Tuesday, 11 June 2013

148 Is The New 100

We have witnessed great excitement and activities this week in relation to our double celebrations of our birthday and innovation festival.

Our heritage of 148 years really does set us apart from any other global hospitality brand

Langham was the first to bring luxury on a grand hotel scale to the world. We should never tire of communicating this to the world. The courage of the investors and colleagues 150 years ago must have shone brightly and that is why we bring our innovation festival and birthday week together into the same celebration.
I have detailed ten thoughts we all agreed on innovation last year. These thoughts and the actions they create are fundamental to get innovation moving in your organization.

1.     Innovation is new stuff made useful.

2.     Leaders get the Innovation they deserve! Moreover, Innovation has to be lead, planned and budgeted for.

3.     A beautiful idea is never perfect. The initial idea may need some work, be patient and work with a concept, even if it is not yours.

4.     Cut Innovation some slack. How can we develop more time to get creative? How do we cut out admin and not so useful reporting?

5.     Great Innovation deserves a great name! Each and every one! That will help us market the new stuff made useful.

6.     Automate the predictable so we can humanize the exceptional.

7.     Fiascoes are OK. Sometimes a new idea just may not work. That's OK - it's how we positively communicate this message and embrace mistakes that are important.

8.     How do we free our front line colleagues to be innovative for our guests?

9.     Innovation is about being courageous and doing what our competition won’t.

10.   How do we attach ourselves quickly to trend waves to spur our own innovation?

I would also like to thank some teams around the world for recent innovations; the following is not an exhaustive list.... they are what come to mind presently.

1.     New Chuan Bathroom Amenities with exclusive scent created by Laura Tonatto. We are raising the level of our own branded items to a high end cosmetic range.

2.     The Chuan Academy set up by Barry White and the Langham Place team in Hong Kong. This is great out-of-the-box thinking for our spa brand.
  3.     The new Langham Legends CD – attaching themed music to our brand to underline our elegance and luxury.
    4.     The Langham, Hong Kong’s emergency pack for guests who lost their luggage. Wouldn’t you be delighted if you received this during such a stressful time?
    5.     At The Langham, Melbourne, front line colleagues are  each issued an iPod Touch to replace the pagers and radios. They can now check emails, receive job requests from GEMS, make internet calls, pre-order taxis and so much more.

6.     The Langham, Boston has put together a directory listing of all the bi-lingual employees in the PBX department. This makes it easy for the hotel to quickly and efficiently help guests who do not speak English.

7.     Eaton, Hong Kong has launched an Event App for iPhone users.  It's ideal for personalizing events and making them a great experience for our guests.  Be it a kid's party, a wedding reception, a graduation dinner, birthday celebration, full moon banquet or a corporate get-together, hosts can invite their guests to scan the customized QR code and input all the relevant information into this app.

8.     The Langham Xintiandi has a hotel mobile phone in their limousines. The Guest Services manager is then able to call the guests in the car to ask if any assistance is needed upon arrival. A very proactive service indeed.

Finally, I would like to thank the soon to be newest Langham Hospitality Group member, Eaton Chelsea, Toronto for the very nice birthday card and the creative video we received in Corporate Office this week. A very pleasant surprise and I'm sure we will be hearing of many innovative ideas from our colleagues in Canada soon!