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By mobilising their members and other stakeholders, gyms have an opportunity to have a real impact on their communities Authentic


More than 44 years have since passed


and the world of business is now very different, with the ‘responsibilities’ of business arguably far more complex to define (Fig 1, p46). Now, a growing number of businesses routinely invest in social and environmental projects that may seem well outside the scope of their core business activity. For example, over this past winter,


Innocent Drinks encouraged people across the UK to knit little woollen hats to adorn the tops of their smoothie bottles. The company donated 25 pence to the charity Age UK each time a bottle with a hat was sold. The motivation was to try and reduce the number of old and frail people dying from the cold weather in England and Wales. So what’s the connection between a business that liquidises fruit and an elderly person who has never purchased a smoothie? It seems as though many businesses are fundamentally redefining their role


May 2014 © Cybertrek 2014


The fitness industry has an incredibly


strong social purpose: to help others. But it


seems to forget about this and sees people as numbers


in society, which is reshaping their perspective of who is a stakeholder. So consider this… How much


clarity is there in your organisation about core responsibilities? Would a neutral person conclude that your organisation’s terms of business are transparent, fair and reasonable?


‘Authentic’ means to be real or genuine. In a business context, it translates to:


‘This is who we are and this is what we stand for. Please come and join us if this matters to you as well.’ When an individual and a business do genuinely connect, there’s a meeting of both heart and mind. Customers become enthusiastic advocates who just love talking about your organisational story. I believe an authentic business has


many different facets or characteristics (see Figure 2, p48). So what’s your organisation’s story?


Do you have one, and would it captivate a room full of strangers? This matters, because a remarkable story has the potential to rapidly spread through a person’s network – and networks today are larger and more efficient than at any other time in the history of humanity. Organisations with a remarkable story will get more mentions on social


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 47


PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/ DEKLOFENAK


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