JCPenney and Good Health


I fondly remember hearing James Cash Penney (JC Penney) speak at the University of Missouri in the fall of 1955.

Fresh out of high school, I was engaged in a mentorship program at Gradwohl Laboratories in St. Louis. When Dr. Gradwohl learned that J.C. Penney was giving a motivational talk that weekend, he insisted that I attend.

The time was well spent. Mr. Penney recalled his humble beginnings and said something that has forever stayed with me. A business can never assume that what worked when you started will sustain you today… and certainly not tomorrow. To survive and move forward with confidence you must constantly “test and adjust” your approach.

Here we are 60 years later and we’re seeing the effects of his company – and others like it – not listening to those words. JCPenney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, and many other department stores of the past are being beaten down by e-commerce. Yes, they all made e-commerce a part of their business, but one behemoth $450 billion company now commands 45% of all e-commerce business (Amazon). Closing stores will help cut the losses, but the real answer of facing this e-commerce challenge will require serious adjustments.

I Heard JC Penney Talk

Strangely, at the time I heard Mr. JC Penney talk, I thought the same must be true with human health. Aging is going to happen, but it seems to happen way too early in many people. Preventing or slowing the process means that we must adjust either to accommodate – or to overcome – the disabilities that aging brings. In doing so, however, we as a people have for too long passed the responsibility for our own health to specialists who are well trained in diagnosis and emergency care – but who have become far too entrenched in disease management rather than the underlying cause.

A Model of Human Health

Those of us who recognize this as a business model, see it not as the answer, but as a substitute for lasting health. It avoids getting at the underlying cause. This is why we at Designed2Win have developed a model of human health.  Against this model your doctor can now compare your chemistry and respond according to design. Through this change in approach, we hope to give to everyone who’s truly interested in a more meaningful outcome the chance to not only overcome disease and infection, but the opportunity to gain and retain the health they’ve always wanted.

If you were ever going to get the health you want, when do you think would be a good time to start?


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