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IHRSA EUROPE UPDATE


Kristen Walsh takes a look forward to the 13th Annual IHRSA European Congress, which takes place on 17–20 October in Madrid, Spain


he IHRSA European Congress features presentations delivered by executives from inside and outside the health club industry, providing thought-provoking commentary


NEWS


IHRSA EUROPEAN CONGRESS 2013 T


provide the opportunity to build relationships with colleagues from across Europe. On page 26, we offer an overview of the event schedule, picking out


on trends shaping business and the fitness industry. Alongside the seminar programme, a series of networking events, focus group discussions and evening and lunch receptions


Magnus Lindkvist T


rendspotter and futurologist Magnus Lindkvist believes a willingness to fail ultimately leads to success. On Friday


18 October, he will present ‘When Te Future Begins: Trendspotting, Future-Tinking & the Attack of the Unexpected’.


Q Q


What’s a futurologist? It’s someone who tries to figure out what the future holds and how we can create it.


What is trendspotting, and how might businesses put it to use?


The word ‘trend’ meant ‘to turn’ in ancient Norse. When we trendspot, we’re looking for turning points in the currents of society. If you want to trendspot, you should: overhaul


your information diet (how do you feed your brain today and what do you need to replace in that list?); strive to be provoked by a new


Q Q


some of this year’s highlights. But first, Jon Feld speaks to Magnus Lindkvist, the trendspotter and futurologist who will speak at the Congress on Friday 18 October.


idea, person or concept once a week; and travel extensively (it’s cheaper than it’s ever been, so no excuses, please). You should always have some slack space in the calendar for reflection.


When a company uses your services, what does it expect you to deliver?


Some kind of X-factor. They might be on top of the business logic but not the business magic, so they ask me to deliver that. If it’s a conference, there’s always a speech by the CEO, then the middle managers, possibly an outlook by a chief economist from a bank. But then we need something to broaden the mind, see new possibilities. That’s where I come in.


Do companies fail if they’re unable to spot or respond to trends?


No company ever failed due to a lack of information. What happens instead is that


Lindkvist is a trendspotter and ‘futurologist’


success makes you smug and lazy, and you believe you’re immune to changes in the environment. Laura Ashley is a good example. It sold the English cottage dream to the masses in the 1980s. When it saw minimalism rising on the horizon, it believed it didn’t suit its style or brand and chose to ignore it. Five years later, the company was nearly bankrupt. In management theory, this is known as ‘active inertia’: you’re inert or passive because you’ve chosen to be, not because you are clueless.


24


Lindkvist says a key trend for the fitness industry is the ageing population and ‘age group blurring’ Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


– budget clubs, for example, and low- equipment offerings such as CrossFit. How can companies anticipate and respond to disruptions like these? Disruption is remarkably simple to anticipate. Whenever something comes along that you think is inferior in terms of quality, customer offering or similar, that’s when you should worry. The serious competitors always come from below – from cheaper, inferior little siblings, not from the competitors you deemed worthy. In other words, be open to the kinds of players that provoke you.


Q September 2013 © Cybertrek 2013


The fitness industry has recently seen the emergence of many new offerings


PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/ROBERT KNESCHKE


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