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2011 is the critical time to invest in Your Talent and Your Team

publication date: Dec 18, 2010
author/source: Dr. John Hogan CHE CHA CMHS
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Make Your Hotel More Profitable and Successful - 2011 is the critical time to invest in Your Talent and Your Team By Dr. John Hogan CHE CHA MHS               12.13.2010

"Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival."

W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993)

Deming was known as the father of the Japanese post-war industrial revival and regarded by many as the leading quality guru in the United States. Trained as a statistician, his expertise was used during World War II to assist the United States in its effort to improve the quality of war materials.[1] He was invited to Japan at the end of World War II, where Japanese industrial leaders and engineers asked how long it would take to shift the perception of the world from the existing paradigm that Japan produced cheap, shoddy imitations to one of producing innovative quality products.  Deming told the group that if they would follow his directions, they could achieve the desired outcome in five years. Few of the leaders believed him, but were ashamed to say so and would be embarrassed if they failed to follow his suggestions.  Looking back, Dr. Deming observed,  "They surprised me and did it in four years."

For much of the past three years, many industries have faced somber financial challenges. Hospitality in literally all segments struggled to find ways to meet the global financial meltdown in 2008 and 2009 and the 2010 scorecard shows mixed year-end results.   Erosion of revenue and profitability from 2006-2007 periods, and the loss of both long-term customers and loyal staff are all issues faced. 

  As recently as last week in the HVS Career Network[2] , there was discussion of a growing demand from their  clients for top talent, especially at the middle-management level.  Their report stated that the middle management group was considered a " traditionally neglected group" of employees,  but they were a  crucial link between top management and line employees and responsible for turning business strategies into tangible outcomes.

In my career, I have experienced four major economic recessions that all dramatically hurt our industry for a period and I have participated in four recoveries.  I agree with the HVS assessment that "Hoteliers have come to realise that now more than ever the quality of the workforce is the key market differentiator, and are ramping up their talent sourcing and retention strategies."

Now is the critical time for hospitality business owners and managers to invest in their talent and team if they hope to make their Hotel More Profitable and Successful.  Rebuilding our center of attention into a business recovery over the next  12 months  means that now is the time to pay attention to those professionals in our organizations who are the key components of why guests will stay with our businesses.


"The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now."

- Chinese Proverb





I commented in several columns a year ago that it is a sometimes a hardship in the cost-conscious operations facing many businesses today for managers to leave their properties for professional development. It is also a reality that there is seldom any longer dedicated time for meaningful on-the-job training, which had habitually been a strong element of the hospitality industry's career advancement path.   There are many issues facing the complex world of hospitality and today's business owners and managers need to be aware of that diversity, regardless of their own business focus.

As an individual who has been involved with well thought-out learning as both an academic and a corporate educator, I have come to recognize that delivering a balance of real-world business skills and comprehension with structured learning is essential to long-term success.

An excellent and continuing example of this available of learning is the annual program offered by the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association. The Association's 66th Annual Short Course program is scheduled in Houston, Texas from January 10-14th, 2011 at the newly renovated University Hilton Hotel at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management. This is a one of a kind, all-in-one hospitality training event that has been awarded best Educational Program in the nation by the International Society of Hotel Association Executives.  

The 2011 Short Course is a unique training and motivational opportunity for hospitality professionals to assist them with career advancement. Their promotional flyer says, "It's a small investment with a guaranteed profit." - my opinion is that when one looks at the great value of this program, the low cost is an amazing value.

   I am proud to have been asked to return for a fourth consecutive year. I will again participate with both a key note address Effective Hospitality Marketing in 2011 - Understanding and Using Ten Complementary Tools  and a workshop  A Career Hotelier's Insights on Understanding the Heart of Hospitality - Housekeeping


The 2011 Short Course[3], proudly co- sponsored by American Express and the American Hotel & Lodging Association, has its traditional strong range of topics including:


      A Career Hotelier's Insights on Understanding the Heart of Hospitality - Housekeeping

Controlling Alcohol Risks Effectively

Creating a Service Culture for the 21st Century

Effective Hospitality Marketing in 2011

Employment Law for the Hotel Industry

Facilities Management/Green Initiatives

Flipping the Switch Understanding Today's Generation and Helping Them Develop a Road Map to Success

Food & Beverage Strategies

Hotel Law

How to Build a Front Line That Will Build Your Bottom Line

Interdepartmental  Communications

Leading a Diverse Workforce

Loss Prevention

Positive Management for Positive Performance

Revenue Management

Stand by Your Brand, Putting the WOW Back in Service!

Understanding Customer DNA (Da Need for Attention)

"Where Do We Go From Here?"   A dynamic recap of the week, energizing students to implement newly learned skills at their hotels.

There is also a 2-day Advanced Short Course , offering an unmatched chance to witness the energy and synergy of the Short Course, while enjoying a great meal with the participants of both the basic and advanced courses.  These offerings include:


  1. "Positive Leadership Techniques:  Capturing Your Emotional EnergyTM"

  2. "Contemporary Issues in Hotel Law"

  3. "Social Media Marketing"

  4. "Networking/Best Practices"

  5. "Hotel Law" and the Values to be found in the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association

  6. "The Value of Vertical Thinking in a Horizontal  "

  7. "Group Sales Contracts"


There is only so much content that can be included in a one-week program and other universities and associations globally offer strong programs of varying length, content and investment.

Additional programs of study I would recommend to individuals for consideration in 2011 include: 

  • Capital Project Management or Making Renovations with a WOW Return on Investment

  • eCommerce for Executives at all levels

  • Ethics in Hospitality

  • Financial Accounting and Management for Executives

  • Global Marketing and Sales Management

  • Ownership and management structures (especially critical in family businesses)

  • Need and Value of Hospitality Associations as Business and Political Lobbying Resources

  • Real Estate Development and Taxation

  • Revenue Management

  • Service Delivery for the new hospitality customers

  • Strategic Planning for today and 2020

  • Understanding and Embracing Green Hotel Business Initiatives

In an article next month, I will highlight a number of international programs offered by university sponsored hospitality programs that reach out to management at various level.  If you would like to share examples of such a program, contact me @ john.hogan@HospitalityEducators.com.  

Keys to Success Hospitality Tip of the Week:

 Focus on Continuous Learning
Hotel Common Sense Philosophy #10
"Continuing Education is a must. We all need to be replenished. Study other winners, but not just those in our profession."Dr. John Hogan, CHA CHE CMHS

Part of the 15 Timeless Philosophies In Hospitality,  A 2011 Keynote Address and Workshop

KEYS TO SUCCESS is the umbrella title for my 2011 programs, hospitality services and columns. This year's writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my "HOW TO" articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS, Lessons from the Field, Hotel Common Sense and Principles for Success

Feel free to share an idea for a column at info@hoganhospitality.com  anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements ... And remember - we all need a regular dose of common sense.

John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events.  He is Co-Founder of a consortium (www.HospitalityEducators.com) of successful corporate and academic professionals delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today. www.HospitalityEducators.com is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability. Individuals wishing to contribute materials may send them Kathleen@HospitalityEducators.com.   Special introductory pricing is in effect for a limited time that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES.

Consulting Expertise and Research Interest

1.    Sales Management and training                         

2.    Turn-around and revenue management

3.    Professional Development for the Organization and the Individual

4.    Customer Service     

5.    Making Cultural Diversity Real                           

6.    Developing Academic Hospitality programs

7.    Medical Lodging Consulting


If you need assistance in any of these areas or simply an independent review or opinion on a hospitality challenge, contact me directly for a prompt response and very personalized attention.    

Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations



Dr. John Hogan, CHE CHA CMHS          United States - Phoenix, Phone: 602-799-5375

www.hoganhospitality.com/                      Email: info@hoganhospitality.com

[1] http://www.lii.net/deming.html

[2] HVS Career Network (HCN)

[3] http://www.texaslodging.com/membersonly/calendarevents/index.asp

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