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Surviving and thriving: a GWS masterclass from Cathy Feliciano-Chon
By Megan Whitby 28 May 2020
Feliciano-Chon said: "Resilience is a mindset – a practice honed by failure"
Being open to failure will help businesses survive in the Coronavirus landscape, according to Cathy Feliciano-Chon, founder of Hong Kong-based brand comms agency, CatchOn– a Finn Partners Company.

Speaking in a recent GWS Masterclass, Feliciano-Chon said that in order to be truly resilient, businesses have to be brave enough to take risks they know may lead to failure. She said successful brands will learn from these and become stronger.

Making mistakes is par for the course for any business – ultimately mistakes lay the foundations for long-term success and resilience. She quoted Disney’s Bob Iger: “If you want innovation, you need to grant permission to fail.”

“Resilience is a mindset – a practice honed by failure. This is not a time for perfection – we’re all tolerating imperfections in this crisis.

“Ingenuity is a willingness to work in less than ideal conditions within constraints. It means you’re willing to experience failures and not be self-conscious. It celebrates not getting it right and a certain scrappiness.”

Feliciano-Chon’s 30-year career has involved consulting with global luxury, hospitality and retail brands and during the webinar she shared insight into lessons to be learned from resilient brands to help businesses adapt and thrive in the face of the Coronavirus crisis.

“This pandemic has laid bare our vulnerabilities,” she said, “and it has shown that being resilient is far more important than any other qualities we associate with great brands today, even more so than relevance and innovation.”

Feliciano-Chon outlined qualities that are crucial for brands to be resilient, including agility and adaptability, community and ingenuity. She said combining these with digitisation is vital.

Deeper into digital

Businesses have got to act fast in the face of adversity in order to show operational resilience, and she believes the key to this is digitisation and data analytics.

“Have urgency and purpose,” she said, “don’t dwell, instead, act.”

The crisis has accelerated the shift to digital, said Feliciano-Chon, and brands that didn’t have an omnichannel strategy prior to the pandemic have little chance of surviving unless they develop one fast.

We’re moving into an age of telemedicine and digital wellness, she said, urging companies to review how they incorporate technology into their business to help them plan, run more efficiently and succeed.

Alternative revenue streams

Feliciano-Chon championed the qualities of agility and adaptability and underlined that they help businesses thrive. The key is being fast and flexible enough to look at alternative revenue streams.

“Resilient brands are able to adapt in the midst of adversity and some of them thrive off it. This is a period of immense creativity and there are many ways to take advantage of this time.”

She believes businesses must be flexible and look at their operation, break it down, think creatively about how to repackage their offering and make it marketable for a particular sector, in order to remain relevant and successful.

Feliciano-Chon also placed a large emphasis on the importance of ingenuity and being creative while working within constraints.

“The global crisis has laid bare the practices that need to be thought, rethought or taken away completely. Now is the time for businesses to be creative and rethink their operations.

“Yes there are restrictions we’re going to have to work around, but we’ll emerge from this with different business models.”

A new mission for wellness

In a recent interview with GWI’s Beth McGroarty Feliciano-Chon said: “This is a pivotal time for the wellness movement, which is being called to a greater mission. We need to work hard to pull the polarised worlds of big medicine and big pharma and the prevention and wellness worlds much more closely together.

“We simply can’t be working in two different swim-lanes now. That means working with public health institutions for real change and actually deserving a seat at the table, as opposed to just observing healthcare’s failures.”

“This crisis has validated and exposed what wellness is really about: demanding that we pause, reflect, reset; that we be proactive about our health – and that of our family and community – in ways we never have before.

She concluded by quoting AA Milnes’ Winnie the Pooh: “Always remember you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”

Top 10 takeaways

  • Develop resilience, agility, creativity, ingenuity and adaptability


  • Don’t be afraid of failure


  • Take well-calculated risks and learn from them


  • Tolerate imperfections in striving for your goals


  • Focus on community


  • Be fast and flexible - don’t dwell – act


  • Look for alternative revenue streams


  • Have urgency and purpose


  • Communicate clearly with customers


  • Be innovative while working within constraints



News
1 to 12 of 7448 news stories
10 Jul 2020
England and Scotland have become the most recent countries to announce their spas will reopen, following a hard-fought campaign by industry associations, operators and the media. Spas will be permitted to reopen from Monday 13 ... More
09 Jul 2020
Luxury country house hotel, Beaverbrook Hotel and Spa, in Leatherhead, UK, has curated a series of wild wellness experiences to assist with both emotional and physical wellbeing following its reopening on 4 July. The new ... More
09 Jul 2020
WTS International has snapped up Todd Walter as its new president, following the demise of Mynd Spa & Salon – formerly The Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon & Spa – where he was CEO. Walter ... More
08 Jul 2020
Healing Hotels of the World is hosting a virtual Master Class with wellness experts from luxury destination spas, Rancho la Puerta and The Farm at San Benito. Sarah Livia Brightwood, president of Rancho La Puerta ... More
08 Jul 2020
The government of Dubai has announced that spas and massage centres across the emirate can now open for business following the coronavirus lockdown on 15 March. It revealed the news on 3 July in its ... More
07 Jul 2020
According to CEO of Aromatherapy Associates (AA), Anna Teal, online retail has been crucial for business following enforced closure of spas. Speaking exclusively to Spa Business, Teal shared how the company has pivoted its online ... More
07 Jul 2020
The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has switched venues from Tel Aviv to the US following travel disruption due to the pandemic. The event will now take place from 8-11 November 2020 at The Breakers in ... More
02 Jul 2020
Planning permission has been submitted for a naturally filtered thermal experience and botanical spa and wellbeing hub on a dutch barge moored in West India Quay, London. Conceptualised by bodywork therapist Nico Thoemmes, the Water ... More
01 Jul 2020
As a wave of spas reopen around the world, it’s clear the industry is going to need to be creative to cater to new consumer needs which will likely focus on prioritising health. In light ... More
02 Jul 2020
The UK spa, beauty and wellness industry is in uproar following a recent Prime Minister’s Question time where the urgent matter of reopening the sector reduced MPs to laughter. William Wragg, MP for Hazel Grove ... More
01 Jul 2020
Kathryn Moore, founder of Spa Connectors, has announced the launch of the Hall of Wellness Awards (HOW Awards) to recognise those excelling in their fields in the global spa, beauty and wellness industry. The awards ... More
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Italian destination spa, Borgo Egnazia, has reopened to guests and updated its popular Happiness Break to begin at home, with a new set of pre-arrival digital consultations and classes. Borgo Egnazia’s team of therapists has ... More
     
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Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
NEWS
Surviving and thriving: a GWS masterclass from Cathy Feliciano-Chon
POSTED 28 May 2020 . BY Megan Whitby
Feliciano-Chon said: "Resilience is a mindset – a practice honed by failure"
Being open to failure will help businesses survive in the Coronavirus landscape, according to Cathy Feliciano-Chon, founder of Hong Kong-based brand comms agency, CatchOn– a Finn Partners Company.

Speaking in a recent GWS Masterclass, Feliciano-Chon said that in order to be truly resilient, businesses have to be brave enough to take risks they know may lead to failure. She said successful brands will learn from these and become stronger.

Making mistakes is par for the course for any business – ultimately mistakes lay the foundations for long-term success and resilience. She quoted Disney’s Bob Iger: “If you want innovation, you need to grant permission to fail.”

“Resilience is a mindset – a practice honed by failure. This is not a time for perfection – we’re all tolerating imperfections in this crisis.

“Ingenuity is a willingness to work in less than ideal conditions within constraints. It means you’re willing to experience failures and not be self-conscious. It celebrates not getting it right and a certain scrappiness.”

Feliciano-Chon’s 30-year career has involved consulting with global luxury, hospitality and retail brands and during the webinar she shared insight into lessons to be learned from resilient brands to help businesses adapt and thrive in the face of the Coronavirus crisis.

“This pandemic has laid bare our vulnerabilities,” she said, “and it has shown that being resilient is far more important than any other qualities we associate with great brands today, even more so than relevance and innovation.”

Feliciano-Chon outlined qualities that are crucial for brands to be resilient, including agility and adaptability, community and ingenuity. She said combining these with digitisation is vital.

Deeper into digital

Businesses have got to act fast in the face of adversity in order to show operational resilience, and she believes the key to this is digitisation and data analytics.

“Have urgency and purpose,” she said, “don’t dwell, instead, act.”

The crisis has accelerated the shift to digital, said Feliciano-Chon, and brands that didn’t have an omnichannel strategy prior to the pandemic have little chance of surviving unless they develop one fast.

We’re moving into an age of telemedicine and digital wellness, she said, urging companies to review how they incorporate technology into their business to help them plan, run more efficiently and succeed.

Alternative revenue streams

Feliciano-Chon championed the qualities of agility and adaptability and underlined that they help businesses thrive. The key is being fast and flexible enough to look at alternative revenue streams.

“Resilient brands are able to adapt in the midst of adversity and some of them thrive off it. This is a period of immense creativity and there are many ways to take advantage of this time.”

She believes businesses must be flexible and look at their operation, break it down, think creatively about how to repackage their offering and make it marketable for a particular sector, in order to remain relevant and successful.

Feliciano-Chon also placed a large emphasis on the importance of ingenuity and being creative while working within constraints.

“The global crisis has laid bare the practices that need to be thought, rethought or taken away completely. Now is the time for businesses to be creative and rethink their operations.

“Yes there are restrictions we’re going to have to work around, but we’ll emerge from this with different business models.”

A new mission for wellness

In a recent interview with GWI’s Beth McGroarty Feliciano-Chon said: “This is a pivotal time for the wellness movement, which is being called to a greater mission. We need to work hard to pull the polarised worlds of big medicine and big pharma and the prevention and wellness worlds much more closely together.

“We simply can’t be working in two different swim-lanes now. That means working with public health institutions for real change and actually deserving a seat at the table, as opposed to just observing healthcare’s failures.”

“This crisis has validated and exposed what wellness is really about: demanding that we pause, reflect, reset; that we be proactive about our health – and that of our family and community – in ways we never have before.

She concluded by quoting AA Milnes’ Winnie the Pooh: “Always remember you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”

Top 10 takeaways

  • Develop resilience, agility, creativity, ingenuity and adaptability


  • Don’t be afraid of failure


  • Take well-calculated risks and learn from them


  • Tolerate imperfections in striving for your goals


  • Focus on community


  • Be fast and flexible - don’t dwell – act


  • Look for alternative revenue streams


  • Have urgency and purpose


  • Communicate clearly with customers


  • Be innovative while working within constraints

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According to CEO of Aromatherapy Associates (AA), Anna Teal, online retail has been crucial for business following enforced closure of spas. Speaking exclusively to Spa Business, Teal shared how the company has pivoted its online offering and how the industry can capitalise off demand for online retail.
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Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020

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