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Mike Medsker

speed strategy

Hoteliers: You Don’t Have Time to Read This Column

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When it comes to speed, we’re obsessed. We idolize athletes who can outpace their counterparts. We shell out for cars that can quickly get from 0-60 and bet on the horses we think will reach the finish line first. Hell, we’ve even flown faster than the speed of sound and are constructing tubes that will get us from L.A. to San Francisco in 36 minutes. Our fascination with speed can be observed everywhere we look. Let me revise that- everywhere outside of hospitality. Hoteliers for decades have fallen into a comfortable cadence of scheduled reports and weekly strategy meetings, which have historically served the industry well but are no longer enough to keep us on a path to profitability. The current crisis has highlighted the shortcomings of our established business practices. Hoteliers are spending their days updating forecasts and compiling reports, only to find that they are obsolete 24 hours later.  Typically, the answer to this challenge is overwhelmingly, “more.” More reports, more ownership updates, more meetings, and more exhaustive game plans covering every possible scenario.  And yet, this focus on more has paradoxically led to “less.” Less decisions made, less strategic initiatives deployed, less of an ability to respond to changing circumstances as they present themselves.  Experts from around the industry are currently attempting to gaze into the crystal ball and determine what business segments will bounce back most quickly. Will it be drive-time leisure? Corporate executives attending high-priority meetings? SMERF groups, albeit smaller than previously contracted?  Yet, while they mean well, nobody really knows when the recovery will begin and the type of business that will allow us to bring our team members back to work. In developing contingency plans for every possible scenario, we’re missing out on a larger opportunity.  Instead, focus on speed. Speed to analyze....
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