Emerging from the crisis successfully: How mindset, trends and visions shape the future
Motivating, inspiring and rousing: The very first digital European Health & Fitness Forum kicked off with a ‘positive mind bomb’ on the day before FIBO@business. In keeping with an event format tailored to coronavirus rules – meaning that it was streamed live from the FIBO TV studio to the mobile devices of registered EHFF and FIBO@business participants – EuropeActive dedicated the seventh edition of this high-calibre presentation series to an overriding question: ‘Where do we go from here?’
The first food for thought of the day was supplied by renowned Swedish futurologist Magnus Lindkvist in his keynote speech entitled “The Future Now”. Pointed, engaging and thoroughly provocative, the multi-award-winning speaker addressed the international fitness industry’s fears of a coming coronavirus apocalypse – without ever catastrophising the actual situation. Instead, Magnus Lindkvist grabbed the attention of his audience with inspiring, even provocative, ideas to draw them out of their comfort zone and get them to rethink their approach – something that is particularly important in times of crisis.
Magnus Lindkvist began by drawing the attention of his professional audience to their own concepts, so that they could better assess their own chances for success. Is the concept based on a fad that appeared out of nowhere? A stable trend? Or a far-reaching social and technological development that has withstood multiple business cycles regardless of the economy? “When the economy is going strong, people love to visit exclusive boutique fitness clubs and treat themselves to premium packages.” The globally renowned futurologist used this example to illustrate the interrelationship between micro-, macro- and megatrends and the economic situation, and he closed his treatment of successful trend-dependent concepts with a forecast that few will have found surprising: “More and more people will have less money in coming years.” Visions of a glorious 2020s are now history – but Lindkvist said that no one should be torturing themselves with apocalyptic visions, even if the morbid fascination with catastrophising is admittedly a widespread and instinctual response, not least in the media.
Our future is too important to leave it to anyone else
Lindkvist also used best and worst-case examples to vividly illustrate how one’s own (company) mindset is the key to success – regardless of the industry or the status of the coronavirus. Using fascinating insights into the historic rise and fall of brands such as Apple, Ikea, Nintendo, Nokia, Toyota and Twitter, Lindkvist helped create an awareness of the transformative powers that every crisis can hold – assuming that the future is seen as something that we can influence, and that each and every one of us can actively impact. “Our future is too important to leave it to anyone else,” emphasised Lindkvist, and he appealed to his audience to create their own visitors of their post-crisis future, and show the boldness needed to make these visions a reality. “We are once again in a position to make major projects a reality, and we can do so in record time. For example, ‘we’ can build new hospitals in a matter of days, something that no one had thought possible since the Second World War.”
Our wants may have changed – our needs haven't
Why shouldn't we expand the horizons of the fitness sector as well? All the requirements are met: health, individuality and connectivity are neither fads nor hype – they are key megatrends that will not disappear in the crisis. The desire for fitness will remain. It is a constant. How this desire will be met in future, however, depends on what is on offer.
Lindkvist didn't beat about the bush in depicting the challenge the industry is facing: “Digitalisation has made studios vulnerable. In the past, people visited a fitness studio for logistical reasons, because they needed a room full of fitness equipment, couldn't get themselves motivated alone, or wanted to learn more about the specifics of their training, their body’s needs or sports science.” This is no longer the case. Today, customers go online to find out what they need to know. They train with online coaches or video tutorials and motivate themselves to set new personal records with new gamification gadgets that provide instant feedback.” The upshot: Our wants may have changed – our needs haven't. That calls for new solutions. Solutions that are driven less by disruptive influences, and more by transformative forces.
He explained how this can be done successfully using six unconventional strategies: ‘Rip off & duplicate’, ‘Compete or create’, ‘Be a loser’, ‘Have an open relationship with rules’, ‘Seek creative fraction’ and ‘Survive three sorrows’. Lindkvist challenged his audience to use these strategies to think outside the box, and all six of his intentionally polarising concepts essentially call on them to gather information, experiment, and be willing to fail. He also made it very clear how being a ‘loser’ can also be a virtue, why a yearning for harmony can hold you back, and how the interpretation of regulations can help drive success.
During his appearance at the EHFF, Magnus Lindkvist spoke directly to those who found this intimidating: “My view has also changed, but it is not necessarily any worse for that,” joked the self-proclaimed ‘Disrupted Futurologist’ in reference to his lectern at the digital EHFF, where the audience was strictly limited on account of coronavirus regulations. Lindkvist offered words of encouragement: “Do not be afraid of the new possibilities – seize them with your eyes wide open.”