Innovation & Imagination in the Spa Industry: Time to Join the Conversation!

Innovation and imagination are subjects that are in the forefront of most industries today, and the spa industry is no exception. In times of crisis, where we see the emergence of the new order, it is even more important to be innovative and imaginative. The spa industry can undoubtedly benefit from this by looking at the impacts of its services in a more ‘holistic’ way instead of at a more closed organisational level, doing the same things that we have doing for the past decades.

Although innovation and imagination are essential ingredients for the success surrounding any field, the spa industry needs to work harder to bring this essential concept into action. In fact, in some countries like Spain this lack of innovation is particularly evident. The good news is that there are signs our industry is thinking more and more about innovation and imagination. In the following post, we will take a look at some of these signs.

The Weekender

In some of our previous posts, we have shared some of the insights provided by Susie Ellis, President of SpaFinder, a media company dedicated to the global spa marketplace. This time, we would like to mention an interesting initiative that Susie Ellis has started around the topics of innovation and imagination: The Weekender.

The Weekender is the name of a weekly newsletter that provides spa and wellness professionals with content regarding innovation and imagination. As Susie Ellis describes it, this newsletter is designed to “start one conversation about one topic with the entire global spa and wellness universe”.

Understanding Innovation

The Weekender has already shared some interesting post regarding innovation. On the first issue, Susie Ellis shared an interesting interview with ‘innovation activist’ John Kao. From this interview, there are several key issues regarding innovation that we would like to point out.

First, it is important to change the optics when looking at innovation. According to Kao, “societies are not primarily in the business of earning a margin on new products; they’re in the business of ensuring security and welfare, education, and well-being for example, as well as pursuing the grand human adventure”.

Second, innovation “is always about a purpose, and it comes alive when we focus on what it is that we want”. Third, we live in a new environment where traditional systems and models of governance are constantly challenged, and “the only way you can get from today to a desirable future is to innovate, by which we mean to change the way we do things, to change the products and services we traffic in, and to change our perception of things, all with an eye towards some sense of what we want”.

The bottom line about Kao’s reflections is that innovation requires a clear goal to pursue, and a ‘holistic’ state of mind that allows us to pursue that goal using different channels. All these refreshing insights will be taken by John Kao to the upcoming Global Spa & Wellness Summit in the US. Having a speaker like John Kao is definitely a good sign of the way the spa industry as a whole is getting more serious about innovation.

Using Imagination

There are thousands of examples regarding the way imagination and creativity are capable of shaping the success of any field. Among the extensive literature that exists today regarding this topic, The Innovator’s DNA, a book published by Harvard Business Review Press last year, offers interesting discoveries regarding imagination and creativity.

Just like innovation, imagination relies on the principle of thinking outside the box. As stated by The Innovator’s DNA, creative people draw connections from unrelated fields, pose questions that challenge common wisdom, and devote a good amount of time observing different players in order to come up with new ways of doing things. In addition to this, imagination is reinforced when people build networks and interactive experiences through a process of experimenting.

Some of the most creative individuals in the world have gone through all these steps to come up with their greatest ideas. We believe the spa industry can also take advantage of imagination and creativity to further explore the rich range of possibilities that the current environment offers to our sector. From the holistic cancer-related treatments to the creative packages offered by some spas on their treatment menus, the spa industry has already taken advantage of the benefits that imagination and creativity are capable of producing.

Embracing The New Way Forward

The Weekender and the concept behind the upcoming Global Spa & Wellness Summit are two clear indications of the way the spa industry is getting in touch with the subjects of innovation and imagination. We believe this is the right path to follow.

We also think the spa industry can take advantage of the principles that people like John Kao are using to shape innovation and imagination. This is also why we have written about the need to update traditional business models and use a comprehensive approach within the spa industry. In the current environment, the spa industry needs to embrace innovation and imagination in order to move forward. Join the conversation!

By Sonal

Sonal Uberoi creates and delivers smarter spas around the world. Spas and hotel groups hire Sonal to help them design, set up and manage their wellness businesses. Her finance background and worldwide operations experience in the spa, wellness and hospitality sectors make Sonal the go-to expert for business optimisation solutions. Connect with Sonal on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/sonaluberoi.

One thought on “Innovation & Imagination in the Spa Industry: Time to Join the Conversation!

  1. julia ines pardo carmona said:

    Apoyando este aspecto de la innovacion, estoy montando un proyecto de un spa ecologogico, donde a 30 minutos de Cartagena Colombia, donde estamos diseñando un spa para tomar las terapias al aire libre, jacuzzi, comida saludable, infusiones de plantas medicinales, etc.
    Creen uds que hay un componente innovador?, que otro componente podria incluir?
    saludos

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