Fostering a Culture of Innovation

By Joyce Gioia CEO, Employer of Choice International, Inc. | January 30, 2011

Back in the 1960s, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Peter Senge authored a book called The Fifth Discipline. In his book Senge detailed the results of a Princeton Study that pointed to the fact that organizations that had embraced continuous never-ending improvement were more profitable―much more profitable―than their more traditional competition.

Since then, numerous other studies have demonstrated that corporate cultures which foster this type of innovation are more profitable and successful by many standards. As if that weren't enough, these forward-thinking organizations also tend to have lower employee turnover and higher productivity.

In fact, according to McKinsey & Company’s 2010 Innovation and Commercialization Global Survey, 84 percent of executives say innovation is extremely or very important to their companies’ growth strategy. Yet, despite this obvious endorsement, only 29 percent of the executives say their companies set formal priorities for innovation.

First, let's talk about culture. Organizational culture is one of those intangible aspects of corporate life. In the hospitality industry, most often, the general manager sets the tone. If s/he understands the value of people, they will create an environment within which people want to work.

In this article we provide you with six great categories of ideas for creating a culture of innovation―for institutionalizing continuous improvement―at your property.

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Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.