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"Fresh Air and New Ideas - "Change is a process, not an event"

publication date: Jan 19, 2011
author/source: Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE CMHS
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"Fresh Air and New Ideas - "Change is a process, not an event"

Posted on January 17, 2011 by HoganHospitality.com

"Fresh Air and New Ideas[1]"

"Change is a process, not an event."   James Prochaska, PhD

Change is also something personal that requires focused and individual attention.

We have all heard the question on change: If we continue to do as we have always done, how can we ever expect to achieve different results?

It is a New Year and we are in The First 100 Days of 2011

The expression of the First 100 Days sets a tone, introduces a sense of urgency or an anticipation that something positive or significant will occur.  Many elected officials use that time period to initiate as many new programs and ideas as they can, while business leaders and sports coaches similarly use this short time period to launch as many new strategies and as much discipline as possible into their organizations and teams.

For hotels and the hospitality industry, the potential for dramatic change in the first 100 days of 2011 is there, as there is finally a sense of optimism in the direction of the economy[2].   Optimism alone is not action or change, and what do The First 100 Days of 2011 mean for you personally?

What do I personally need to change to make my hotel or hospitality business more successful?

Dr. Prochaska (who was quoted above) is a psychologist at the University of Rhode Island and is known for his model of the "stages of change."  While his research deals primarily with health issues and he was not addressing the hospitality business specifically, one can easily see the parallels in almost every situation.

Which Stage of Change Are You In?

1.     Pre-contemplation ("Never")  Stage

Standard Statement

"From my point of view, there is nothing I need to do but stay the course. That has always worked before and should work again."


" I may have some shortcomings, but so does everyone else."


The world has changed in the last three years globally.   It is easy to blame the government, the banks or the competitors, but little is likely to change for the positive until something changes. Each of us must take specific assessments of our own position

2.    Contemplation ("Someday")  Stage

Standard Statement

"If I only had more time, I could address the challenges I am facing." (Challenges can be service, revenues, or other unique areas to your business)


"Eventually, I'll come up with a plan to address for (my specific problem areas)


Good intentions do not bring results, only a sense of potential.  Think back to the last time you made New Year's Resolutions - how did that work out?  How will you get beyond the thinking stage to the action level?

3.  Preparation ("Soon")  Stage

Standard Statement

"I will begin the new sales and marketing campaign as soon as we update the marketing plan and finalize the new ad copy............sometime in the next four weeks."


"We are committed to completing our staff reviews and making the necessary changes by the middle of next month."


"Soon" may or may not happen.  Research shows a  substantial percentage of people who need to modify their behavior for health reasons either never get to the "soon" stage or progress beyond it.  I would say from my professional experience that many business decisions likely share this high percentage

4.  Action ("Now")  Stage

Standard Statement

" Talk is cheap and while others talk about changing,. I'm actually taking action ."


"We are working on making improvements, but are having challenges in measuring the results more."


Change is not easy - we all understand that.  It is  essential to be able to change quickly enough to both feel some short-term benefits. It is also essential to be able to measure progress so that we can continue the improvements  that accompany the change.

5.   Maintenance ("Forever")  Stage

Standard Statement

"I need to find sources of encouragement to assist me in continuing and  maintaining  the changes I've already begun and are continuing ." (Changes in procedure, marketing, operations, hiring, etc. can all bring stress)


"It was not easy, but understanding and accepting the positives of these changes are now becoming the new normal and I actually look forward to the new challenges because I can see the new results happening"


Change by definition is doing something different and dramatic change can be hard to maintain.  The new protocols or practices are becoming accepted in your spirit, but the  "old" ways of doing things are likely still prevalent in your mind.   Look for the centers of strength and assurance for the hard days.


Beginning on Monday, January 17, there will be a new and regular series of" Fresh Air and New Ideas" provided on this blog and on www.HospitalityEducators.com for hoteliers and hospitality professionals to consider, fine tune and act on.  The first link is already there - the rest is up to each of us!

Dr. John Hogan CHE CHA CMHS    Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Columnist

* Co-Founder of www.HospitalityEducators.com
A membership information site committed to MAKING YOUR HOTEL MORE PROFITABLE!

* Principal, www.HoganHospitality.com
Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations.

2011  Keys to Success are results-driven programs  aimed at building competitive advantage. These programs are available as either a keynote address or an interactive workshop. Details are available can be found at both sites.

Program # 10           Questions I Wish You'd Ask - Making Hospitality More Profitable!!

[1] An informational series from www.HospitalityEducators.com

[2] http://hoganhospitality.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/the-impact-of-the-first-100-days/

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