The Best Boutique Hotels In _______ / Are you getting tired of this heading?

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I use a google search that uses the term “Boutique Hotel” because I have been retained to complete some research in recent months for a number of clients for a range of reasons. The number of “news” articles that lead off with this heading seems to be growing at an incredible pace. In reality, most of them are essentially PR promos.

My question is this- what do you at your property to make it special? Unique? Memorable?

Feel free to contact me if you could use an independent, 3rd party resource.

Comments and suggestions for future articles are always welcome john@hoganhospitality.com 

 

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

John@Hoganhospitality.com    Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

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7 Practical Steps on MBWA

                           7 Practical Steps on MBWA:  Hotel Common Sense 
I was looking at some of my earlier articles written for hospitality publications and realized how well this one was received. Interesting to me that while so much in our businesses has changed, so much remains within our control to influence.

An earlier article used one of Tom Peters and Robert Waterman’s fundamentals from their groundbreaking book on changing the ways we do business.  IN SEARCH OF EXCELLENCE introduced a formal name for what the more successful hospitality managers already knew about motivating their staff. The phrase “Management by Walking Around” was based on Hewlett-Packard’s commitment to their staff with interaction – not micromanagement, but ongoing listening and responding to staff ideas.

Hotel Common Sense – Philosophy #2 , Or, why the Open Door policy no longer works… article outlined how today’s workforce wants and needs to be considered as individuals who can contribute to the success of their organization.

Reader feedback showed the growing awareness to that need for additional management and leadership “active listening” and this follow-up message on MBWA offers some concrete ways to notch up that effort of positive involvement.

1. Allow your staff to share complete stories and messages.  Many hospitality companies are trying to improve their customer care programs, yet how often do leaders and managers actually ask an hourly staff member to share a story about either an unhappy or very satisfied guest? Listening to the entire story could provide best practices that might be substantially more effective and less expensive than hiring a consultant.

2. Avoid the tendency to interrupt.   General Managers are results oriented people who are looking for the bottom line.  I know from personal experience the tendency to “hurry” people along is there, but allowing people to share the entire experience will encourage them to be more open.

3. Remember eye contact in conversations.  One of my first mentors taught me a great deal about hospitality, but his habit of looking over my shoulder when we were talking always made me feel I was missing something. Give confidence to people with your eyes.

4. Collect and communicate these stories of success (and failures). Sharing these stories (appropriately) at meetings of all staff, at training sessions, in newsletters and more provides an incentive to people to want to contribute because they have learned that you really do care. I have seen some outstanding examples of “you tube” like testimonials from a number of hospitality companies of all sizes.

5. Remember this is not a game of “one-up.”  As General Managers, we have likely been in the business longer or heard more stories and it is important to recognize that we should not try to offer one “better” story than the one we are hearing. Remember, MBWA is about “active listening.”

6. Credit the source.  When we add a new resource, form or best practice to our hospitality membership site, we obtain permission first and then always make certain we credit them fully. Each of us has unique approaches, messages and talents and sharing the credit with our associates and guests is essential to moving forward.

7. Build trust by honestly listening.  Some (correction, many) of the best suggestions I have ever heard as a manager or executive came from the people who are performing the job. I learned more about laundry sorting, washing pots and up-selling from people who were proud to be successful at what they were doing. Some of those suggestions needed clarification and some were not told as quickly as I might have preferred, but building teams means using all the team members’ strengths.

HOTEL COMMON SENSE was a phrase I learned from a great independent Vermont hotelier a generation ago,

Keys to Success Hospitality  Tip of the Week:

Focus on MBWA 

A challenge to every manager who is responsible for 5 or more people: measure your in and out of the office time and at the end of the week, see how much time you spent ACTIVELY INTERACTING with your team.

The goal is 70% of your time out of the office – how did you do?

What will you do next week?

As always, feedback is appreciated.

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

John@Hoganhospitality.com    Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

This book addresses problems faced by all business owners

I continue to dislike the title of the series “……for Dummies”, but I again must compliment the author Jim Muehlhausen of this particular book.  

This is a book that addresses problems faced by all business owners, managers and want-to-be entrepreneurs, as it discusses ways to understand, develop and use business models. The author tackles an imprecise concept and sets it into understandable fundamentals germane to most businesses.

Amazon and every book store have literally millions of business books on strategy, creating a plan and related topics. This book takes theory and moves it into practice.

The author, in a simple graphic places a business model into eight areas:

  1.  Market attractiveness
  2. Unique value proposition
  3. Profit model
  4.  Sales performance model
  5. Ongoing competitive advantage
  6.  Innovation factor
  7.  Pitfall avoidance
  8. Graceful exit

The book also provides useful tips, tools and tutorials on how to use the concepts outlined in the book, which properly positions the business model as the base of profitability

The author knowingly establishes the fact that Business Models can erode and if one is not working to move forward, then reality says one is actually moving backwards.

We counsel many small hotels and hospitality businesses – many are franchised, which can be a positive but there is so much more than the sign on the building.

This is an easy to read resource with practical approaches and the information. Well done and highly recommended!

As always, feedback is appreciated.

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

John@Hoganhospitality.com    Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

Virtual Teamwork: Mastering the Art and Practice of Online Learning and Corporate Collaboration

Recommended Reading-Virtual Teamwork: Mastering the Art and Practice of Online Learning and Corporate Collaboration

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 A Mixed Message That Has Its’ Strengths

1. This book includes a diverse group of essays on online learning and online collaboration in the business world. These essays do offer reasonable approaches to learning theory but they do seem to include hard to follow material that is both dated and contradictory. Many are from pre-2000, which is not exactly cutting edge for a book released in 2011 and the table of contents or index do not refer to current mainstay services such as Facebook, Google, Twitter or YouTube

2. I was looking for a resource that had a broader perspective of online learning and the title implied this was going to include collaboration techniques, which it barely does. Virtual Teamwork is not a text about “How to Learn to Deliver Online Learning,” yet it seems to challenge non-online learning as being out-of-date.

3. To be balanced, the book does have useful tips on managing a team and references ways to address the cultural diversity of global teams.

4. I have been both a University professor and a corporate educator and we all realize that traditional classrooms are commonly supported by online resources and anyone participating in learning today recognizes that using virtual collaboration tools is customary today. If you work virtually, this book will likely boost your importance to your audience.

5. I believe Virtual Teamwork is a helpful resource for educators or faculty who assigns team projects in their courses, as it covers the basics of creating meaningful teams, expectation setting, and management.

6. On the whole, this book provides reasonable suggestions and tips for dealing with conflict in teams. The examples, case studies and best practices make it worth the read.

As always, feedback is appreciated.

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

John@Hoganhospitality.com    Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

 

  •  Co-Founder & CLO, HospitalityEducators.com, Resources in Customer Services, Training, Marketing and Sales, Profitability

 

Christmas Gift Suggestions

TWO SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT LISTS WITH THE SAME INTENTIONS

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

John@Hoganhospitality.com    Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

 

A very good introduction for those looking to find the value of “mindfulness.”​

 Get Some Headspace: How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life in Ten Minutes a Day

My son lived in Korea for five years and had communicated a number of Eastern beliefs and practices from his time there and I therefore had a fundamental awareness of the topic of mindfulness through meditation.

The title of this book intrigued me because like many Westerners, I felt a void in certain areas and felt “head space” could be a positive. The author, Andy Puddicombe, is a former Buddhist monk and is recognized as an important mindfulness meditation expert in the UK.

The introduction seems a bit drawn out, but it actually dispels some myths about meditation and introduces the reader to the reasons behind the concepts in the book. It addresses the values and principles of meditation, and the author’s personal experiences.

The book is in sections

1. ‘The Approach’

2. The Practice’

3. ‘The Integration’,

Each of these move the reader from background and general interest to preparing to meditate and then to incorporating the concept of mindfulness into your life.

Along the way are a series of short exercises one can do while reading, which is really a good introduction.

The book is manageable and easy to follow. Personal examples and stories are blended throughout the book and make the topics easier to follow as he is describing them.

He tries to balance the value of meditation between focus and relaxation, which makes the comments on mindfulness more understandable. The focus of “Get Some Headspace” is a greater awareness and understanding of ourselves and those we interact with. It focuses on finding our inner self, choosing how we see life and how we communicate and communicate with others

Puddicombe declares that meditating just ten minutes a day increases productivity, clarity and focus, reduces stress and anxiety, and helps with weight loss, improves sleep and personal relationships. He quotes research on increased blood flow and physical changes in the part of the brain that helps to control emotions and behavior and that mindfulness training can effectively treat certain addictions and eating disorders. There are claims of enhanced performance, in making sleep easier, and in a series of other improvements in cognitive skills and reducing the intensity of negative emotions, anxiety and harmful stress.

In reading books that claim to be life changing, it is always a challenge to write a meaningful and early review until one gets to judge the lasting benefits. The author’s website includes 10 free audio mediation sessions, which are supportive in trying to learn the how and why of the 10 minute habit.

I rate a 4 Star, and feel that “Get Some Headspace” is a very good introduction for beginners those looking to find the value of “mindfulness.”

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO    John@Hoganhospitality.com

Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

John J. Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

Speaker, Author, Expert Witness, Hotelier,Educator

RECOMMENDED READING {HINT} -The Answer to “How do we become successful” is in this book…..

,41XqOVMxPRL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_     Jason Jennings is one of those people who communicates well both in a speech and on paper. This book, published in the now seemingly distant past (2002), shares “people in successful companies” stories and how they do it.

The examples he quoted remain solid performers more than a decade later and the reason remains the same: the leadership of certain companies are continuously committed to serving their customers profitably, but not at the expense of their staff.

The message is clear, simply stated and yet, unfortunately overlooked by so many organizations. I read this book about 10 years ago and it is as fresh today – so fresh, that I intend to make it’s message into a future workshop.

Contrast the leadership, the teams and success of Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, Disney, the New England Patriots and Apple with that of Chipolte, United Airlines, the Cleveland Browns, Sears and many others who have left the marketplace. There are great people at each of the companies/teams in the 2nd listing, but their leadership has not yet learned the lessons of how to make their teams excel!

The answers are in this book and in our minds.

Your comments and feedback are always welcome.

About John J. Hogan

John J. Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO[1] is a career hotelier, author and educator who has held senior leadership with responsibility in several organizations involving operational, academic and entrepreneurial enterprise. He has been affiliated in management roles with Sheraton, Hilton, Dunfey (now Omni), Park Suite (now Embassy Suites), Med Center Inns of America, Best Western world headquarters and independent properties. He taught as an adjunct professor for more than 20 years at 3 different colleges and conducted more than 5,000 classes and workshops in his career as of 2016.

He is Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of HospitalityEducators.com, which was founded in 2010 as a solutions center for hotel owners and managers.  HospitalityEducators.com   completely updated and has been facilitating the Certified Hotel Owners program for AAHOA since 2012, with a participant approval rating of over 97% and more than 1400 certifications to date.

As the principal of Hogan Hospitality, he has provided litigation support, hotel expert witness services and hotel owner support services. He holds a number of industry certifications and is a past recipient of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Pearson Award for Excellence in Lodging Journalism, as well as operational and marketing awards from international brands. He has served as President of both city and state hotel associations and as an elected Chair of a major brand Hotel Owners Council.

Specific new services, workshops and keynote topics can be found at johnjhogan.com, including

  • WHAT THEY DON’T TEACH YOU AT HOTEL SCHOOL
  • IT’S THE SIZE OF YOUR IDEA, NOT THE SIZE OF YOUR BUDGET
  • 2017 HOT TOPICS ON SAFETY, SECURITY AND LEGAL ISSUES FACING HOTEL OWNERS AND MANAGERS THIS YEAR
  • 15 TIMELESS STRATEGIES FOR TODAY’S LEADERS

 

He is currently working with his partner Kathleen Hogan and others on several new projects including the HOTELIERMASTERMIND series, an eBook series with Howard Feiertag on hotel sales, two new web sites and a fresh set of Keynote and Workshop programs, hospitality services and columns.

He writes regular columns for a number of global online services, has published 500 columns and 225 blogs for industry publications. He co-authored (with Howard Feiertag, CHA CMP) LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES as well co-authoring the Supervisory Skill Builders from the Educational Institute. Hogan’s professional experience includes over 43 years in operations, service, sales & marketing, training, management development and asset management on both a single and multi-property basis.

He has supported numerous industry boards that deal with education and/or cultural diversity for more than 15 years. He served on the AH&LA Certification Commission of the Educational Institute and as brand liaison to the NAACP and AAHOA with his long term involvement in the Certified Hotel Owner program.

Contact: John Hogan John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com                 602-799-5375

https://www.linkedin.com/in/drjohnhoganchache/

[1] Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), Certified Master Hotel Supplier (CMHS), Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), Certified Hotel Owner (CHO)