This may not be changing fast enough in the hospitality sector

If someone is going to disrupt your business model, it better be you’, says Exago’s director and cofounder. Pedro do Camo Costa speaks to fashion editor Juliana Cavalcanti in an interview to inspire Jeroen Gulickx’s upcoming book ‘A Hotelier’s Mind, setting strategy for the future’.

In a world with fast evolving consumer patterns, the hospitality sector seems to be lagging behind, trapped in orthodoxies. Most of the changes with largest impacts, in fact, have come from outside the industry, Pedro highlights.

How can hotels innovate faster then? And where will the biggest opportunities come from? Engaged employees, customers’ insights and bolder experimentation will be increasingly key.

Check out the full interview here.

Your innovation journey, why is it relevant anyway?

You may have the resources and the tools to move along your innovation journey, but if the outcomes seem irrelevant, so does the entire innovation initiative. How do you solve this?

Simple but essential: pick the right fights, the ones the business needs to focus on. From our experience, successful innovation managers have triumphed by negotiating innovation challenges with business unit leaders. Take leader´s challenges and name them innovation challenges – you will have your own champion.

What´s more, we´ve learned, the narrower the scope of the challenge, the more imaginative the audience becomes. The more ideas you will secure.

You should also have a mechanism that recognises participation and engagement. This means rewarding idea generation and participations that create value. By and by, celebrate idea implementation and identify the relevance and impact upon your business.

Read more:
No returns, no play

From the start:
Are you ready for your innovation journey?

Taking the innovation journey? Remember to harness these resources

As we,ve seen, innovation demands resilience, and both top-down and bottom-up support. It may not always seem obvious, but you’ll also need a constituency inside the company to provide support throughout the different phases of the innovation process.

Ongoing training programs that ‘produce’ innovation practitioners is one way to get it. Find the best (we modestly hope we can help) to support you in designing and developing a specific set of outcomes defined to increase the success of initiatives – by improving content quality, accelerating throughput and de-risking opportunities.

Moreover, secure a minimum three year budget. That way a commitment is made and risk of short term shut-down is minimised. Additionally, ensure your budget includes funds to support promising and interesting business ventures that stagnate simply because they don’t have a natural owner in the organisational chart.

Read more:
Your innovation journey, why is it relevant anyway?

From the start:
Are you ready for your innovation journey?

Mantras aren’t enough. This journey takes real commitment.

These days, you rarely find an organisation where innovation is not part of leadership’s mantra. Yet the time and resources dedicated to it are far less than other disciplines, like quality and customer service. The challenge is that innovation is (will always be) a leap into the unknown that rarely brings immediate measurable results.

So, not only do you need to engage your people, but you also have to get leadership fully engaged by addressing their own business concerns and challenges, by educating them on the topic of innovation. And by showing them how innovation will deliver results to your business challenges.

Make sure they are aware of both the tangible and intangible outcomes, that expectations are clearly negotiated ahead. No one-year innovation plan should be put forward, as it is too easy to be shut down by short-term results oriented executives.

Innovation demands resilience, and both top-down and bottom-up support.

Read more:
Remember to harness these resources

From the start:
Are you ready for your innovation journey?

Are you ready for your innovation journey?

Innovation is the way, the only to way, to stay ahead in the race. It’s the ongoing attitude that makes it possible. A source of opportunities, to create differentiated business models, products and cost structure that can ensure resilience and growth, at a global scale. Are you ready to embark on this quest? Are you filled with energy to make it happen?

First and foremost, to go anywhere, you´ll need your people:

  • You must mobilise them and keep them involved around your business challenges. Unleash their hidden potential and harness their extraordinary collective intelligence: with ongoing communication; rewards and recognitions – people are moved by incentives;
  • Create a culture that is inclusive, where all have a voice and are heard;
  • Develop efficient social tools that promote ideation and collaboration, as well as game mechanisms, to make participation fun, engaging and continuous.

Remember this: to give the extra edge is an extra responsibility on top of someone’s day job. If you want to get your people’s attention and encourage them to participate, you must also be a good leader.

What then?

Read more:
2. Mantras aren’t enough. This journey takes real commitment.
3. Remember to harness these resources
4. Your innovation journey, why is it relevant anyway?
5. No returns, no play
6. Is it clear enough?
7. Finally, your 7th must-have