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By Georges Panayotis

How can we imagine developing a product and a brand that are disembodied, cut off from their source of inspiration, with no link to what should feed them and help them progress? Today, large companies suffer from two major ills: a brutal and merciless transformation that does not wait for latecomers, the rupture that is on everyone's lips; and obvious management problems.

Managers have been sidelined, in favor of robotisation, financiers and great strategists without anticipating in the medium term the devastating effects of a lack of management. Because those managers who are operational, who are the lines of communication between decision-makers and teams who bring down information and also pass it on to strategists, are the key to maintaining cohesion and staying the course. The revenge that strategists wanted to gain against managers by turning to digital cannot work.

News from Air France and the SNCF clearly shows that a company cannot function without the support of its staff, inspired by a real manager who is there to steer the transformation. While the strategist may set the course, it is the manager who follows it, steering the ship through pitfalls and other obstacles. It would be a mistake to do without either of them as companies need both profiles to perform. Good strategists to guide but also good managers to accompany, federate and make employees adhere to the values and goals of the company.

Yet, two worlds are evolving in parallel, sometimes confronting one another when they should be collaborating, management and its local vision in the face of strategy and its global vision. Only these two universes are totally interdependent. The top needs the bottom in our business to perform. To constantly transform and adapt its service but also the definition of its products and to be really in phase with the expectations of customers. Properties must be firmly rooted in their destinations because that is what customers expect. They don't just want a bed and breakfast, they want an experience both in the establishment and in the destination. Differentiation is not only between one property and another but also between one destination and another.

Until now, the shortage of supply and strong demand linked to globalization have driven financiers to increase their selling prices. The quality/price ratio was greatly unbalanced. Employees have not been paid at their fair value, they have not been given the desire to stay and progress in contact with customers. And yet, we know that an inadequate and demotivated labour force is a fortiori detrimental to servuction in our professions! The other sectors do not deprive themselves of recruiting hotel professionals who are fond of their skills and their know-how.

The breakup doesn't wait, it is necessary to adapt, to restructure and above all to know how to preserve its assets because a company is nothing without its living forces. We have never seen a successful company without employees who are involved, invested, motivated and federated, each of whom contributes their stone to the building by supplying the engine room with innovative ideas or simply by lending their smiles and faces on a daily basis and giving the establishments they work for a soul.

About Georges Panayotis

Born into a family of hoteliers, Georges Panayotis left Greece at the age of 18 to study Political Science and earn a management degree at the University of Paris, Dauphine. 

In 1986 he created his own company and started developing specialised marketing tools for the hotel industry. 

Over the past 30 years, MKG Conseil, later to become MKG Group, became the leading European consulting firm for the hotel business, food service and tourism industries. He is also a consultant for several radio and television stations that focus on the economy.

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