This is kind of familiar territory for me; however, I have learned a few things from past experiences seeing a trend early that is going to impact our world and our industry specifically.
One thing I have learned is to trust my gut—it really is happening. The other thing I have learned is to go ahead and speak out early so that those who want to benefit from seeing a trend before it gains huge momentum can come along for the ride. It is, of course, a competitive advantage to get ahead of a trend and since I like to look out for the entire industry, I might as well have a few supporters to help brave the headwinds one encounters at the beginning.
Past experience on spotting trends very early include seeing both the wellness trend and the wellness tourism trend half a dozen years ahead of most. While many people would say “oh yes, I saw that coming,” most (including me) had no idea in the early stages how huge these would become and what they would ultimately mean for our world, our businesses and even for each of us personally.
It’s happening again—and this time the emerging trend is workplace wellness—or perhaps better phrased as “wellness and work.” This too is going to be huge for all of us in wellness, and I do mean all of us. This time we might consider ahead of time that we may really have no idea how huge this could become and what it might mean.
You may be thinking—oh yes, I have noticed that trend—but experience has shown me that “noticing it” is not understanding its size or preparing for its huge impact. This time, let’s imagine what might happen earlier than before. What would happen if this becomes a global tsunami?
How can I be so sure of workplace wellness becoming huge? Well, partially it is my early look at the research that will be presented at the 2015 Global Wellness Summit (GWS) in Mexico City, November 13-15—the researchers are in the middle of the study now, and I am enthralled at some of their early findings. Other hints are a result of conversations our team has had in the past few months with people and organizations that have been thinking, talking, researching and writing about this for a while now: Gallup, The Clinton Initiative, World Economic Forum, The Vitality Institute, Virgin Pulse, The Milken Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, etc. As we have spoken with each of these organizations, it is really startling that each have shared something very similar: “We are just at the tip of the iceberg.”
Workplace wellness is going to be largely featured on this year’s Summit agenda, so whoever is joining us will naturally get up to speed on the momentum. But better yet, how about putting this on your next management meeting agenda and brainstorm about what this might mean to your world? We are doing exactly that at a special “Roundtable on Workplace Wellness” that we are hosting in New York in July.
Then let’s all share what we learn. Together we can not only see the trend and benefit from seeing it, but also help direct it. Heck, we might as well be leading it!