Two Strategies for Dealing with VUCA


Hi, Blair here with MXM and we’ve been talking about VUCA, Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity and how that exists right now in our market…it’s always existed in our marketplace, it’s just that it is greatly magnified right now. I was doing a presentation, providing a lot of information from the Shutdown Feedback System and now about 20,000 responses from the Reopen Feedback System.

When we are talking about VUCA, there are two ways, or two strategies that you deal with when considering VUCA. One is better information technology, in other words, how can I absorb smarter information especially leading indicators of change like opportunities and threats...and then know how to make sense of that. It’s not just that you have the data and the spreadsheets, you have to be able to make sense of that data and people have to be able to use that to make decisions. So, leveraging information technology and then creating an agile organization. Perhaps that term has been overused, like what is an "agile organization". Well it’s simply one that can absorb change easily, one that has a discipline of change and knows how to change. Those are the things that MXM helps with greatly. 

Back to the Shutdown vs. Reopen information we are seeing right now.  I think the Shutdown Feedback system provided incredible clarity. We all kind of had our boats in drydock, we weren’t operating. You could see specifically what the customers fears were and by the way, they were some of the same things that they valued going into that, right? I don’t care how nice the place is, once it’s overcrowded, it’s not a very good experience. And now, besides it not being a good experience, people now feel, a little bit like they are in danger if it’s overcrowded, that was one of the things that came up. In addition, we saw feedback about hygiene features and then the next layer down...does everything work. Now you might start to get really scrutinized over something like the upholstery is torn. It was real clear while we were in drydock, what we needed to send the teams in to do to change. And as we come out of drydock and we start to sail that boat again we start to see a lot of love for all of these changes and why not? I mean there still aren't very many people coming into the gym.

So, I have said that the Reopen is creating a lot of questions and a lot of uncertainty. What does it mean that our sales are high while visits are low? What happens when those two things converge? I can see that people are liking their experience but why not love the experience? The place is spotless and there’s not that many people coming in. What is it going to look like in January. So getting this information quickly and constantly is how you are going to be able to better deal with VUCA. Remember that means better information technology and a more agile organization.

Now is the time to start. We still have the FREE Shutdown Feedback System and the FREE Reopen Feedback System. Lots of clubs reopening and may yours be successful and maybe soon, I’ll be able to do this NOT from an empty gym. We actually even have a few staff members coming in to work out!

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