2010 is Finally Here.. What Will Make it Different From 2009?
By Shaun Burchard President, Meridian Hospitality Group, Inc. | January 26, 2010
Unless you were living in some desirable alternate hospitality industry universe, you're not sorry to see 2009 come to an end. You probably don't want to see another article detailing the "unstable" economic environment, or open two news sources only to see that for the 12th week in a row, one says everything "should be" getting better "soon" (what exactly does "soon" mean?) while the other says you should strap in for another undefined wave of economic upheaval.
So what are you supposed to do? A respected mentor of mine once told me that the only way to secure the future is to take charge and ownership of it. I suggest that is the only way out of the misery of 2009, and I would further suggest that it is much more of an undertaking than most would care to admit. It requires, after all, that we take a long look at what we've been doing and make a conscious, committed effort to do many things differently going forward. A "paradigm shift" is in order for many, but fortunately for the few that will dare to be self-aware; most will just keep hoping that it gets better. Hope is not a strategy. Is "cutting costs" alone the answer? Absolutely not. Is increasing revenue the answer? Always, but how? Alignment and smart hard work are the keys to your future success. Strategic and deliberate alignment of both your top-line and bottom-line strategies and initiatives is critical to your performance in 2010 and beyond.
The series of articles I will present over the next year is designed to help you achieve change at a fundamental level. The steps I encourage you to take will not only improve your hotel's performance in the short-term but also position you for greater success and resiliency in the next (and inevitable) economic downturn if - and only if - you are truly committed to them.
How then to insulate yourself from the conditions around you? The following list of key result areas will give you things to think about, and the supporting articles will flesh them out in greater detail.
1. Check Your Ego at the Door
It is not the same game it was just six months ago let alone two short years ago, and just because you have been successful (at something) or even at the hotel game at some point, doesn't mean you can "do what you've always done" and continue to be so. I'm sure that you have heard that the very definition of insanity is repeating the same actions while expecting different outcomes. If you want to change your results, you have to change the rules and how you apply them. Doing what you've always done will get you the results you've always gotten. Period. Discount? Don't discount? Increase value (that one always sounds good but what does it really mean)? Who and what to believe can define your success or your continued struggle. Be open to learning and to adapting to a rapidly changing landscape or get left behind.