News for the Hospitality Executive
Five Considerations in Hiring a Hospitality Consultant
by John Hogan,
November 8, 2010
"My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions"Peter F. Drucker, (1909- 2005) American Educator and Author
While Peter Drucker was not specifically a hospitality consultant, his contributions to both the "people and the process "components of business consulting are enormous and lasting, as evidenced by his significant works and books.
In a recent column in this publication, I shared a number of observations I made half way through a multi-city series of programs where I am leading discussions and sharing ideas on optimizing meetings success for Meetings Quest 2010. www.meetingsquest.com/
The observations I shared were about the stimulating and interactive discussions held on ways to optimize meeting success from various perspectives of professional meeting planners and hotels. Almost 50% of the time for the program has been committed to small group discussions on problems facing all of these professionals in the same industry, but that have slightly different roles and responsibilities. Attendees comprise professional meeting planners from corporations and associations of every size, hotel managers and sales teams, representatives from convention and visitors' bureaus, suppliers that serve all of the previous groups and independent professionals in the hospitality business.I wrote the column, titled "5 Reasons Using A Qualified Consultant Could Make a Huge Difference in Your Hospitality Business" because there was such extensive cross-fertilizing of ideas and solutions among participants in the discussions mentioned above. I also received a number of emails on the column, including this one: " Having been both an exec using advice from consultants and now a consultant myself, I can only fully subscribe John Hogan's comments and five reasons for a (good and qualified) consultant. I would like to add a sixth reason: The consultant is not emotionally involved and can thus provide very objective reasoning for a specific business situation.
John F. Edmaier CMM."
Comments from other readers and attendees at the above-mentioned sessions generally complimented the potential value of consultants, but there was also caution sheared that consultants could also be a source of negativity if not used properly and effectively, as evidenced in this tongue in cheek "motivational message" from www.despair.com.
This message paints the negative image of consulting, as that of people who "hang around until" it may be too late. When a project nears completion, new troubles seem to inexplicably appear. Those challenges could be in staffing, communication, technology, equipment or distribution of global reservations. Each challenge extends the consultant's assignment and before you know it, the financial and time costs for the consultant's services affect your income statement in an unexpected way.
To avoid this danger, I offer the following
Five Considerations in Hiring a Hospitality Consultant.
I don't believe in just ordering people to do things. You have to sort of grab an oar and row with them." Harold S. Geneen, American Executive and CEO (1959-1977) of ITT, then parent company of Sheraton Hotels
I was a management trainee at the 1500 room Sheraton Boston Hotel near the end of Geneen's affiliation with Sheraton. He was known as a taskmaster, but he also had the reputation for involvement with identifying problems and solutions.
There are advantages to both specialists and generalists in consultants, attorneys, doctors and other professionals. We are probably familiar with the expression to "walk the talk". For purposes of this discussion, this means having personally handled similar challenges facing your hospitality business. My personal experience in retaining or serving as a consultant is to understand and match situations on a case by case situation.
Most consultants have some hospitality industry background but may have never owned their own business. They may have never owned or sold their own hospitality business prior to becoming consultants and do not understand the stress and pressures of operating a family owned business, as are so many hospitality businesses.
Consultants can be excellent resources. Use them effectively, by choosing wisely.
KEYS TO SUCCESS is the umbrella title for my 2010-2011 programs, hospitality services and columns. This year's writings will focus on a wide variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my "HOW TO" articles and HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS. My segments Lessons from the Field, Hotel Common Sense and Principles for Success will be featured at appropriate times in the year as well.
Feel free to share an idea for a column at [email protected] anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.
John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is Co-Founder of a consortium (www.HospitalityEducators.com) of successful corporate and academic mentors delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing the hospitality industry. www.HospitalityEducators.com is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas that are designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability. Special introductory pricing is in effect for a limited time that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES. If readers would like to contribute to the site, please submit your material for consideration to [email protected]. We are interested in expanding our global networks and resources as we support our membership.
Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE
Reasons Using A Qualified Consultant Could Make a Huge Difference in
Your Hospitality Business / Dr John Hogan / October 2010
|Half Luck and Half Brains - Kemmons Wilson's 20 Steps for Success / Dr John Hogan / October 2010|
|Ten Quotes Addressing the Topic of SERVICE / Dr John Hogan / October 2010|
|Hospitality Conversations - Understanding the Developing Perspectives in Quality Assurance (Part 2 of 2) / Dr John Hogan / October 2010|
|Hospitality Conversations – Understanding the Developing Perspectives in Quality Assurance Part 1 of 2 / Dr John Hogan|
|Hospitality Conversations: Examining the Learning Options Available in the Hospitality Field / Dr John Hogan / July 2010|