Thoughtful Disagreement: The Relationship Between a DOSM and DORM

By Sonny Kerstiens Regional Director of Sales & Marketing, Marriott Denver Cherry Creek & Napa Valley | October 14, 2018

In the era of Big Data, it can be argued that the most important relationship in a hotel is the one between the Director of Sales & Marketing and the Director of Revenue Management. The dynamic that exists between these two critical positions can lead to unimaginable revenue results, or it can fundamentally handcuff a property's ability to successfully navigate today's hyper-competitive environment.

Generally speaking, the personality profiles of successful DOSMs and DORMs could not be more different. As a consequence, disagreements are not uncommon. Often times these differences of opinion can lead to bitter disputes or hard feelings which ultimately impact revenue-driving teams - sales managers, revenue analysts, etc. - in a negative way.

When the relationship breaks down or loses mutual respect or confidence, the consequences can be far-reaching. The situation sets itself up for a "Mom vs. Dad" dynamic that savvy sales managers and revenue analysts can easily leverage, which easily can lead to decisions that are not in the best financial interest of the hotel. Every person has blind spots. We are all human. And it is not uncommon for DOSMs and DORMs, in particular, to be oblivious to their own.

So how can these two critical positions ensure that disagreements routinely lead to positive outcomes?

Ray Dalio, chairman of the world's largest hedge fund, argues in his book "Principles: Life and Work," that the most effective leaders practice, among other things, the art of "Thoughtful Disagreement" and "Radical Open-Mindedness." According to Dalio, "Thoughtful disagreement is the process of seeking out brilliant people who disagree with you in order to see things through their eyes and gain a deeper understanding. Doing this will raise your probability of making good decisions and will also give you a fabulous education."

Sounds simple enough in theory, right?

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Coming up in December 2018...

Hotel Law: New Administration - New Policies

In a business as large as a hotel and in a field as broad as the law, there are innumerable legal issues which affect every area of a hotel's operation. For a hotel, the primary legal focus includes their restaurant, bar, meeting, convention and spa areas of their business, as well as employee relations. Hotels are also expected to protect their guests from criminal harm and to ensure the confidentiality of their personal identity information. These are a few of the daily legal matters hotels are concerned with, but on a national scale, there are also a number of pressing issues that the industry at large must address. For example, with a new presidential administration, there could be new policies on minimum wage and overtime rules, and a revised standard for determining joint employer status. There could also be legal issues surrounding new immigration policies like the H-2B guest-worker program (used by some hotels and resorts for seasonal staffing), as well as the uncertain legal status of some employees who fall under the DACA program. There are also major legal implications surrounding the online gaming industry. With the growing popularity of internet gambling and daily fantasy sports betting, more traditional resort casinos are also seeking the legal right to offer online gambling. Finally, the legal status of home-sharing companies like Airbnb continues to make news. Local jurisdictions are still trying to determine how to regulate the short-term apartment rental market, and the outcome will have consequences for the hotel industry. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine these and other critical issues pertaining to hotel law and how some companies are adapting to them.