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The Future Of Wellness: Activating Ecosystems of Wellbeing (EOWs) That Drive Business Performance


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“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”—Mahatma Gandhi

As we reconsider the future of life and work, I think we have an unprecedented (there, I said it) opportunity to view how a true commitment to health and wellness can unite us. That is, by reexamining how all of the pieces in our companies and communities (or our lives!) can actually come together to create a much more meaningful whole, one designed to make wellness a more inherent part of who we are. In this way, I think the business of wellness has just as much potential to impact the business of life, provided we apply lessons from the past and take a truly holistic, intentional approach to its future application.

To ultimately make wellness part of an organization’s DNA—whether that organization is a household, city, public, private, non-profit, or for-profit entity—we need to identify and activate true Ecosystems of Wellbeing that account for all of the stakeholders that the system touches, from leaders and colleagues to consumers and communities. More specifically:

  • If leaders make their personal wellbeing a priority, they will perform better, positively influence the behaviors of fellow executives, who in turn, set the tone for their teams and employees.
  • If employees believe that their wellbeing is not only supported but modeled by their leaders, they will be more productive and happier at work, and better serve consumers.
  • If consumers buy a company’s products and services, believe that it genuinely cares for its employees with reverence for the planet, they will consume more, therefore positively impacting business performance.
  • If companies are more productive and profitable, they will be in a better position to care for the wellbeing of the communities within which they operate, and more easily recruit future talent. And the cycle repeats, over and over again as illustrated below.
Ecosystems of Wellbeing

21st Century Leadership: A Call to Action Before Amnesia Sets In

To activate these Ecosystems of Wellbeing, we need to identify C-Suite leaders who are ready to lead the charge before the world—eager to return to business as usual—catches a convenient case of amnesia. From my perspective, this means naming chief wellbeing officers with job descriptions proactively designed with the wellbeing of all its stakeholders in mind, both internal and external. These positions should not be side jobs or projects, but instead, be resourced by leaders who are empowered to rise above purely commercial interests (like the sale of products and services) or internal initiatives (like workplace wellness, environmental sustainability, or even diversity, equity, and inclusion) to activate holistic ecosystems that truly stand to impact culture and business performance while yes, making the world a better place. 

In fact, it’s high time that we heed Gandhi’s advice. By better caring for the forests of the world, both literal and figurative, we can make the business of wellness not only synonymous with a well-operated company, but also, a well-lived life inclusive of all people and planet.

Read part one of this powerful essay here: The Business Of Wellness: How to Rise Above the Hype for A More Inclusive and Impactful Future

*This article is an excerpt from THE BUSINESS OF WELLNESS: How to Rise Above the Hype for A More Inclusive & Impactful Future

Ecosystems of Wellbeing™ is a trademark of Kyricos & Associates, LLC.

About The Author
Mia Kyricos

Mia is a globally respected thought leader with 25-plus years of cultivating wellness, hospitality, lifestyle, and travel brands across 100-plus countries. As founder and president of Kyricos & Associates, a strategic advisory and referral firm, Mia provides brand strategy, business development, and operational insight enabling public and private entities to thrive in the $4.5 global wellness economy. Most recently, she was SVP & global head of wellbeing at Hyatt, setting a new hospitality industry standard as the leader and curator of the company’s global wellbeing strategy, spanning commercial health and wellness-related products, services, and partnerships, as well as colleague wellbeing worldwide. Prior to Hyatt, she was chief brand officer of SpaFinder Wellness, Inc., where she led the company’s brand evolution, positioning SpaFinder as the global authority on wellness providers and resources. Mia also served as vice president of EXOS, where she oversaw and expanded the workplace wellness start-up division operating on Fortune 500 corporate campuses. Prior to EXOS, she was director of global spa brands at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, where she led the creation of six international spa brands and managed the Starwood Spa Collection – a consortium of 60 wellness travel destinations across 26 countries. Named 2019’s Leading Woman in Wellness and Cornell University’s Alumna of the Year, Mia’s work and expertise has been featured in business and trade publications including The New York TimesLA TimesCNNSmart MoneyHotel BusinessTravel WeeklyLodgingReal SimpleMarket Watch, and more. She holds a master of management in Hospitality Administration (MMH) from Cornell University, and a BA in international relations from Wheaton College in Massachusetts. Mia has served the boards of the Global Wellness Summit and the University of California Irvine and currently sits on the advisory boards of Cornell University, Wellness for Cancer, and the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational foundation she helped found.