The race for relevance: How hotels can stay relevant in a new economic paradigm

Regardless of the location or category, hotels are struggling with the same thing – establishing and maintaining relevance.

We now live in a world where people are choosing to stay in a stranger’s spare room over booking a hotel. Where once people would aspire to meet, do business and get married at hotels, people are now taking their meeting and event business elsewhere. Where once the best chefs and finest cuisines where found in hotels, discerning diners now view hotel dining as stiff, over-priced and bland, certainly not worthy of their Instagram feeds.

Hotels are experiencing a crisis of identity. As star ratings become less relevant, and with hotel categories become increasingly blurred, it is becoming tougher for us to deliver a clear value proposition to our guests — a reason to choose our hotels over an alternative. Hotel rooms have been commoditised, forcing us to compete on price and leaving us beholden to the digital behemoths who have essentially stolen our customers and are now selling them back to us at a premium.

So how can hotels reclaim their relevance, reestablish their place in their cities & and better serve their communities?

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The 5 C’s of pitching a new hospitality concept

I’ve been working with some of our hotel leader recently on the development of new Food & Beverage concepts and along the way, I’ve coined the 5 C’s of concept development, in particular, as a template for preparing high level pitch documents for a new concept. If you have an idea for a new concept and want to effectively pitch it to your stakeholders, start with the 5 C’s.

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Ben Lancken
Resilience: The key to winning in a world of uncertainty

Only one thing will be certain....and that’s this: things are going to get even more uncertain. Nearly everything is changing, and faster than ever before. And along with this increased speed and uncertainty, we’re all expected to work harder, faster and smarter.

How quickly and effectively we can recover from adversity and set-backs will determine how successful we can be.

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3 reasons to ditch WIIFM for WIIFU

Have you heard of WIIFM? It stands for “what’s in it for me.” It's one of those cringeworthy acronyms that is all too common in today's business world. The idea behind it is that to motivate someone to do something, you should focus on helping them understand what's in it for them. The theory suggests that people will only be motivated to change their behaviour if there is something in it for them.

I'd like to suggest we ditch WIIFM for WIIFU - "What's in it for us?" Here is why:

1. Human's are motivated by more than self-interest.

2. WIIFM doesn't promote cooperation and collaboration.

3. WIIFU connects people to purpose.

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Ben Lancken
FIT Feedback - 4 Steps for delivering effective feedback to colleagues

One of the foundations of creating a high-performance team is establishing a strong culture of feedback. Feedback should flow freely and effectively from Manager to Team Member, from Team Member to Manager and from Team Member to Team Member.

In this article I introduce a template that will help you to deliver more effective feedback at work. The "FIT Feedback" approach acknowledges that people respond best to feedback when they understand the "WHY" and feel valued when they walk away having been coached to identify tactics and strategies.

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LeadershipBen Lancken
Why I am becoming a minimalist

Modern culture has sold me a lie for the last 29 years. The lie that the good life is found in accumulating things—in possessing as much as possible. I’ve been conditioned to believe that more is better and I have inadvertently subscribed to the idea that happiness can be purchased at a department store.

I won’t be fooled anymore. I am bravely trying to step off the treadmill of consumerism in search of happiness elsewhere. I've started a quest to rid myself of life's excesses to make room for what is more important: experiences, relationships, growth and contribution.

I’m becoming a minimalist, meaning I am intentionally going to try to live with only the things I really need. Here is why.

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MinimalismBen LanckenComment
3 Leadership Lessons from Maori Whakataukī (Proverbs)

There is something about the Maori culture that speaks to me each time I visit New Zealand and when I get the chance to chat to Maori folk. One such interaction was with my taxi driver in Auckland yesterday. Joe & Iwere chatting about leadership during my short trip to the airport and he shared with me the three Maori Whakataukī (or proverbs) that have shaped his view of what great leadership looks like.

He scribbled them on the back of my credit card receipt for me and with a bit of googling I was able to make sense of them and track down the translations. Here they are.

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Ben Lancken
5 Reasons why you should become a mentor in 2016

For many of us, the dawn of a New Year is a time to reflect on the year that was and set goals for the New Year. In 2016, I encourage you to make one of your new goals to become a mentor, if you are not already.

My definition of a mentor is someone who inspires another person to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.

Here are 5 reasons why you should be a mentor in 2016.

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Ben Lancken
5 Ways To Wow Your Customers Using Peak-End Theory

In a world of identical competitors, true differentiation and competitive advantage lies in staging memorable customer experiences. Satisfaction is no longer enough. Satisfied customers are not loyal customers. They shop around – they may like you, but not enough to resist the temptations of your competitors. What you need is truly loyal customers – people who can’t imagine doing business with anyone else. Gone are the days of buying loyalty with rewards and gimmicks - customer loyalty is the result of consistently making people feel something special, something different. This is where Peak-End Theory comes in.

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Ben Lancken
Get a Life - Do what you love

Life is too short - we don't have enough time to be unhappy or to do things we don't want to. Instead of spending your week wishing the weekend would arrive, maybe you ought to create a life that you don't feel the need to constantly escape from. It will not only make you happier, it will also make you way more successful.

We all have a choice. Choose to do what you love, any other choice seems crazy to me.

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