News for the Hospitality Executive
|Lessons from the Field
A Common Sense Approach to Success in the Hospitality Industry
|By Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE, June 3,2009|
Examining "Why Do We Really Do What We Do?"
|By Dr. John Hogan, CHE CHA MHS, June 3, 2009
We all adapt to our every day routines and rituals on both a personal and professional basis. We have certain habits and protocols we tend to follow because we have always “done it that way.”
Some business examples include:
He was influenced by management authority Peter Drucker, who served as a consultant to GE and as a lecturer at the GE Management Development Institute in Crotonville, NY.
“We have got to ask ourselves Peter Drucker’s very tough question: ‘If you weren’t already in the business, would you enter it today?’ If the answer is no, face into that second difficult question, ‘What are you going to do about it’.”
The current economic downturn is the fourth I have seen in my business career. In the 1970s, high rates of inflation and gasoline shortages dramatically affected the hospitality industry. In the 1980s, a recession again hit the industry hard. In the 1990s, the savings and loan crisis from real estate loans that did not have adequate equity caused many of the brands into bankruptcy, mergers or partnerships. I recall staggering statistics from the American Hotel & Motel Association (earlier name of AH&LA) about the number of hotels that were unable to meet debt service in the early 1990s, yet the industry adjusted and recovered.
Today’s challenges are very real and many of us are working to make those needed adjustments. Yet as I speak and work with people and hotel owners, I find that many of them are continuing to do things as they have always done with an expectation for a changed outcome.
I have been sharing ideas in columns, the classroom and in professional workshops for many years now, and I recently found a story from a series I wrote for a magazine called HOTEL & RESORT INDUSTRY. It was a 1992 column where (now AH&LA President) Joe McInerney shared some insights. He was President of Trust House Forte’s Travelodge Division at the time, having already served as President of Hawthorne Suites and as Vice President for Sheraton Franchises. In the 1991 annual Forte meeting, he said, “If you always do the same things the way you always did, you’ll wake up one morning and find you’ve all of a sudden dropped to the third or fourth place in your market.”
General Electric at Crotonville and other global learning centers attacked their status quo with a number of strategies. A very basic but critical and significant way the organization assessed the way “they did what they did” was the use of a SWOT Analysis.
SWOT is not new, nor was it created by GE. The SWOT analysis technique is credited to Albert Humphrey who led a research project at Stanford University in the 1960s and 1970s using data from leading companies involved in long range planning processes. The original goal was to identify why corporate planning failed. Humphrey created a ‘team method for planning’ originally called SOFT analysis (Satisfactory, Opportunity, Fault, Threat) which was used by organizations like WH Smith who made it part of their long range planning programs for almost 20 years..
The thinking behind the tool was:
SWOT is often drafted graphically on a grid or a matrix and requires time and resources to be meaningful and effective. It should be completed by a team, as brainstorming often leads to the recognition of why the situation now being addressed has come to be. It can also clearly help identify what actions need to be taken to succeed in the future.
SWOT analysis is often included in both hotel business plans and in annual marketing plans, as the activity forces group interaction and specific discussions of all aspects of the market and the competition.
I have personally used this approach successfully in associations, departments,
individual hotels and companies. Please contact me if I can be of
service to your organization in updating your strategy for success.
Feel free to share an idea for a column at firstname.lastname@example.org
anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking
Autographed copies of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES can be obtained from THE ROOMS CHRONICLE www.roomschronicle.com and other industry sources.
All rights reserved by John Hogan and this column may be included in an upcoming book on hotel management. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication
John Hogan, a career hotelier and educator, is frequently invited to participate at franchise meetings, management company and hospitality association industry events. He is a successful senior executive with a record of accomplishment in leading hospitality industry organizations at multiple levels, with demonstrated competencies as a strong leader, relationship builder, problem solver and mentor. He conducts mystery-shopping reviews of quality in operations and marketing, including repositioning of hotels.
Expertise and Research Interest
He writes weekly columns for a number of global online services and has published more than 400 articles & columns on the hotel industry. He co-authored (with Howard Feiertag, CHA CMP) LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES, which is available from email@example.com, ROOMS CHRONICLE www.roomschronicle.com and other industry sources. He resides in Phoenix, Arizona and expects to publish in 2009 his 2nd book based on his dissertation – The Top 100 People of All Time Who Most Dramatically Affected the Hotel Industry.
Hogan’s professional experience includes over 35 years in hotel operations, food & beverage, sales & marketing, training, management development and asset management on both a single and multi-property basis, including service as Senior Vice President of Operations in a specialty hotel brand for six years.
He holds a number of industry certifications (CHA, CHE, MHS, ACI) and is a past recipient of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Pearson Award for Excellence in Lodging Journalism, as well as operational and marketing awards from international brands. He has served as President of both city and state hotel associations.
John’s background includes teaching college level courses as an adjunct professor at three different colleges and universities over a 20-year period, while managing with Sheraton, Hilton, Omni and independent hotels. He was the principal in an independent training & consulting group for more than 12 years serving associations, management groups, convention & visitors’ bureaus, academic institutions and as an expert witness. He joined Best Western International in spring of 2000, where over the next 8 years he created and developed a blended learning system as the Director of Education & Cultural Diversity for the world’s largest hotel chain.
He has served on several industry boards that deal with education and/or cultural diversity and as brand liaison to the NAACP and the Asian American Hotel Owners’ Association with his long-term involvement in the Certified Hotel Owner program. He has conducted an estimated 3,200 workshops and classes in his career.
Service to the Industry and Hospitality Education includes working with the Educational Institute Certification Commission of the AH&LA, the Hospitality Industry Diversity Institute, the AH&LA Multicultural Advisory Council, the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration, the Commission for Accreditation on Hospitality Management Programs, the AH&LA and AAHOA Education and Training Committees, the Council of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Educators (CHRIE), the International Hotel Show and the Certified Hotel Owner program for the Asian American Hotel Owners’ Association.
Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE
|Also See:||Delivering Hospitality and Pride / Dr John Hogan / May 2009|
|Act As if You Are Number Two / Dr John Hogan / May 2009|
|A Baker’s Dozen of Fundamentals for Retaining Quality Staff / Dr John Hogan / May 2009|
|Customer Relationship Management Requires a Blending of High Tech and High Touch for Optimal Results / Dr John Hogan / May 2009|
|Do You Know Where Your Customer Is? Or Knowing Where Your Business Originates / Dr John Hogan / April 2009|
|Understanding what we measure and making it count! Strategies for Hotel Controllers / Dr John Hogan / April 2009|
|“A Bakers Dozen” of Strategies for Hotel Controllers / Dr John Hogan / April 2009|
|A Different Appraisal of Our Biggest Challenges in 2009 / Dr John Hogan / April 2009|
|Reflections: Mentors and Friends - Vermont Hoteliers Borden and Louise Avery and their Son Allen / Dr John Hogan / March 2009|
|Remember to Embrace the Essentials in Sales; Revenue and net profits can often depend on how one of the most fundamental practices in sales- how incoming phone calls are handled / Dr. John Hogan / March 2009|
|Getting the Most Out of Your Hotel Franchise Investment; Working With Your Hotel Franchisor for Everyone’s Success / Dr. John Hogan / March 2009|
|Getting the Most Out of Your Hotel Franchise Investment; Evaluating the franchise business model as a potential franchisee / Dr. John Hogan / March 2009|
|Getting the Most Out of Your Hotel Franchise Investment / Dr. John Hogan / Dr. John Hogan / March 2009|
|Four Steps: How to Make More Sales Calls than Any Other Way Or Trade Shows Can Be Invaluable If. . . / Dr. John Hogan / February 2009|
|A Baker’s Dozen of Strategies for Hotel Chief Engineers / Dr. John Hogan / February 2009|
|"A Baker's Dozen" of Strategies for Hotel Banquet Managers / Dr. John Hogan / February 2009|
|Making New Year's Sales and Marketing Resolutions Real and Practical / Dr. John Hogan / January 2009|
|Planning in a Challenging Economy - Probing Hotel Expenses / Dr. John Hogan / December 2008|
|Planning in a Challenging Economy - Fundamentals of Hotel Sales Planning / Dr. John Hogan / December 2008|
|A Message for Hoteliers: Giving Thanks - and Not Just One Day Each Year! / Dr John Hogan / November 2008|
|Hoteliers Must Remember the Lessons of Reasonable Care! / John Hogan / November 2008|
|Enthusiastic and Sincere Attitudes Will Pay Off For Hotel Salespeople / Hotel Common Sense / John Hogan / November 2008|
|Unleash the Potential! Recognize the True Value of Your Front Line Sales People / Hotel Common Sense / John Hogan / November 2008|
|Defining Hospitality - Readers Respond with their Insights / Hotel Common Sense / John Hogan / October 2008|
|Understanding the Value and Power of Breakfast / Hotel Common Sense / John Hogan / October 2008|
|A Bakers Dozen of Strategies for Hotel Restaurant Managers / Hotel Common Sense / John Hogan / October 2008|
|A Bakers Dozen of Strategies for Hotel Food and Beverage Directors / Hotel Common Sense / John Hoganv/ September 2008|
|My Definition of Hospitality. What’s Yours? / Dr. John Hogan / September 2008|
|Principles for Success as a Hotel Manager: 6 Observations on Finding and Employing Problem Solvers / Dr. John Hogan / September 2008|
|10 Hotel Sales Action Steps to Succeed in Today’s Competitive Marketplace / Dr. John Hogan / September 2008|
|10 Hotel Sales Mistakes to Avoid in Today’s Competitive Marketplace / Dr. John Hogan / August 2008|
|Ways to Identify and Build Repeat Guests / Dr John Hogan / August 2008|
|Principles for Success As a Hotel Manager - Maintaining Relationships Throughout the Organization / Dr John Hogan / August 2008|
|Principles for Success As a Hotel Manager - Part four: Communicating with Clarity and Candor / Dr. John Hogan / July 2008|
|Principles for Success As a Hotel Manager - Part three: Using your management style effectively / Dr. John Hogan / July 2008|
|Principles for Success As a Hotel Manager - Part Two: Motivating the Team / Dr. John Hogan / July 2008|
|Principles for Success As a Hotel Manager Part One: Understanding the Organization / Dr. John Hogan / July 2008|
|Updating Hotel Marketing and Sales Strategies Mid Year NOW Is Essential / Dr. John Hogan / June 2008|
|Don’t Underestimate the Impact of the Hotel Sales Office / Dr. John Hogan / June 2008|
|Factors for Successful Interviewing Potential Hotel Sales Candidates / Dr. John Hogan / June 2008|
|The Importance of Meaningful Sales Team Job Descriptions / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008|
|For Hotels with Limited Service, Fewer than 100 Rooms - How Do You Determine if You Need a Person Dedicated to Selling / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008|
|Extending Your Sales Team or Make Travel Agents A Regular Part of Your Sales Programs / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008|
|Finding Business Leads Can Be Easier Than You Think / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008|
|Understanding the Differences Between Marketing and Sales / Dr. John Hogan / April 2008|
|Identifying Your Customers / Lessons from the Field A Common Sense Approach to Success in the Hospitality Industry / Dr. John Hogan / April 2008|