How Good Is the Team You Have in Place?

By Paul Feeney Managing Director, Sanford Rose Associates - Wayne | October 28, 2008

The organization thus functions like a complex molecule, with the various teams as its atoms and each leader as a nucleus. And as long as any given team does not show obvious signs of radioactive decay, the comfortable assumption is that it's stable and performing as intended.

Naturally, team members have their foibles. Tom, for example, tends to become passive-aggressive when assigned tasks he doesn't enjoy. Amanda is too inclined to criticize other members of the team. And Ed shoots first, asking questions later. How many - if any - of such foibles should be accepted as normal human behavior? And how are they affecting overall team performance? Could the team be doing better than it does?

The Overlooked Importance of Teams

Over the years few organizations have clearly articulated performance standards for small groups of people - whether a headquarters staff, CRM unit, raw materials purchasing section, production planning department or accounts payable section.

Where incentive plans exist, they tend to be based on a combination of individual performance goals and large-group financial yardsticks (such as the sales or earnings performance of an entire division, or perhaps the total company).

In between, however, is the collective performance of those smaller groups of people who work together toward a common objective - managing a plant, bringing a new product from laboratory to market, creating advertising and direct-marketing programs, etc. Yet how often are such team leaders disciplined or penalized for having an incompetent as one of their direct reports? Instead, members of the team instinctively learn how to work around the individual, who continues onward, blissfully unaware of his or her incompetence.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.