Innovation technology has been one of the most popular topics discussed in business circles in recent years. While most companies want to innovate in one way or another, the results of these innovations and their overall impact on the bottom line could be overshadowed if thorough research is not conducted.
This has had the effect that some hotels are unsure of what actually constitutes impactful innovation, with innovation in some cases even seen as an enemy of success as its implementation means that guests also start comparing all establishments, including competitors, based on the new experiences they offer.
Large hotel chains tend to have an advantage in achieving their innovation goals because they traditionally have greater access to knowledge-based tools. However, SMEs tend to be more adaptable when it comes to dealing with the challenges associated with change. Nevertheless, it is not always easy for both sides of the spectrum. Regardless of their size, companies do not have the resources (time, knowledge and budget) to work on several types of innovation at the same time. Choosing a strategy on how to innovate is therefore essential.
- Innovation in the hospitality industry
The first mistake is to think that innovation only concerns new products. Any improvement in the user experience is also an innovation and may simply involve a basic update of existing tools and features. The goal will always be to positively influence the customer.
Hospitality companies finally understand the importance of creativity and the relationship between entrepreneurship, creative thinking and its positive impact on innovation.
There is no exclusive territory for innovation, nor the prerogative of big budgets. There are as many forms and models of innovation as there are types of companies.
- The innovation sector
Innovation in the hospitality industry must be centered around the guest, who is the cornerstone of the hotel business model, and the immediate future will demand that it be brought into the conversation.
- How to innovate in hotels of all sizes
Implementing open innovation practices has multiple benefits, including shortening the time it takes to research and bring a solution to market. Moreover, including customers in the development of new solutions will make the filtering of ideas more effective, since they are the main beneficiaries and those who have the strongest connection to the experience.
In addition to customers, hotels have the opportunity to involve their employees in Open Innovation processes. In this way, both audiences contribute to creating new solutions and improvements and all become active creators in innovation.
- How to Leverage Open Innovation in Hotels as a Strategic Partner
Open innovation is therefore a very good option to innovate in any hotel and promote the advancement of the hotel industry.
Harnessing the full power of open innovation also requires attracting innovative employees. Management must decide what type of innovation it wants to introduce, when and at what pace, as well as the types of synergies that will be created within the organization. All of these factors mean that the company must identify the employees most suited to working as a team for these purposes. Innovative companies attract innovative employees and vice versa.
Innovation requires transformative people who collaborate, share and have the ability to integrate knowledge and experience.
- Become an innovator
Innovative employees are not only those with great ideas, but those who dare to experiment, apply their experience and transfer it to others. The future of hospitality needs professionals who are reliable, independent, able to handle uncertainty, but also open to pivoting and readjusting if the project calls for it. Innovation is knocking at our door.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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