Getting off the Right Track. Part 1

Posted by Lloyd on June 04, 2012

You’ve been on the right track; now get off it! Whoa! That sounds unsettling. Because it is. Business, especially a competitive service business in changing times with changing demographics, is never settled. Commit to one track only if you’re willing to see your locomotive eventually plow into a mountainside or off a cliff in a changing but poorly perceived business landscape.

The track is laid in traditions that range from

* This is how it’s done in the fitness business, to

* This is how it’s done at ABC Fitness Center.

The track keeps you in control and relatively productive day to day. But initial successes can lead you to put more faith in that track than it can support. Creativity is what renews the life of your business again and again as the real world veers away from your well-laid track.

In this issue, we celebrate fitness-business creativity with the 6th annual nova7awards. The seven winning facilities impressed the judges with their innovations that were much more than just imaginative: They had to demonstrate that they appealed to consumers, met immediate goals and helped the bottom line, safely and ethically.

Individuals who are good at such business creativity have three essential characteristics, according to Teresa M. Amabile of Harvard Business School: 1) Creative-thinking skills that allow a flexible, imaginative and tenacious approach to problems, 2) expertise including technical and procedural knowledge that helps the creative idea fit real needs and 3) motivation, especially that which comes from a passion and interest in the work itself, and not that which comes from an outside “carrot or stick.”

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