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Forget ‘New Normal.’ Think Reset.

By Contributor Content, Feature
In the course of the last few months, in particular as the COVID-19 pandemic became the only topic discussed during a conversation, the notion of things “returning to normal” has slowly been dismissed. Many proclaim that we are going to be transitioning into a “new normal,” but I can’t help but ask: What does that mean? Some of us have used our available time to do some more thinking (moi, aussi), and perhaps even put into questions thought processes from the past. What is “normal”? Is it the life you are living in Buenos Aires, or is it mine in Singapore? What is normal to you may not be normal to me, and there is nothing wrong with that. So try this: What if I told you to stop talking about what the “new normal” would be, and just reset? Reset everything. “If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got,” said Henry Ford. The first time I saw this was on a Sheraton “on brand” morning briefing card (Starwood was great at many things: building a strong brand ethos was one of them). The point we were trying to get across was simple: Is there an opportunity for us to do things differently to achieve a better result? Personally, I really enjoy changing things up no matter where I go. Rarely do I accept the status quo. I know that there are many variables that influence us and a decision, and I have no interest in becoming stale. I also know that it can be difficult to shift out of the comfort zone when you have the familiar in place, which transitions me to my next point: Clean Slate In Mandarin Chinese, the word “crisis” (危机) contains a character that can be interpreted...
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speed strategy

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

By Contributor Content, Feature No Comments
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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