The Change Agenda: how businesses and society are adapting to new models?

The Change Agenda

There is a belief that all business models are changing and under pressure. There will be new business and life models that emerge. The only way to ensure effective growth lies in understanding and managing the change that is taking place.

But do you?

  • Today, 35% of employees work on a freelance basis and this is estimated to grow to 50% within the next 5-6 years. How will this impact on business structures?
  • There is a view that many companies will cut management by 50%. Leadership though will be even more important and there is a real need to develop leadership skills.
  • 1:4 Executives today suffer from mental illness. This is a statistic that is growing. Are today’s executives as productive as they should be?
  • Executives today have to make decisions 40% faster than a decade ago and still be expected to be accurate.


Over the last two decades there has been a relative 35% decline in the investment made into people. However, people will be the major differential that will set businesses apart and most especially, hospitality businesses. Yes, there will be robot and automated hotels but research suggests that nothing will beat the personal touch that people led service can engender.

The chances are that the world will become increasingly intelligence and process led. There are skills to be learnt from the Baby Boomers who did often act out of instinct first and were a generation that understood human failure and weakness. They may have been a selfish generation but they were also a very generous generation as they did believe in teams and friendship.
How can these skills be learnt and maintained within modern cultures?
Many privately say to us that their businesses are being driven by change and are not driving change.

How can the balance be shifted in a market that is getting faster in change?

Digitalization has arguably become a barrier to internal communications and there is a need for greater networking and social hubs within businesses to encourage greater informal problem solving.
There is a need to make people important again.

There is school of thought that suggests that science fiction is becoming science fact. Think of self-driving cars and robots. The skills that are needed within businesses are changing. However, there is one that is a constant – the importance of relationships and that in business, people buy people. 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. The self-reward culture is prevalent, and will continue to grow worldwide over the next five years, as consumers balance healthy eating habits with the occasional treat




People do need development as change is no longer gradual but happening at an increasingly fast pace. We are now operating in a world where our cars, our businesses, our homes are all wired together and talking to each other. Even our bodies will soon be connected. True. Fitbits are now measuring our bodies better than ever before and are connected to our phones providing us with a live personal data source.
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 be 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 prepare its executives for this new world. Data and digitalisation has been dominant and will create accurate MI. However, what will make a business different is the emotion and values that a business is led by. Yes, we can go back to the days when a leaders set out the values of an organization but this is deeper – it will be how each service engages the consumer and makes them experience something of value.
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 – to develop creative solutions that manage the technology of the modern world to create even greater experiences and allow the Industry to prosper.