COVID21. Making the right questions in the Fitness Ecosystem
COVID19 is having a dramatic effect on the fitness industry. Experts are trying to anticipate the evolution of this impact in the coming months based on their experience in previous crises and the extrapolation of estimates of the evolution that the pandemic will have at the health and social levels. Even in this shocking context, we continue focusing on the traditional questions that have accompanied us throughout life. We imagine ourselves living immersed in a transitional period that will go away -the sooner the better- to return to the growth scenarios from only a few months ago.
The fitness industry has experienced steady growth in recent decades. In countries with more mature sports systems, it was, however, beginning to show signs of exhaustion and seemed to be preparing to enter a new phase of consolidation in which growth it would no longer be so significant. It is possible that the pandemic has accelerated this evolution.
We should think about whether we are orphans of answers to the questions we ask ourselves or whether we must change the questions. Peter Drucker already warned us: “The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong question”. Maybe we should think about whether questions such as How will be the magnitude of the decline in customers once the pandemic is over? or Why do authorities maintain restrictions on the capacity or opening of the health and fitness centres when we consider that we are part of the solution to adopt a healthy and active life? Instead of trying to give answers, should we invest more effort in evolving the questions? For instance, Could it be that the fitness industry has always focused on the 20% of the population that is usually the consumer of our product? but, What about the remaining 80%? Should we continue to consider ourselves as an industry or as a business ecosystem? Author Hal Gregersen suggests a modification of the well-known brainstorming technique, aiming to find the right questions instead of creative answers to previously designed questions in an already outdated environment.
We are experiencing hard times but today can also be a great opportunity to think about how we can positively impact and transform our community.