I recently watched a short Tom Peters You Tube video on numbers. Yes, numbers. The numbers were 20 x 12 = 240. While we all know the math is correct, we need to actively listen to his message.
The 20 represents the probable number of days worked in a month and the 12 for the number of months. There are give or take numbers with travel, vacations, out of office meetings, national customs, etc,. but his premise was that many of us have a large number of days when we are in our home base and need to have the mid-day meal somewhere.
In hotels and many hospitality businesses, lunch can be a rushed meal (and one that is sometimes missed in the real world), yet I feel Peters is right on with the next part of his video. He continues to explain that this daily period is an exceptional time for executives to cross department lines and learn about each others’ areas, needs, problems, successes, challenges, issues, budgets, etc.
Sounds good, but can it work?
- I know of a “heart of the hotel” (or back of the house) department that scheduled a monthly team meeting at breakfast and invited another department head to briefly (under 5 minutes) share what their department actually did. The learning was impressive!
- I once managed a hotel that had rotating Chairs at department head meetings. The Chair had a set time to identify their top three issues or recent successes. The sharing was real and the next Chair did their part.
- Several large companies have an “executive job switch” day when they change positions with hourly staff. While these are good for public relations and some positive staff feelings (depending on the manager), their once a year timing is not meaningful. The managers who spend a day a month in someone else’s area are the ones who make the difference.
Tom Peters is well known for stirring things up, but this idea of professionals actually having a few minutes in a one-on-one session does not sound too radical to me. Showing sincere interest in someone that is not part of your division or particular work group is an excellent way to advance everyone’s knowledge. I imagine that many of the really successful professionals at companies like Disney, GM, Johnson and Johnson and others have done just that, and built strong networks as well.
With all that said, my question to you is “Who’s for lunch?”
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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.