Man­ag­ing or­ga­nized chaos

Hospitality News Middle East - - IN THIS ISSUE - n4tc.com

Manal Syr­i­ani, se­nior con­sul­tant at N4TC, ex­plores the trap of or­ga­nized chaos which is a busi­ness model adopted by some hos­pi­tal­ity or­ga­ni­za­tions that are of­ten small in size or in­di­vid­ual op­er­a­tors

As con­sul­tants for hos­pi­tal­ity busi­nesses, we have no­ticed cer­tain pat­terns emerg­ing in busi­ness strate­gies that we ap­ply strictly to the Mid­dle East. By re­flect­ing on those pat­terns, we aim to un­der­stand the as­pects of the lo­cal hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try.

What is or­ga­nized chaos?

This is a sys­tem or process that ap­pears chaotic to an out­sider, while hav­ing just enough or­der to achieve pos­i­tive re­sults. Usu­ally, such sys­tems de­pend pri­mar­ily on one in­di­vid­ual that has the key to the ma­trix. Chang­ing any com­po­nent of the ma­trix with­out ad­dress­ing the en­tire process will likely re­sult in neg­a­tive out­comes. Of­ten, such in­stances are linked to lim­ited sup­port from ad­min­is­tra­tion func­tions.

Why not?

While such a sys­tem ap­pears to be work­ing just fine, it could be­come a chal­lenge if ex­pan­sion is be­ing con­sid­ered. Own­ers will likely be stuck in a busi­ness mo­d­ule that can­not be trans­mit­ted or du­pli­cated, hence lim­it­ing the po­ten­tial for growth.

How to un­tan­gle

1. Iden­tify the start­ing point in each layer of the ma­trix. Think of the crit­i­cal points that the busi­ness will need to op­er­ate ef­fi­ciently and in­de­pen­dently. You want your busi­ness to rely on sys­tems that al­low trace­abil­ity and ac­count­abil­ity, and not on peo­ple.

2. Re­turn­ing to the core val­ues, vi­sion and the end-in-mind when you be­gan the busi­ness would be a good start­ing point.

3. Fol­low cy­cles. Work within cy­cles that have a clear be­gin­ning and end, namely: i. Prod­uct cy­cle (i.e. raw ma­te­ri­als and re­sources, pro­cess­ing and the fi­nal prod­uct) ii. Guest cy­cle (i.e. com­mu­ni­ca­tion, en­gage­ment, the ex­pe­ri­ence and after­sales fol­low-up) iii. Em­ployee cy­cle (i.e. en­gage­ment, job re­quire­ments, learn­ing and de­vel­op­ment, ben­e­fits, and mo­ti­va­tion) iv. Fi­nan­cial cy­cle (i.e. cash in­flows, cash out­flows, con­trol and red flags)

4. Think within the box and step back to ba­sics. While think­ing out­side the box has its ben­e­fits and will help dif­fer­en­ti­ate your busi­ness, this should only be con­sid­ered af­ter the main poli­cies and pro­ce­dures have been laid out and im­ple­mented. At this stage, you might want to go back to ba­sics to en­sure the or­ga­ni­za­tion is in place.

5. A se­cond set of eyes al­ways helps. In­volve ex­perts that can help you iden­tify where things went wrong. A con­sul­tant or coach will help you iden­tify how to break pat­terns and think of new con­nec­tions that are within the ac­knowl­edged hos­pi­tal­ity stan­dards, while keep­ing your spe­cific iden­tity in­tact.

Check points

Con­di­tion­ing can be hard to break. While your ef­forts will be well placed, you might find your­self fall­ing back into old traps. You will need a sup­port sys­tem to keep on track.

1. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is key. Your em­ploy­ees are your main as­set. Al­ways lis­ten to your key staff and in­volve them in the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process. Man­ag­ing through com­mit­tees could be a good strat­egy.

2. As owner, you are part of the sys­tem, there­fore keep­ing your­self or­ga­nized is es­sen­tial. The frame­work for your in­volve­ment in the com­pany should be set. A sys­tem should be in place to sup­port you and pro­vide you with the tools needed to main­tain your cur­rent sta­tus quo.

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