Three additional sources of opportunity exist outside a company: demographic changes, changes in perception and new knowledge. Drucker uses an excellent example to explain changes in perception. He notes that whereas Americans’ health has improved in the last 20 years (newborn mortality rates, survival rates for the old, incidence of cancers, etc.), there has never been a time when America has been so gripped by fear about health. It’s a matter of seeing the glass half-empty instead of half-full. This health hypochondria, he states, has resulted in “markets for new healthcare magazines, for all kinds of health foods, and for exercise classes and jogging equipment.”

As you can see by the stories about this year’s winners (pp.36), these innovations are not genius; they are merely good ideas generated by observed opportunities. The diversity of this year’s winning entries underlines the originality and creativity required to meet the growing number of changes and challenges our industry faces. Most importantly, these winning entries are a result of what Drucker says it takes to be innovative: talent, ingenuity and hard, focused, purposeful work.

Throughout the years, the Nova7 Awards has successfully brought out the importance of promoting excellence for the continued success of the health and fitness industry. Innovation is essential for adding value, increasing productivity and enhancing our overall productivity. For the first time, Nova7 Award winners were recognized for their hard work among their peers at the Nova7 Industry Awards Night held March 7, at IHRSA’s 21st Annual International Convention and Trade Show (pp.48 & 50). By sharing these innovations with others at this public forum, as well as in the pages of this issue, we inspire ourselves and others to push forward the boundaries of innovation and quality, and we progress and unite our industry in the process.

Thanks to all entrants in this year’s competition for their hard work and dedication to making our industry the best it can be. And thanks to the Nova7 judges (pp.44-45) for their hard work in picking the winners from so many deserving entries. We’re looking forward to the innovations that will emerge this year!

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