The Keys to Growth
Day 1: Nurture, listen and lead.
This year marked the 21st Annual General Managers’ Conference organized by The Master Innholders. Titled, The Keys to Growth, the conference set out an agenda focusing on leadership, nurturing your organization and emphasizing the importance of creating a culture. The first day also included a panel that were questioned whether hotels had become a commodity and the BHA summarized their efforts of moving hospitality agenda items forward with the government. Here are some of the highlights from the day
With a record number of delegates and sponsors in attendance, it was clear that 2014 marked a year of change in the market. A positive mood was palpable already from the networking held at the beginning of the event. The past three months have seen London’s rates creeping up to figures more similar to those before 2008. This year’s theme, The Keys to Growth also set a more positive tone – no longer was there the concern of how to survive but now a focus on how to move on and prosper.
Hospitality in numbers and opportunities with the government
Ufi Ibrahim FIH, Chief Executive of the BHA, was the chairman for the first day of the event. Ufi stressed the strong position hospitality has in the country – it is the 4th largest industry in the UK – but also laid out clear opportunities where the industry is still missing out. Her mission is to ensure that events like these contribute to British hospitality being the best in the world.
Martin Couchman OBE, Deputy Chief Executive of the BHA, updated attendees with the status of various items on the BHA’s agenda with the government. A couple of important news items
1. Simpler visa processes for Chinese visitors
Previously, any Chinese nationals hoping to visit the UK and countries in the Schengen zone would have to fill out separate forms for UK entry. Under the revisions made, only one visa application form will be necessary for entry to the UK. The previous process was thought to have deterred business from overseas because of the long and complex application procedure.
2. Reporting Allergens
While there was concern in the industry that the government was going to implement mandatory listings of all potential allergens in food served at restaurants this has not been the case. Instead, restaurants must include text on their menu requesting that the guest ask for any allergen information on dishes if not clearly expressed already. Staff training will be essential as it will be their responsibility to relay the correct information.
3. The Big Hospitality Conversation continues growing
With 35,000 pledges to jobs made in hospitality for 18-24 years old, the Big Hospitality Conversation is ongoing and continues searching for support amongst the industry. For those in East London, there will be an event held on the 27th of January.
A Clear Focus on Leadership
The importance of good leadership and its capability to help harness or harm growth was emphasized through three different presentations. At the heart of the sessions were clear questions and considerations each leader should have for their business
“Leadership has changed coming out of the recession from a short term and inward approach to leaders now having to be vocal, planning ahead and visible in their organizations.”
“Four questions every leader should ask themselves (and new recruits if brave enough!) about their business:
- What are the good things we do that we must keep?
- What are the bad things that we do that we must stop?
- What are the things we occasionally do that we must do consistently?
- What don’t we do that we should start doing?”
Jeff Grout (Founder JG Consulting)
On the importance of developing and nurturing your people within the organization, Mik Baker (Unleash Training Ltd) shared this helpful gardening analogy
“You don’t reap what you sow, you reap what you nurture.”
Last Steve Cockram (GiANT Impact) spoke of his predictions on the “Leadership Landscape”
“Communication should be simple and visual enough so that you can explain your company’s mission to a 13 year old… A healthy culture within the company will matter more and more as recruitment and retention become battlegrounds for talented individuals within the industry. People want to work for someone worth following and with a company they believe in. People leave organizations because of poor leadership and not financial gain.”
Andrew Stembridge FIH MI, chairman of The Master Innholders, rounded off a fascinating afternoon with the promise of exciting things to come the next day. An e-shot summarizing Day 2 will be sent out tomorrow.
For more information on getting involved with the community please contact Nicole Thompson