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Solving the Unsolvable

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November 07, 2019
Partnership Section
Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA - bgilbert@hsmai.org

Like many industries, hospitality has its share of challenges that seem insurmountable — problems that we’ve come to accept as the unsolvable cost of doing business. And also like many industries, we might consider using design thinking to solve them.

This human-centered approach to creative problem solving prioritizes empathy as a way of understanding the needs of your customers and designing products, services, and systems that meet those needs. HSMAI’s Fall Curate 2019 event features a custom three-hour workshop that will apply design thinking to the challenge of convergence and collaboration. Specifically, with data analytics and other tools speeding the convergence of hospitality sales, marketing, and revenue optimization, how can professionals working in these areas foster collaboration that is truly cross-disciplinary?

We have no idea how our workshop will turn out, but we’re convinced that design thinking has the potential to help us solve this chronic challenge — and even if it doesn’t, the level of thinking and conversation it fosters is sure to produce valuable insights.

The same holds true for the articles in the HSMAI section of this issue of Hospitality Upgrade: Kelly A. McGuire, Ph.D., on the evolution of the revenue leader; Kathleen Cullen, CRME, on the importance of revenue strategy (based on Evolving Dynamics, HSMAI’s new study guide for the Certified Revenue Management Executive credential); Max Rayner on the customer-centric approach of attribute-based shopping; John Burns on discovering and telling your property’s story; and Cindy Estis Green on evaluating your hotel’s performance through an accurate comp set. And there’s also an in-depth interview with STR’s Randy Smith, who received HSMAI’s Vanguard Award for Lifetime Achievement in Revenue Management earlier this year.

Once you’ve read these articles, we hope you’ll be inspired to think more creatively about some of the challenges facing your organization — and to realize that they might be more solvable than you realize. Maybe you’ll even take your first steps along the path to design thinking.

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