james houran, ph.d

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james houran, ph.d

The ‘Hack’ Leaders Should Use in Today’s Quagmire of Ambiguity

James Houran, Ph.D., Dallas | October 16, 2018

By James Houran, Ph.D., Dallas Common sense dictates that the more information people have the more informed decisions they will make. This reasoning works flawlessly with problems or issues that are composed of well-defined "cause-and-effect" relationships. Of course, business in the real-world does not get done in sterile environments but instead takes place in dirty test tubes. Here, critical information in an equation is neither always known nor can be properly measured. Indeed, this era of rapid technological advances and marked disruption often brings problems that are poorly structured or involve non-routine decisions, as well as...

Isn’t “Success” the Ultimate Sign of a True Leader?

James Houran | April 28, 2017

By James Houran, Ph.D. "Pay for performance" models dominate today's compensation schemes, a fact that seems to say implicitly that outcomes are the only thing that matter. Janet Jackson summed it long ago with her popular lyrical meme, "What have you done for me lately?" But, there is also a 1970s lyric by Gordon Lightfoot that speaks to another, equally potent reality, which is "heroes often fail." Leaders simply do not win every battle or war. We recently heard from a colleague who shared one of his life lessons after reading our take on servant leadership. He wrote… "Early in my career I was in the running for a promotion but...

Introducing the “Psychometric SWOT” Exercise for Effective Team Development

James Houran, Ph.D. | March 23, 2017

By James Houran, Ph.D. and Chris Mumford Growth. Expansion. Development. Progression. These words translate in a business sense to an increase in size, footprint, market share, revenue and profit or shareholder value. They are common aspirations of most companies eager to accelerate along an upward trajectory, as opposed to crisis managing a downward spiral. In the current climate, most hospitality operating businesses are in aggressive growth mode and faced with "positive problems," such as how to acquire new contracts, how to staff new openings, or how to satisfy growing customer numbers. For small- to medium-sized businesses in parti...

The Sad Side of Valentine’s Day – What the Hospitality Industry Should Know

James Houran, Ph.D | February 21, 2017

By: James Houran, Ph.D. To the service-hospitality industry, holidays like Valentine's Day often make a positive contribution to a company's bottom line. For example, Americans spent an estimated $13 billion for Valentine's merchandise in 2004(1), and in the process, purchased approximately one billion greeting cards(2), 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate(3), and 156 million roses(4). And we have not even touched on the significant revenue from romantic get-a-ways, cruises or dinners. These economics have remained quite robust for more than a decade, and, in fact, are steadily growing. You might be surprised at the latest Valent...

“What Millennials Want” – The Real Career Priorities of Gen X vs Gen Y

James Houran, Ph.D | January 31, 2017

By: James Houran, Ph.D. | Nina Gold | Keith Kefgen Millennials (aka "Generation Y" or "Echo Boomers") are the talk about town. A day rarely passes without a new report explaining what this generation wants out of life and how their value set are economic and cultural disruptors. As consumers and employees, GenY is therefore fast becoming the focal point of marketers, as well as cultural, religious and political leaders. Everyone is talking about how to "win over" this precocious generation. Of course, this is really an old question, which arguably gained prominence from a seminal study conducted back in 2009 by Boston College's Sloan Ce...

What It Takes To Be a Successful Hotel CEO in 2016

Chris Mumford | June 20, 2016

By Chris Mumford and James Houran, Ph.D. What do Belmond, Caesar's Entertainment, Carlson, China Lodging, Jumeirah, Mandarin Oriental, Millennium & Copthorne, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and Whitbread have in common? The answer is they all announced a change of CEO during the past 12 months. The economy continues to rebound and indications suggest the road ahead is paved for growth, so boards and shareholders are maintaining a close eye on CEO performance as never before. After a quiet 2014 in which there were few changes in CEO, 2015 saw a sharp increase with annual turnover among the world's 50 largest hotel companies hitting 1...

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