The Change Agenda – An Opportunity for Hospitality or a Need to Change?


The Change Agenda

An Opportunity for Hospitality or a Need to Change?



There is a belief that all business models are either changing or under pressure. The concept of disruption is become a leading, accepted term and the view is that there are new disruptive models emerging in all markets, which will see new business models that emerge and enforce change agendas.

However, for Hospitality this period of change marks both an opportunity as well as signals a need for change in thinking and mind set. There will be a need for Hospitality companies to invest in the development of its leaders, in front line teams that interact with guests, in change management and in the developing the overall service offering. If this can be achieved successfully then it can mark a new golden era for Hospitality not just in business performance but in terms of how it is perceived and the role that it plays within society.

It is argued that, with the turmoil in the political arena, it may well be business leaders that will be driving social and economic agendas. Hospitality can sit in the centre both as key business leaders as well as centres of relaxation and reward. 


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So what is the background?

Did you know that:

  • Executives today are making decisions 40% faster than a decade ago. However, it is taking 20% longer for these decisions to be actioned due to a mix of management and internal process.
  • It is estimated that the frustration in being able to implement decisions and policies at any speed or pace is increasingly the level of stress suffered by leading directors and increasing both burn out and loss of good talent.
  • There is a view that many companies will cut management by 50%.
  • Are today’s executives as productive as they should be? 1:4 Executives today suffer from mental illness.
  • Today, it is estimated that 35% of employees work on a freelance basis and this is estimated to grow to 50% within the next 5-6 years.
  • As this number grows, it is estimated that Hotels will see a 15% increase in use for informal meetings.
  • Over the last two decades there has been a relative 35% decline in the investment made into people.
  • The chances are that the world will become increasingly intelligence and process led with generations teaching each other.
  • 70% of Executives in a survey in London said they prefer to use a Hospitality venue that offers a bespoke and personal service and provides them with an experience.
  • Companies will be expected to able to show greater social and human responsibility.Many privately say that their businesses are being driven by change and are not driving change.
    • Michel Roux is now asking his chefs to work 4 days per week rather than 5, in order to ensure health, wellbeing and creative productivity.
    • Within 5 years, all those in physical roles will be tracked and monitored for their health and performance.
    • Companies will be expected to “give” and work with the local community in a leadership capacity.
    • Key hotel General Managers and business leaders will become leading drivers of communities and social change.
  • Digitalisation has arguably become a barrier to internal communications and there is a need for greater networking within businesses to encourage greater informal problem solving.
  • There is a need to make people important again. Too many businesses have relied on their brands to do the work when actually what can achieve success is the eldest fashioned of skills – people building strong relationships, trust, vision, leadership and fun at work.
  • Indulgence has become a key trend. People are becoming more self-indulgent in their eating and drinking habits.

People are one true differential and will continue to be

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People do need development as change is no longer gradual but happening at such a fast pace. The digital revolution has created the perfect storm of change that in turn creates data of record levels which creates greater MI and comms. The cycle continues.

But still the one true differential are people and great values.
Anything that cannot be automated or digitalised will become extremely valuable and this can be Hospitality’s gain. Hospitality today is entertainment – it is about imagination, inspiration, emotion, service. Hospitality can even more special in how it links great people to the modern business. It is no coincidence that Hospitality is becoming increasingly creative at this time. There is so much original thinking and the value of service has returned as being a key differential.

The challenge for Hospitality is to:

  • To free its business leaders to able to act and respond to the market with greater speed.
  • To reduce the loss of talent through burnout or frustration.
  • To consider new ideas of improving both team productivity and management of talent.
  • To develop new service levels that engage customers that are embracing hospitality.
  • To prepare its executives for this new world. Data and digitalisation has been dominant and will create accurate MI.

The future is not technology; it is, as it has always been all about people, relationships and emotion. Hospitality is all about emotion and that is where we need to focus on – to develop creative solutions that manage the technology of the modern world to create even greater experiences and allow the Industry to prosper.