This might seem a negative piece but believe me that this is not my intention because everyone has the right to their own opinion and ability to perform within the parameters of their experience at a given time.
I’ll start by going back to a really inspiring panel debate held by Springboard earlier this year which focussed on ‘What Next? This was incredibly inspiring and it was months ago but I remember Maria Stanford from WSH and Dan Grantham from YO! talking about their working practices in their businesses to attract, onboard and retain people from every background possible to focus on staffing solutions. It was the first time that I saw a positive collaboration in the hospitality industry following a LONG time of talk surrounding Brexit and financially crippling pressures on businesses and the market as a whole.
The truth is that when faced with uncertainty or certain challenges we (hospitality) have proved that we are great at innovation. Who would have known it? WE are innovative, creative, people focussed, great business men and women, stronger together and improving/maturing as an industry.
We’ve come a long way and while we’re not perfect we are the best industry as quoted by Keith Knowles from Beds and Bars at the recent BII - NITA's Awards as he presented Kris Gumbrell, as winner of the Franca Knowles Lifetime Achievement Award before the legendary Scotty Mills presented to the also legendary Mike Clist, also recognised with the Lifetime Achievement award to Mike, his retirement and incredible service to us all.
Hospitality has overcome many challenges over multiple decades and it won’t stop there. This is the most inclusive Hospitality Industry that we have ever seen and we have a responsibility together to take the ego out of the equation in order to truly be a people focussed industry.
We’re not there however, and having witnessed behind the scenes groups backed by people who should know better, talking about putting people out of business and f***ing things up is a shame. I won’t of course divulge any information and moving, there are a couple of key words that I would question and I’ll do my best to briefly explain why.
Words including Disruptive and Rebellious negate the togetherness and inclusive progression of our industry and I wanted to throw in a question as to what these words really mean and why these words are used?
In no particular order.
I’ll start with REBELLION. Really? Does it not just mean doing things differently and thinking creatively to do things in an alternative fashion rather than sounding like the rebel without a cause?
I’ll swiftly follow up with my other word which is DISTUPTIVE. Again, another negative word with unhelpful connotations when what it really means, in context, is competitive and supportive of positive change. Healthy competition to make things better in order to improve the lives and careers of our people and enhanced customer experiences. Enhancing rather than retracting!!
I know they’re meant positively but why the negative words?... And they seem to be buzz words in our industry.
Just a choice of words I know, however the choice of language is more important than we sometimes think and perhaps we need to think more at times. I’ve had many healthy debates and it’s ok not to agree, I personally respect anyone willing to stick their neck out as long as they’re prepared to grow positively for the overall benefit rather than the demise of people. We’re a people business after all and the face of businesses, groups, bodies and the hospitality industry as a brand is crucial to our future. Don’t get me wrong, being healthily competitive with a ‘utilitarianistic’ bias screams inclusion is important to attract and retain people into our industry. The basis of our overall values needs stability or foundation and I would therefore question our choice of words at times.
Still inspired by the life or death depth of Scotty Mills and the Royal Marine values is something that brings you down to earth if you’re not already there. Humble inspiration is something I feel that we should be working hard towards as we focus on a Steven Covey Win-Win mentality. I won’t go into a debate of ‘is there such a thing as an altruistic act?’ …. But I’ll throw it out there and question whether there actually needs to be a hidden agenda when ultimately karma will prevail? Values are values, end of!
A focus for us all is - to focus on support for change in legislation in support of the amazing Hospitality Businesses and to raise positive questions in this beautiful personality led people industry of ours.
LOVING what we’re collectively doing BTW and having recently met some amazingly inspirational people, I know that we are at the cusp of something even more exciting as we continue to play a BIG part in supporting the UK Economy.
Hats off to you... to us! We have pledged our support and that’s a promise. Hospitality is like a fine wine….