The Players of Tomorrow will not be the Players of Today

EHL Editorial Team | 31 May, 2016

A couple of weeks ago, EHL hosted its first workshop on “Strategic Renewal, Adaptation and Innovation”. The two day event organized by Dr. Carlos Martin-Rios, focused on research and debate in strategic management, innovation, and human resource management.

Hospitality innovation has experienced mounting interest in recent years. Hospitality firms must  therefore implement a wide array of sustainable innovations to stay competitive and to thrive. These include not only the common technological innovations, but also more disruptive managerial, organizational and business model innovations.

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“The best innovation comes at the crossroads of several fields”.
Jean-Philippe Lallement, Managing Director of EPFL Innovation Park Foundation

“There are more and more technologies nowadays and this seems to be happening at the same time in a cluster. And this is often the sign that change is about to happen in a very big scale and that the players of tomorrow will not be the players of today”.
Igor Sekulic, Senior Lecturer of Business Communication at the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne

“We need to help the digital team to become a start-up in their own organization. The problem in big companies is not the lack of resources, but the fact that their hierarchical structure supports efficiency and not innovation”.
Fernando Polo, Partner, Co-Founder and Executive Managing Director of Territorio Creativo

“We believe that the future of food is connected. If we listen to our food then we will be able to connect with it. I did not want to create a tech company with a little bit of food or a food company with a little bit of tech, that doesn’t work”.
Eugenio Minvielle, President and Founder of INNIT International

“A vision, creativity and innovation is what will help you to differentiate yourself. Steve Jobs was a visionary because he created a need that no one was expecting to have... The most important thing is that when you follow a trend you lose; but when you create a trend, a need, you win". 
Mathieu Jaton, CEO of Montreux Jazz Festival 

“Innovation is always necessary and we need it in order to keep being creative. We must always question our current techniques and try new ones”.
Anne-Sophie Pic, Executive Chef of Maison Pic

“Today, it is all about understanding and personalizing the customer experience. Innovation can help with the process, but we should never lose the basic fundamentals of hospitality”.
Frank Lavey, Senior Vice President Global Operations for Hyatt Hotels Corp

“Starting innovation from scratch is a very difficult thing. This is why we should analyse problems and processes in our industry and use innovation to improve them”.
Alain Kropf, General Manager of Hotel Royal Savoy in Lausanne

“It is important to integrate your employees in the innovation process and give them the freedom to share their ideas”.
Marie Forestier, General Manager at Hotel Bon Rivage

“We should push our people to innovate and give them the resources to do so”.
Oscar Herrera, Chief Information Officer at Lopesan Group

“Innovation is essential to success in our global world. Creativity, entrepreneurial skills and innovative thinking are the most important qualities to succeed in hospitality”
Christine Demen Meier, Head of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Department, SAVIVA F&B Chair holder & METRO Innovation Chair holder at the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne

As Pr. Dr. Carlos Martin-Rios, organizer and workshop Chairman suggests, many questions remain, including:

  1. How does innovation facilitate transformation and add value to hospitality firms?
  2. How do different forms of innovation contribute to the goal of renewal?
  3. What are the drivers of hospitality innovation, organizational transformation, and sources of sustained competitive advantage?
  4. When and how to assess the impact of different forms of innovation—business model, organizational, and marketing innovation—in hospitality firms’ capabilities?

We look forward to explore these further during our next event. Stay tuned!

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