The Wellness Hub Part 3: What
What do we need to validate or ensure first
In our previous part 1 of this series, we tried to explain why there is a need for a new approach to delivering wellness. In part 2, we explained our design for the wellness hub and ended with the question of what could go wrong? This final article is our attempt in proving answers.
We are entrepreneurs. If we rephrase the question, we can find answers easier:
- What are the biggest assumptions we are making in the design?
- What are the biggest risks?
Once the cogs start turning, there will naturally be a lot of puzzles along the way which will require solutions. Here we want to focus on the biggest assumptions and risks which would cause the inability to turn the cogs to start with.
There is enough current or future trend from individuals towards wellness
This assumption is single-handedly the most important and central. This is the purpose of creating the hub. Nobody can argue that the trend doesn’t exist. It’s already documented in many places and there are countless initiatives to cater to this trend. However, we should acknowledge it is still what it is: a trend. Different markets will be in different stages and it’s very crucial to time the design towards the end of the inevitable chasm.
The service providers are willing to relocate to or launch in the hub
We can assume that all the potential participants of the hub already have established setups elsewhere and that any new entrant to the market has clear paths to follow as defined by previous organizations which entered before. It would be a challenge to showcase a tangible advantage to accept the changes.
We have two suggestions here.
- At the end of the day, the hub is also a real estate proposition and as with any real estate proposition, location matters. It’s crucial to be in a location where there is a natural influx of individuals. Think of high-traffic shopping malls or busy high streets.
- Another suggestion is to amplify the natural attractiveness of the move by providing additional incentives in regulation, tax, or intellectual property. When we look at the clusters in other verticals, we see that the most vibrant ones are sometimes exempt from certain regulations which are applicable to everywhere else.
Members are willing to participate in collaboration
We can assume that the first focus of the members will be to drive additional revenues from the hub. This is not only expected but it should also be facilitated and supported. We also should remember that the hub ecosystem will also create a certain level of competitiveness as well and make sure there is enough abundance for competition to become a driving force as opposed to a hurdle. Still, members can be tempted to focus solely on their business goals and not allocate sufficient resources for collaboration.
Our solution here is to embed the collaboration, co-creation, and innovation programs into the hub membership from day one and lead by example. If managers of the hub can’t prove the benefits of collaboration for the members and install highways of value creation, we can’t expect the members to come up with the tactics on their own.
Lack of leadership
This is a multi-stakeholder ecosystem. By design, there must be many voices, but the voice shouldn’t cause cacophony, or else the ecosystem cannot put one step in front of the last and function.
There is no need to sugarcoat this. The hub will need a leading organization that is in it for the long run due to vision alignment and is willing to act and speak on behalf of the members. This leadership role is crucial to bring in the benefits, initiate collaboration and sponsor the creation.
Becoming too vertical focused
Health and wellness is a highly specialized vertical with ages of specific experience and learnings housed within organizations and people. Without this knowledge being put to action, the hub cannot flourish. However, we should also remember, the hub is also an ecosystem and ecosystems are highly effective generalists. If the management of the wellness hub is trusted on the health and wellness specialist, we will surely end up with a highly dysfunctional, may be better looking but money burning version of the old hospital model at worst or a glorified showroom at best.
We suggest separation of responsibilities. The leadership would naturally be at a vertical specialist, but the management should always stay with a generalist.
These are the top assumptions and risks we have identified so far, based on our successes and failures in designing, implementing, and managing multi-stakeholder ecosystems.
What other risks and assumptions can you identify?
We would like to conclude our series with a reference to the last paragraph of the first article:
The design principles (patterns) can be applied to all verticals, make it finance, sports or entertainment.
As long as we can put individual(s) with very real needs in the center and identify a vertical specialist leader, we can build the ecosystem for any vertical.