The morning commenced with an interactive panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Demian Hodari (Assistant Professor, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne), between the millennial attendees and three teams of industry representatives Ms. Rachel Begbie (Senior Director of Human Resources at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts), Mr. Pierre Botteron (Vice President Human Resources, Europe, FRHI), Mr. Olivier Bracard (Chief Executive Officer, HOSCO), Ms. Laura Natal (Associate Director of Staffing for EMEA, Starwood Hotels & Resorts), Mr. Michael Levie (Chief Operating Officer, citizenM), and Mr. Sean Wheeler (Area Director of Human Resources – UK, Dorchester Collection). Multiple-choice questions were asked concerning “The New Workforce” and responses from the audience and the panelists were compared to stimulate debate and discussion. Key topics covered included the biggest influencer on job satisfaction, the best way to attract and retain great millennial talent and their expectations from their employers and careers.
Mr. Eugenio Pirri (Vice President of People & Organizational Development, Dorchester Collection) and Ms. Ana Brant (Director, Global Guest Experience & Innovation, Dorchester Collection) took the stage in the afternoon to present their view on “Disruptive Organisational Design”. After presenting the main global disruptors, they discussed how these should be embraced rather than feared. The key learning for participants was the problem with the organizational structure of today as it encourages people to think inside the box and hinders communication, innovation and the guest and employee experience. Dorchester Collection have invested in rethinking this hierarchy and linked it back to their competitive advantage – ‘The difference is in the detail’.
The final Keynote of the day was given by Mr. Michael Levie (Chief Operating Officer, citizenM) and Mr. Alain Kropf (General Manager, Royal Savoy Hotel Lausanne) on “Evaluating the evolution of service and the hospitality industry: from Classic to Contemporary”. Both presented the models under which they operated before opening up to the floor for questions. Delegates were interested in the meaning of hospitality and service, traditional versus modern F&B structures and what technology, such as robotics, may impose on the industry.
The highlight of the day was the much-anticipated announcement of the Challenge by Dorchester Collection. They have assigned our delegates the task of designing a hotel organisational network that embraces disruption and breaks down the vertical silos, promotes real time communication and collaboration, moves organisation from hierarchies to networks and empowers the most connected individuals rather than the most senior. Delegates have been divided into 12 mixed teams and given less than 10 hours to generate actionable solutions. Tomorrow they will have 10-minutes to present their ideas and will be judged on their creativity as well as their adherence to the core values of Dorchester Collection. At the forefront of their proposal should be the guest and employee. Only one team will be rewarded with the ultimate experience: two nights in Milan, two nights in Paris and three nights in London at one of Dorchester Collection’s properties as well as a visit to their corporate office. One final note from Mr. Eugenio Pirri – “Good luck and have FUN!”