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No Finger Pointing

Don't be afraid to stand behind your plan, win or lose. Support your strategy and take responsibility as a team.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Robert J Nyman
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Now that the Super Bowl is over, it seems the fun has just begun! In some people’s minds, the blame and finger pointing isn’t over, and they will have some serious debates on “what if,” and “only if.” By the tone of an endless array of sports pundits, we should be in for some chest thumping about what could have or should have and might have taken place, if just this catch was made or that play was successful, which might have changed the outcome of the season. I definitely find it interesting how things seem to escalate around the world of sports and how rumors get started, and then spread. I listened with modest interest – as I am sure many of you did – to what the prognosticators said, but yet never heard too much about key or knowing people taking responsibility personally. But hey, football players and sportscasters aren’t perfect. At least I don’t think so, but there might be some disagreement on that too!

This type of behavior is applicable in our business as well. I read recently about a senior hospitality executive discussing his company’s development plan for the next few years. He made references to the economic conditions that exist, which might hamper their growth and brand plans. Not once in the interview did he take personal responsibility for his company’s plan.

Many people today act as if it is easier to distance oneself and leave via escape hatch if a particular development plan or program doesn’t happen, than it is to face the music and take responsibility if the team’s or particular organization’s plan just didn’t work out. Some people like to distance themselves from any chance of potential failure by not making a definitive calculation on what can happen. But every day managers and qualified consultants have to make decisions based on the information that is provided to them concerning forecasts, guest information and past history, otherwise what opportunity for success will they have to make the grade? I would imagine that many executives and managers go to meetings like the rest of the hospitality industry and hear lofty ideas, concepts and the like, but how often today do you find someone who is willing to say definitively that they and their team will make something happen and spell out the details, full set of revenues/ROI and then put their full and complete effort behind achieving what they have presented?

The simplicity of taking full ownership for a program, without the caveats and excuses that we typically hear from some executives, would be refreshing. Each time we approach a new project, we ask for as much historical data and information – and more importantly, staff/team input – that is available. In order to make sure we can be successful for our clients and they can reap the benefits, we develop a foundation on which to build the model for the concept, then challenge ourselves first and invite the team to work side by side with us to evaluate and modify any potential glitches or take advantage of opportunities. We are constantly challenged to come up with a complete plan and program, benchmark it against the competitive set and most certainly guarantee the results and ROI.

Many executives and some consultants seem to not fully understand the “team concept” of development and responsibility. Instead, they prefer to make lofty and unattainable predictions, and are swayed by the latest and newest fads and trends that are put forth, versus completing a full evaluation, conducting research and taking the necessary – and sometimes difficult – steps for success. Most successful companies seem to realize they need to stay the course, make modest and measured corrections when business calls for them, work within the system and with the team to qualify and quantify the proper results. If you look at the teams that made it all the way, the New York Giants and New England Patriots organizations, you might use them as a model for success in their respective businesses: no lofty predictions; dedication to the details and the team concept; building of a foundation; staying the course with their core beliefs and making the required adjustments to stay focused; current and pertinent in their respective beliefs and businesses. Simple, isn’t it? But remember, if it doesn’t work out, someone needs to take full ownership, with no finger pointing - "You win as a team; you lose as a team.”

Robert Nyman    Robert J Nyman
Nyman Group

Bio: As President of The Nyman Group, Robert J. Nyman steers the company along its course with agility and experience. He began his career in a family-owned liquor store and delicatessen, but really began to “cut his teeth” in the industry with Restaurant Associates, where he served as Director of Operations in the airport division, a position which he held for six ...
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