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Lessons from the Field
A Common Sense Approach to Success in the Hospitality Industry
By Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE, June 25,2009

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Understanding Values: The Challenge to Identify and Keep
Them During Tough Economic Times

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By Dr. John Hogan, CHE CHA MHS, June 25, 2009
You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims. - Harriet Woods  (1927– 2007),  American politician/activist,  two-time Democratic nominee for the United States Senate from Missouri, and former Lieutenant Governor of Missouri.( 1st and so far only female Lieutenant Governor).
In last week’s column, I shared reader definitions on how they thought HOSPITALITY was real and personal.  I have had additional input to be shared in a future article, but some readers started discussing ideas on Values and how challenging it is to identify and keep them.  In challenging economic times such as what we are facing today, it can be even more difficult to maintain them.

While I tend to focus on the hospitality industry, I also believe that many business practices are transferable from one industry to another and I recalled reading about this topic of VALUES in a number of places the past 20 years. 

One of the best books I ever read on the topic was A Passion for Excellence1 , the 1985 sequel to IN SEARCH OF EXCELLENCE by Bob Waterman and Tom Peters.  This book offered example after example of what they called “the Leadership Difference.”2

One of the companies cited in the book was Johnson & Johnson, the global company that produces a wide range of medical products and services.  In 20073   , Russell C. Deyo, General Counsel, Johnson & Johnson was interviewed and shared some insights in a British legal magazine on how that  global company maintained its sense of purpose and values.  The article quoted Deyo as saying that “A credo or corporate vision is meaningless unless the words are taken off the wall and put into action. We have had the benefit of operating under our Credo  for over 60 years. It is built into our organization and the DNA of our employees. Our Credo is a one-page document setting forth our responsibilities to our customers, our employees, the communities in which we live and work, and lastly to our shareholders. We believe that by focusing on our responsibilities to the first three groups of stakeholders, our shareholders will have a fair return.”

He explained the advantages for Johnson & Johnson and other companies that have a strong mission statement to attract and retain great people, saying people want to work in an environment that offers challenging and meaningful work and a culture where they are expected to do the right thing.  He talked about how critical a real corporate vision is to build pride as part of the company’s principle and that it created a framework for decision-making.  He said that when making decisions, people would think about the quality of their decisions and the impact of those decisions.  He commented that this encouraged decision makers to focus on ethical considerations and long-term impact rather than merely short-term business results, which was important for a global company like theirs where there is substantial accountability with the management boards of distant business units. 

J & J is the parent company that produces and markets Tylenol. In the article, Deyo explained that the Tylenol story is told frequently to new employees including new senior managers as a real world example of how the J&J Credo was used in making decisions and in offering insight into crisis management.   When management made the decision to recall every bottle of Tylenol capsules from every home and store in the United States after a very few bottles had been discovered to have been poisoned after distribution, it was a clear demonstration of putting the safety of customers first.  He share that this incident also delivered other important lessons, including the importance of being open and transparent when responding to a crisis. 

He explained there was also a story of innovation. A few months after the crisis, Tylenol was relaunched in triple-sealed, tamper-resistant packaging. This packaging is taken for granted today, but it was an important innovation to provide consumer safety and confidence.  Deyo closed his interview with the observation that J&J people still like to refer to this incident as an example of how being true to the company Values, heritage and Credo results in decisions that pay dividends many times over. 

The credo is listed on page 333 of A Passion for Excellence and is very visible on the Johnson & Johnson web site.

In a number of workshops and interactive training sessions over the years, I have used this credo as an outstanding example of stated values.  In many of our programs, we have modified it to one that is aligned with the hospitality industry.  If any readers would like a copy of the hospitality version, please email me your request.

The hospitality industry deals with many issues, including security, safety, employment practices and operations.  Understanding and living VALUES does make a difference – what is your hotel and company’s stand on it?

 1 Tom Peters and Nancy Austin, Random House 1985
 2 Cover sub-title of Passion for Excellence
 3 January 2007, The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Inc. 
 



Feel free to share an idea for a column at johnjhogan@yahoo.com anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements …………. 
And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.

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
• Sales Management and training
• Turn-around and revenue management
• Professional Development & Customer Service 
• Hospitality Leadership and Executive Education
• Making Cultural Diversity Real
• Accreditation & Developing Academic Hospitality programs

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 info@smartbizzonline.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.



 
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Contact:

Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE
johnjhogan@yahoo.com

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Also See: Personal Stories of Delivering Hospitality and Pride / Dr John Hogan / June 2009
What is Your Definition of Leadership? / Dr John Hogan / June 2009
Examining Why Do We Really Do What We Do? / Dr John Hogan / June 2009
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
...


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