I am so looking forward to it. Hopefully you can be there for a fresh view on how your organization can adopt social media and digital strategies effectively.Thanks to the professionals at IHRSA for their kind invitation to attend.

About Bryan

Bryan O’Rourke is a thought leader on technology, health club, consumer and wellness trends. He has been quoted in global periodicals like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Inc. Magazine, and has been published in journals around the world on his views of how technology will create the dawn of a new era of opportunity for the health club and fitness industries. In addition to being an industry expert, Bryan is a technologist, financier, shareholder and executive in several fitness companies. He has spoken on a range of business and trend topics on four continents. As a contract executive and advisor, Bryan wears many hats, including working for Fitmarc, which delivers Les Mills programs to over 800 facilities in the US. He advises successful global brands, serves as a member of the GGFA Think Tank, on ACE's Industry Advisory Panel and is CEO of the Fitness Industry Technology Council. To join FIT-C visit www.fit-c.org . To learn more contact Bryan here today .

How Are Fitness Professionals Using Technology ? The 2014 FITC Report Shows How

 

In May of 2014 nearly 700 fitness professionals who included group fitness instructors and personal trainers answered 14 questions about their use of technology. The survey and its related report were prepared by the Fitness Industry Technology Council , which is comprised of some of the leading organizations in the space including among others Intel, the American Council on Exercise, Star Trac Fitness, Club Apps, Garmin and many others. The council has a mission of increasing collaboration to enhance user experience in the industry.

The report and its findings evidence that the fitness industry is increasingly relying on technology and that professionals are using these technologies in delivering and marketing their fitness services.

 

Take a look at the report and tell me, Bryan O'Rourke, what do you think ? We'd love you to become a part of the Fitness Industry Technology Council where we are working on the future of the fitness industry.

About Bryan

Bryan O’Rourke is a thought leader on technology, health club, consumer and wellness trends. He has been quoted in global periodicals like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Inc. Magazine, and has been published in journals around the world on his views of how technology will create the dawn of a new era of opportunity for the health club and fitness industries. In addition to being an industry expert, Bryan is a technologist, financier, shareholder and executive in several fitness companies. He has spoken on a range of business and trend topics on four continents. As a contract executive and advisor, Bryan wears many hats, including working for Fitmarc, which delivers Les Mills programs to over 800 facilities in the US. He advises successful global brands, serves as a member of the GGFA Think Tank, on ACE's Industry Advisory Panel and is CEO of the Fitness Industry Technology Council. To join FIT-C visit www.fit-c.org . To learn more contact Bryan here today .

Gold's Gym Convention Las Vegas 2014 - Power Of One

My friend and partner Robert Dyer and I headed out Sunday to Vegas for the 2014 Gold's Gym convention. What a blast it was. The theme of ONE was a great theme and we always enjoy seeing our friends,  colleagues and customers at the show.

With the departure of Jim Snow and the rise of Aaron Watkins to the post of President, there have been some changes in the organization, but not too many. I thought Aaron's talk on how important retention is to Gold's and the industry in general was on point. Gold's Gym continues to expand internationally and domestically via franchising as well as through company owned expansion . This is a testament to the ownership's intentions to continue growing the business which represents the most iconic gym brand in the world.

Eric Chester, the keynote speaker, was excellent. As an author of a number of best selling books that address generation WHY, work ethic, and creating a culture that breeds excellence, he shared many relevant thoughts on how to create an organization of people who will delight customers. This is particularly important for the health club business. You will want to check out his web site, get his books and if you can hire him for a talk I'd advise you to do it. His story and connection to the Gold's brand was very refreshing as well and in fact we had a nice talk by telephone after sharing some tweets.

The GGFA Roundtable on Social Media, which I participated in , was superb with Mike Epstein, Mary Zampetti, and Cindy. What a difference a few years makes in the world of social media. Listening to how professionals in the gym business are working their digital efforts as compared to a few years back reflects how so many are adopting new technologies. effectively.

We were happy to learn that Star Trac won vendor of the year award and we were delighted that several of our franchisee friends in the Gold's system won a number of awards as well including the Southern California Group and Bill Austin, Dave and Kim Kenyon, among others.

We always enjoy the Gold's show and were delighted to be there and look forward to next year.

About Bryan

Bryan O’Rourke is considered by many to be a thought leader on technology, health club and wellness trends. He has been quoted in global periodicals like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Inc. Magazine, and has been published in journals around the world on his views of how technology will create the dawn of a new era of opportunity for the health club and fitness industries. In addition to being an industry expert, Bryan is a technologist, financier, shareholder and executive in several fitness companies. He has spoken on a range of business and trend topics on four continents. As a contract executive and advisor, Bryan wears many hats, including working for Fitmarc, which delivers Les Mills programs to over 700 facilities in the US. He advises successful global brands, serves as a member of the GGFA Think Tank, on ACE's Industry Advisory Panel and is CEO of the Fitness Industry Technology Council. To join FIT-C visit www.fit-c.org . To learn more contact Bryan here today .

Technologies and New Business Models Are Reinventing Our Industry Before Our Eyes

The headlines tell a story that many leaders in the health club and fitness industry should be watching, closely. Weight Watchers just purchased Wello, a purely digital fitness delivery platform that offers one-on-one and group fitness training online. During a recent quarterly conference call, Weight Watcher’s CEO Jim Chambers had this to say:

“The competitive frame of the weight loss market continues to evolve as free apps and activity monitors generate significant consumer interest.” He went on to comment, “We have an ambitious technology vision. We will become a 21st-century technology organization, engineered for the digital era, whose innovative technology fundamentally improves the way people manage their weight, health and wellness. We will be agile service-oriented, data-driven, cloud-enabled and efficient. We will be a model for digital technology in the markets in which we compete and we will be a magnet for talented innovators both, inside and outside the company.”


Clearly Weight Watchers is addressing the huge market it serves with as many as 70% of US adults being over weight. They are also attempting to service those customers in the most convenient ways possible given the rise of technologies that enable this. This is the new era. Its not just Weight Watchers taking bold innovative moves in wellness through acquisition, so is Wallgreens with their new theranos testing labs and wellness tour, Fitocracy with their 2 million online participants, and RetroFit with their online coaching solution that includes Wi-Fi scales. There are many other examples of these new era business models and the 2013 $330 million wearable market in combination with over 80% of households having smartphones and a 100 Billion apps downloaded so far means there will be even more innovation. You don’t have to be Nostradamus to understand what's here and what’s coming; a wave of new competition set to serve and explosion of customers.

During my recent interview with Dr. Michael Mantell on Health & Fitness Technology (click to listen) we explored how the industry has entered a new era. I compared the impact of the MP3 format on the music industry to what is happening today in the wellness business. While record companies cried over the disruption of their business models, the fact is that the amount of music purchased and the number of live music events attended from 2000-2010 tripled around the world following the advent of digital music. This happened because technology released the constraints of bricks and mortar distribution, enabling a much larger audience to be served in many new ways. The same thing is happening in fitness and wellness today as the brands I’ve shared along with many others are enabling new markets to be reached more effectively and less expensively.

Some health club industry leaders will claim that nothing can replace human interactions, so clubs and trainers can’t be threatened by these new business models. I’d have to disagree. It is true that there is no replacement for human beings, but technology is enabling business models to do things in ways that humans on their own can not at scale. Many of the most successful brands will blend human interaction with technology tools to create even higher levels of service whereby trainers can support hundreds of clients with a combination of digital and physical delivery.  Therefore, very forward thinking bricks and mortar club brands are closlely evaluating the customer experience and considering how things like networked fitness, mobile technology and other digital tools can be integrated into their business models while other new purely digital startups and brands will jump into the space because the barriers to entry in the digital world are some much lower. Just like Weight Watchers, the path to innovation must be kept in mind as the industry enters the 21st century and as we have entered a new era of fitness and wellness.

So what do you think ? Have we entered the new era ? Are new business models going to revolutionize fitness and wellness, growing the market and delivering services in new innovative ways ? Let me know and thanks for reading.

About Bryan

Bryan O’Rourke is considered by many to be a thought leader on technology, health club and wellness trends. He has been quoted in global periodicals like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Inc. Magazine, and has been published in journals around the world on his views of how technology will create the dawn of a new era of opportunity for the health club and fitness industries. In addition to being an industry expert, Bryan is a technologist, financier, shareholder and executive in several fitness companies. He has spoken on a range of business and trend topics on four continents. As a contract executive and advisor, Bryan wears many hats, including working for Fitmarc, which delivers Les Mills programs to over 700 facilities in the US. He advises successful global brands, serves as a member of the GGFA Think Tank, on ACE's Industry Advisory Panel and is CEO of the Fitness Industry Technology Council. To join FIT-C visit www.fit-c.org . To learn more contact Bryan here today .