June 2017 • Issue 04
£5.00 • epmagazine.co.uk
Sharing knowledge and connectivity
‘EMPLOYEES WILL BE LESS COMMITTED TO
ORGANISATIONS IN THE FUTURE’ – IS THIS TRUE?
CONCERTO GROUP –
BUILDING A MARKET LEADER
INNOVATING WITH CAREERS.
MAXIMISING THE HUMAN ASSET
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We have been having lots of discussions on
leadership and talent development. It has been
There is less emerging talent knocking on the door
for leadership roles and many theories are suggested
for the reasons why. One of the main arguments is
thinking has become more narrow compared to how
it was before.
At the same time, the overall skill set of a middle
manager is less developed than their counterparts
20 years ago. There is a school of thought that they were at their most skilled in the 1990s and
it is no coincidence that those that developed in this era have been in key leadership roles for
longer than would normally have been the case.
Informal social communication is taking a central role in daily life – there may be more
communication going on, but far less focus on understanding major dynamics. This means
there is less knowledge of the consumer, of competition and of the market.
As has been well accounted, the average executive today responds to an average of 150
emails and is more stressed and mentally fatigued. There is a need to ensure periods of
reflection rather than responding to emails.
EP hosted a dinner with sports players named ‘Reinvention’ in April – especially former
rugby and football players – to help them find new direction and a renewed sense of purpose.
They are told at the age of 35 that their careers are over and do lose some parts of their
self-respect. This is a real lost talent base that needs support and could be of benefit to many
companies. It is the same in hospitality as there are many that have lost their way and need
change to grow.
It is not about reinventing the wheel; it is about investing more into human capital. We all
talk a lot about the importance of our people but there is more to be done.
MEET THE TEAM
Chris Sheppardson Sara Stewart Nick Sheppardson Lauran Bush Natalia Latorre Sarah Freeman
epmagazine.co.uk | 3
June 2017 • Issue 04 • epmagazine.co.uk
Sharing knowledge and connectivity
06 Innovating in people
Why are there not greater numbers of emerging leaders
knocking on the door to be leaders?
11 The straw that breaks the unwary back
It’s time to go back to basics, says IndiCater
12 To build a market leader
Adam Elliott, new CEO of The Concerto Group has a
strong vision for the future
19 How can we aspire to what can’t be seen?
What changes need to happen for women to progress?
36 Leadership: The next creative industry
Little is often said about what it takes to build a leader’s
38 Is 2017 the year the definition of
A recent Deloitte survey found that a radical transition
is already underway
46 The four-day week debate
Does the sector need to adapt the traditional
48 Can future CSR policies attract the
Shirley Duncalf at Bidfood explores how using CSR policies
can effectively reach the Millennial recruitment pool
50 Redundant innovation
How does a large player find innovation?
40 A challenger mentality in a
etc. venues – typical event space business or
FOOD & DRINK
16 Restaurateur first, hotelier second
Paul Milsom of Milsoms Hotels and Restaurants on the
influence of his family’s entrepreneurial spirit
08 Hotelier breaking through
Abigail Tan-Giroud is making sure St Giles Hotels Group
is considered a serious player
28 ‘Employees will be less committed to
organisations in the future’ – is this true?
Faisel Choudhry MVO has researched the impact of
leadership and the role of emotional intelligence on
21 Innovating with careers.
Maximising the human asset
Great people are as important as ever – but finding talent
is arguably as hard as ever
25 Experience is needed now more than
The industry’s greatest leaders add value to emerging businesses.
33 One & All Foundation
Let talent grow and allow good people to achieve great work
15 Would you stay in an augmented reality?
Greater guest satisfaction or the demise of the traditional
26 The world of work is changing
Antony Woodcock of GIG explains how recruiting temporary
staff needs to change
34 A young leader’s journey to solve the
food waste challenge
EP speaks to Marguerite Velay of Winnow on the role
technology can play to reduce food waste
44 On the cusp of change
The biggest developments in technology are about to happen,
but is the industry ready?
4 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 5
COMMENT: WHERE ARE THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW?
INNOVATING IN PEOPLE
One of the most common discussion pieces with board
directors is the questions – why are there not greater
numbers of emerging leaders knocking on the door to
There is a strong argument that we lost
a generation of leaders with the changes
that took place during the 2000s decade.
The developments in digital technology
changed work practices more than many
realised and there is no doubt that this
generation has not broken through as much
as with previous generations. However there
is some exceptional emerging talent and
so there is a need to consider how best to
nurture this talent through.
There is a lot of discussion about the
importance of innovation through digital
technology, products and services but
innovation with people is equally as
important. Good talent and people are
the core differential in Hospitality.
The overall comments we are receiving
from boards tell us that:
n Many middle level executives are narrower
in their thinking than in previous eras and
possess less real market knowledge.
n There appears to be less natural
accountability and even life skills amongst
many developing through.
However there is no doubting their thirst for
knowledge and intellect appears to be higher.
n There is a greater community/team focus
amongst those coming through.
n Middle managers network less and
do not really grasp how to build strong
As a result of this, EP has been piloting a
series of Think Tanks and also developing
initiatives to work alongside companies to
support the development of emerging talent.
The argument is that it is important to help
n Think differently
n Problem solve and find solutions through
n Learn to express their thoughts
n Develop their industry knowledge and
understanding of key trends and issues
n Develop social and networking skills
There are many talented individuals
within the hospitality sector and now they
must, as must companies, learn from what
has not worked as effectively in the past
decade. Transforming the process can now
support the development of people.
© ELENATHEWISE | 123RF.COM
Objective – The Development of Talent:
There are many programmes that focus
on talent development. However the core
consistent areas that need support are:
n Development of Industry and business
knowledge and thinking
n Development of old fashioned social skills
n Problem solving
n Taking time to reflect and think differently
It is important to recognise that the work
day has changed and is far more demanding
in terms of responding to emails (average
150 per day) with little time for reflection
and thought development. Clarity of thought
is very important and difficult to achieve
with this work load and social skills have now
never been more important.
RESULTED IN LESS
AND A DECREASE IN
The hard truth is that demanding work
schedules have resulted in less market
knowledge and a decrease in networking and
social contacts. This was the basis of success for
the baby boomers and needs to sit at the core
of the skill set of any emerging leader. Building
strong relationships and knowledge of the
market are fundamental to long term success.
There’s a reason that co-working space
have risen in popularity. It gives people
access to different networks, to engage, learn
and be inspired by those around them. In
businesses where there are employees with
numerous backgrounds and skill sets, such
innovative knowledge co-working can be
Case studies show that:
n Inclusive teams and work forces are more
productive and deliver consistent strong results
n People still buy people in business so the
need is to develop relationships
n Brands are less of importance than people
and the offer
n Clients are seeking greater understanding
and proactivity from operators
So the methodology that should be
proposed now is a return to tried and tested
models but with a framework that works
EP has piloted a series of Think Tank events
which bring people together from across the
industry. The popular sessions are conducted
in a business, yet informal learning and
networking environment. They are led by
an experienced and proven industry leader
who shares their own insights. Often the
speakers have reinvented themselves and
their insightful knowledge is unique and
welcomed from the room. This learning
allows the group to discuss key issues and
The group are invited to participate in
discussion, raise questions and both the
speaker and the group sharing their thoughts.
This allows participants the opportunity
to reflect, to challenge their thinking and
to be exposed to intelligence from across
The monthly Think Tank events have
between 20 to 30 attendees and take place
either first thing in the morning or at the end
of the working day to enable people to attend
and fit into their working schedules.
Bespoke Internal Leadership
Innovation Think Tanks
EP is now planning to create specialised
bespoke Think Tank sessions for specific
teams. It is important to challenge not just
those that want to learn but also internal
groups. The idea is to challenge them to take
time to think beyond the day to day.
By creating a framework for a session each
month, a team can focus on the development
of lateral thinking, reflection, market
knowledge and problem solving.
EP is hosting six Leadership Innovation Hub
events per year. These are, in simple terms,
interactives lectures by Industry leaders.
They are aimed for emerging talent and
provide them the freedom to develop their
thinking, build their own networks, and in
turn add greater value in their business role.
This is less normal business coaching and
more focused on developing the core skills of:
n Relationship building
n Industry knowledge
It may sound a contradiction but the key
in developing talent is to return to core social
skills of the past.
If you would like to find out more
about EP’s work please contact
020 7933 8771
© RAWPIXEL | 123RF.COM
6 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 7
EMERGING LEADER: ST GILES HOTELS
The next generation
Abigail Tan-Giroud is the Head of UK, Europe, and North America for the
St Giles Hotels Group. The young leader has enhanced the internal culture at their
London and New York properties and has set her sights on growing the brand
and making sure they are considered a serious player.
You would be forgiven for thinking Abigail has led an easy route
to the top. As the third generation of a famed Malaysian real estate
dynasty, some may think she came in at the top. This couldn’t be
further from the truth. Abigail had an interest from a very early age to
know as much as possible about the hospitality industry and worked
her way up from being a management trainee. Following University
Abigail followed in her family’s footsteps and began as an apprentice.
She experienced all aspects of a working hotel, and today Abigail is
representing a new generation of leaders breaking through.
Being immersed in the hotel world from an early age provided
Abigail with the understanding and deep knowledge of everything from
engineering to the guest experience. IGB Corporation is the parent
company of the hotel collection, a Malaysian business owned by the
Tan family. With interest in real estate, construction and hospitality, it
fuelled Abigail’s desire to understand all aspects of the business. Abigail
explains, “Seeing my father at work really shaped my attitudes and core
beliefs. My vision now is to build a brand to stand out in a busy market.”
“...OUR TEAM ARE GIVEN
EMPOWERMENT AND AUTHORITY
SO THEY CAN LEARN FASTER.”
There are ambitious plans in the pipeline but with more than 3,500
rooms in city centre locations across four continents, the platform for
growth is already there. “At St Giles London Hotel in London’s West
End we have been internally driven in recent times. In many ways we
are hippies, we all have a love for the industry and a love for each other,”
she laughs. “We have a flat hierarchy at the hotel and a new structure
which makes communication and reporting much easier. Our team are
given empowerment and authority so they can learn faster.”
Abigail is friendly and serious about the future of the group. She is
using her leadership style to encourage and support the team of 150
staff at the London property. By checking their egos at the door and
permitting them to make decisions, the move should support their
development. “Our focus is heavily in the UK and my goal is to have
20 hotels by 2020.” It’s a bold vision and Abigail knows that with the
strength of private funding and a portfolio of successful properties,
together they will support the ultimate objectives. “We must always
find the right property, at the right time and at the right price. Some
may say it’s an aggressive approach but we see it more as activity
pursuing.” She adds.
One could argue that the growth of the St Giles Hotels Group is
not well known. The first London hotel opened in 1996, in 2015 the
group opened two four star properties, The Wembley in Penang and
The Tank Stream in Sydney. Plans for the future include a recently
acquired Birmingham site, and another in Blackfriars in London.
St Giles made history recently by being the first U.K. hospitality
brand to secure approval for its bid to take over the management of
a property in Cuba. The deal, negotiated by Abigail, puts St Giles in
partnership with Cuba’s Gran Caribe to renovate and redevelop the
existing Hotel Deauville in Havana, which will become The Deauville
– A St Giles Signature hotel. “We’ve been quiet about ourselves, that is
true, and now we are working on strengthening our relationships with
our local communities and growing our portfolio.”
The young leader
“It is difficult to compare how my leadership approach differs from
previous generations. We simply grew up in different times but do
have the same goals. My management style is different and modelled >
8 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 9
EMERGING LEADER: ST GILES HOTELS
in my own way. We are all always growing and learning and I ensure
I take into account other viewpoints and listen. Is this where the
difference lies? I want my whole team to know I have an open door
policy and we behave as a family with a fair but firm attitude.”
Abigail has been tipped by Forbes magazine as one of its Asian
Women to Watch and challenges in the past would have certainly
influenced her as a leader. “A few years ago, the London property had
a major flood where it basically rained in the lobby. A burst pipe on the
roof was the cause and not long before, a similar incident happened
at our New York hotel. I’m told its good luck!” Learning from these
experiences has given Abigail the advantage of being able to work
through situations with the team that require strong voices.
As the European hotel industry braces itself for the impact of
Brexit, Abigail is confident their new marketing approach will build
the brand publically, whatever happens. “Our service style defines St
Giles. We have three, four, and five star properties and we want our
guests to feel like they’re staying in a hotel with a higher star-value. We
want to make all our hotels feel like a four or five star but with a three
star price.” Linked to this approach has been the launch of the global
‘St Giles 360 Virtual Reality’ (VR) campaign. “This began last year to
showcase our centrality. We asked guests to capture their authentic
experiences when they stayed in London, New York, Kuala Lumpur,
Penang, Manila, and Sydney. We wanted to connect both hotel guests
and other travellers with enriching local experiences steps away from
St Giles’ global properties.”
“WE WANT TO MAKE ALL OUR
HOTELS FEEL LIKE A FOUR OR FIVE STAR
BUT WITH A THREE STAR PRICE.”
It is an exciting campaign for millennial travellers and likely to
have taken quite a chunk of the $500,000 marketing budget. Abigail
is confident they are reaping the rewards, the campaign expanded
the brand’s reach to new audiences from a geographic, demographic
and psychographic perspective. “Would a hotelier from a previous
generation have attempted a similar project? I’m not sure but I do
know that for us it builds relationships and creates interaction.
We want to be innovative and listen to our guests. By getting them
to tell and show us what they discover in the cities, we provide a
listening device which we can also use to promote the collection of
hotels.” At the same time St Giles has teamed up with William Morris
and created unique branded sunglasses for guests to enjoy and also
shipped in branded VR experience holders for mobile phones – so
any guest can enjoy the content via the hotel’s app.
Abigail is immensely proud of their initiative ‘Hotels with Heart’
– a charity which was created to deepen the soul and meaning of
the hotels. “We want to make a positive impact for underprivileged
children because they are our future.” Abigail explains. “We are
helping provide stability and want to give back locally by teaching
them all about hospitality.” It’s a cause clearly close to Abigail’s heart
and the St Giles team is no stranger to trying to support each other.
With Tough Mudder runs open for all staff to attend and Abigail
planning to climb up the side of the London hotel for charity, the
group is always looking to give back to both the staff and community.
Abigail is a natural leader with ambitious aims and one can sense
that she has had to fight a few battles to reach her position. Her calm
approach does differ from those of a previous generation, but the
ultimate goal does not change. The St Giles Hotels Group are putting
their name into the conversations of successful hotel groups and with
potentially 20 hotels by 2020, they are a name many must keep a
close eye on.
© DVMSIMAGES | DREAMSTIME.COM
THE STRAW THAT
BREAKS THE UNWARY BACK
For the last three years caterers and
restaurateurs have been enjoying a
remarkably benign period of food deflation.
Now, with Brexit on the horizon, new skills
are needed to deal with food inflation.
From 2008, when it spiked at some 13
per cent, food inflation has been tumbling
– to five per cent in 2012 to zero and
minus territory in 2014 and ever since. At
a time when costs in other areas – wages,
pensions, rent and rates, energy – have been
continuously on the rise, the cost of food has
been a stable component of the business mix.
With Brexit has come a lower value pound.
Many of the foods and ingredients we use
everyday – many imported – are already
more expensive than they were before the
referendum. Indeed, one buying specialist,
Lynx Purchasing, claims that a basket of
goods routinely bought by caterers has risen
by nine per cent between March 2016 and
March this year.
This is a sign of the times. Food
manufacturers and suppliers are already
raising prices. Items like coffee, sugar, tea,
spices, much of our flour and meat, some of
our fruits and vegetables will cost more for as
long as the pound remains at its present level
simply because so many are imported. And
the value of the pound is unlikely to rise in
the near future.
So those caterers who have been blithely
maintaining menus without having to take
food price inflation into account, will have to
get out their calculators again – or better still,
Bob Cotton, Non-Executive Director of IndiCater
argues that it’s time to go back to basics.
utilise intelligent back office software that
automatically does the calculations for them.
Food inflation is on the rise and is forecast
to rise by five to ten per cent within the next
Catering is a notoriously low margin
business at the best of times. An increase
of this magnitude, alongside all the other
cost hikes that are piling up, could be the
straw that breaks many an unwary caterer’s
TO BE CUT, BUYING
back. So wastage has to be cut, buying made
smarter (e-procurement software can
help), dishes must be changed or made less
expensively, prices increased more subtly,
savings must be made in other areas if the
business is to survive profitably.
What action can be taken now?
It’s back to basics. Food cost increases have
to be tackled immediately. With food prices
on the rise, caterers have to get back into
the practice of weekly – even daily – food
costing. The unit cost of all dishes must now
be available on a daily basis. A five per cent
increase in food cost for a restaurant using
£500 worth of food a day will result in an
annual cost increase of over £9000; with
£170 leeching out of the business every week,
immediate remedial action is needed. The
busier the business, the bigger the loss and
the more regular needs to be the control.
Fortunately, there are control systems
available that help maintain the allimportant
gross food percentage as well as
other key ratios – systems which save time
and money and provide the kind of accurate
information that efficient businesses require.
IndiCater’s StORM software module, for
example, controls, specifies and manages
all food and beverage costs – a tool that
can result in a dramatic improvement on
the bottom line. Making use of modern
technology to help control the business,
before the full impact of Brexit is felt, will
be the mark of the wise – and successful –
caterer of the future.
10 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 11
COMMENT: THE CONCERTO GROUP
A NEW MANDATE.
TO BUILD A
Adam Elliott was appointed as the new CEO of The Concerto Group in
March. EP met with Adam to understand why he took on the new role
and his vision for the future.
The appointment of Adam Elliott as the
new CEO of The Concerto Group did take
many by surprise as he had been successful
in leading The One Group and in December
had a heart operation. Why, it was asked,
would he want to start anew and take on a
new challenge that would lead to a period
of pressure and hard work instead of just
enjoying the success he has had in his career?
There are undoubtedly many that would
have opted for an
easier road but that is
not Adam; he is never
happier than when
taking on companies
that need revitalising
and building. In 2010,
Adam became the CEO
of The Lindley Group
just after the death
of its then CEO, Alex
McCrindle and rebuilt
the team and culture to
lead it to a successful
exit in 2013 with
Centerplate. It was a
journey that he enjoyed
and there are many similarities with the
task that lies with The Concerto Group.
The Concerto Group possesses genuine
potential to be a highly potent and vibrant
force in the market. It has an almost
unique service model and a strong platform
from which to build and develop. The
company possesses a turnover close to
£40m, four offices across the UK and a
TO BE A HIGHLY
VIBRANT FORCE IN
number of offerings that really work well
in tandem – encompassing event
management, sales, production, venue
finding, large-scale party management,
venues and bespoke catering. The market is
seeking new innovative ideas and the Group
has the model that can deliver against this
demand. However, it is still a relatively low
profile entity and this will need to be one of
the first steps in the change process.
The basis of the
business was really
founded in 1999/2000
when three companies
– Ultimate Experience,
Business Pursuits and
Richard Groves – came
together to create
The Concerto Group.
Since that time they
have grown, adding in
a number of acquired
companies along the
way including Full
Circle, Mask and
JD Parties. The real
potential success of the
Group is that it does possess a strong model
that can offer a genuinely substantial service
to venues and a framework that can allow
each company to work very effectively in
support of another. As a model the potential
is very good. However the events market has
changed and is today highly competitive.
The market’s expectations of both event
management and commercial return has
grown and the challenge has changed for
the Group just as the market has changed.
As stated, the profile is still relatively
low. Those that know the company hold it
in high regard. However in this market, the
competition is fierce and one needs to ensure a
high profile and to be in the mind of the client.
At the same time though, the market is seeking
new ideas, innovation and greater variety so
this too opens doors to new opportunities. If
one steps back and looks at the events market
as a whole there are very few companies that
could really work with a venue or location and
build its offering on a number of levels, from
commerciality to bespoke catering through
to event and production management and
business development. Concerto has the
potential to go head-to-head with the majors
and offer the flexibility and personal nature of
IN THIS MARKET,
IS FIERCE AND ONE
NEEDS TO ENSURE
A HIGH PROFILE AND
TO BE IN THE MIND OF
Hence the argument for Adam taking on
the position. Concerto has all the potential
to grow and build a business of real value to
clients and to the market. Building a business
with a good platform is always a challenge
that will attract good leaders. The events
market has changed and is far more multidimensional
and Concerto has the basis of an
offer to meet the new demand.
In fairness to the Concerto Board it was
a brave decision to appoint Adam. He had
a proven track record but he had just been
through a heart operation and they were
seeking not so much a CEO as someone
that could bring new vision and energy to
the business. When they met Adam, they
12 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 13
COMMENT: THE CONCERTO GROUP
INNOVATION: AUGMENTED REALITY
believed that it was right that he took over
the reins and this was an act of great faith in
both the business and the potential. After
17 years, the Group just needed fresh drive
and it can be the hardest of decisions for
boards to take.
Adam is still in his early days but already
can see a whole number of opportunities and
it is clear that he has learnt much along his
road with both Lindley/Centerplate as well as
with The One Group. As one talks to Adam, it
is clear that he doesn’t just see the opportunity
in Concerto’s traditional business base but
beyond – in hotel outsourcing, in rooftop bars
and in sports to name a few.
“The big difference today is that the
consumer is seeking experiences and
that normal expectation is no longer
competitive,” noted Adam. “One of the great
advantages that Concerto can offer with its
brands is the support expertise and structure
to really create a unique experience that
generates extra revenues.”
“There are a number of clear examples in
the market. Rooftop bars and experiences
are a premium and if one can find a great
location, it can generate a strong following/
fan group that in turn builds a good revenue
line. Hotels too are seeking greater support in
both how they interact
with the market in their
events and in their F&B
space. Running a hotel
is overseeing a range of
disciplines that are all
different. It is important
to have real expertise
in support so that they
can offer a quality
service and be competitive. In the field of
sports, customers today want to not just leave
as an event finishes but enjoy after sports
experiences – but they need to be special. In
the old days, the offer was built around the
event on the field of play. Today the offer is as
appealing as the event itself and needs to be a
genuine experience in its own right.
“It’s important we keep our business roots
and generate real growth in these sectors.
Alongside sport and hotels we are looking
at heritage, leisure and arenas. We want to
engage in all concepts and have an objective
of being 365 – all year round. Building a
real platform for growth in these areas is
an ultimate objective for the company now.
We’re driving new concepts and initiatives
within our core businesses, and invigorating
our brands so that we can be classed as the
preferred route for our clients in weddings
and corporate entertainment. There are
many opportunities and now we are truly
working towards an all year round model.”
“ONE OF THE GREAT ADVANTAGES THAT
CONCERTO CAN OFFER IS THE SUPPORT
EXPERTISE AND STRUCTURE TO REALLY
CREATE A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE THAT
GENERATES EXTRA REVENUES.”
Adam is almost an old school-style leader
– he enjoys nothing more than building
teams and cultures that want to go out and
develop the business. He loves being in
the business working with clients, making
a difference. He believes in these oldfashioned
qualities that many have realised
are so important in business – trust, loyalty,
honesty, integrity. He may be office based
at times as the role demands that of him but
his heart is always out in the business with
clients. It is that inner drive that makes him a
good bet on bringing success to the business.
He has a journey to travel with the Group
but what one can guarantee is that he will
be visible, accessible and building belief and
confidence in the team.
When Adam took over at Lindley, he
inherited a culture that evolved very closely
around Alex McCrindle who had been the
glue that kept the team together. Lindley was
a VC-backed business that wanted growth
and success and Adam had to pick up a team
who had lost its leader,
reinvent it, modernise
the business and find
the growth. It was not an
easy challenge but it was
With Concerto, the
platform and model is in
place. It is about taking the
business to a new level and
becoming the market leader that it really has the
potential to be. It is about fulfilling potential.
Many have said to Adam that he should
step back and take it easy but that is
misunderstanding the man – he needs to
lead, to have a team that he is interacting
with and enabling a business to develop and
grow. He is a competitor that will go the extra
mile to ensure success. He will only rest
when the company is progressing and only
then when it is making a real difference
WOULD YOU STAY IN AN
Greater guest satisfaction or the demise of the traditional hospitality experience?
Arguments for and against the new
technology are rippling through
the hospitality industry. Considered
the sister of virtual reality (VR),
augmented reality (AR) is now being
adopted by some large hotel chains
that support the innovative trend,
however others are concerned by the
privacy, safety and maturity of the
Augmented reality is defined as
‘a technology that superimposes
a computer-generated image on
a user’s view of the real world,
thus providing a composite view.’
Technologists argue AR could bring
about a revolution in many industries,
with the technology used to engage
customers, build loyalty, convert and
increase consideration. Scepticism is
warranted but in the 21st century, shifts that used to take years now
routinely happen in months – e-commerce, a Facebook presence,
mobile purchase apps are all good examples.
AR came to the fore for many when the Disney Movie Experience
allowed children to include themselves in scenes alongside Disney
stars. The most recent example of this is for the live-action adaptation
of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ with Microsoft and Disney offering fans the
experience of bringing the movie to life.
The hospitality world is following suit and Hilton Hotels have
begun by looking at the guest pre-experience. The luxury brand has
teamed up with Reel FX VR and GSD&M to provide a virtual reality
tropical experience of Barbados. The 360 tour is a good sign of the
potential for AR and VR and the hope for Hilton is that it converts
potential bookers into committing. VR allow guests to use the
technology to explore the property, view individual rooms, and search
for nearby attractions – all in an immersive and interactive manner.
The industry is highly competitive so many are looking to implement
AR technology to distinguish their businesses as top choices for guests.
This can apply for hotels, restaurants, foodservice and more. Visualising
somewhere provides the guest with confidence and may increase their
satisfaction by knowing exactly what their experience will include.
“AUGMENTED REALITY CAN BE USED
TO ENGAGE CUSTOMERS, BUILD
LOYALTY, CONVERT AND INCREASE
If AR can grow patronage and sales
through delighting guests, then more
may look to this innovation.
However, at the moment almost all
applications of AR technology require
current location information. Users
must provide this information and
some argue that providing a location on
a real-time basis is a privacy concern.
As with most technologies of this type,
there is also a concern of safety. As
simple as if someone is concentrating
on AR, they forget the real world
around them and could have an injury.
Hotels appear to be leading the way
in the industry despite these concerns.
For example the luxury property
The Mansion at Casa Madrona uses
an augmented, printed brochure to
effectively demonstrate and showcase
their amenities and accommodations to potential guests.
Smart hotel room technologies, such as that from Control4, allows
guests to control media walls, indoor temperatures, lighting, sound,
window coverings, the fireplace and more. In Heraklion, Crete, the
Olive Green Hotel embraces smart technology that goes beyond room
controls. QR-coded wallpapers featuring images of Cretan landscapes
offer guests additional information about their destination, with
distances to points of interest and other relevant details.
They are interesting moves and recently The Financial Express
has stated that AR and smart technologies are bringing us closer to
the ‘hotel of the future’. They argue that by 2060 hotels will embrace
“augmented reality, artificial intelligence, morphing beds, robotics,
touchscreen interface, hyper-connectivity and more.” The way guest’s
book a hotel and also how people select a restaurant may therefore be
dramatically different in the future.
Many technology experts ask how far the technology will be taken.
Trends do come and go but at this stage AR and also VR do provide a
different customer experience and this alone may see them adopted
by more organisations. The industry is still a step away from part
physical and part virtual hotels but AR will play a big role at some
stage – the question now is when.
© SUPPARSORN WANTARGNAGON | 123RF.COM
14 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 15
FOOD & DRINK: MILSOM HOTELS & RESTAURANTS
How has the approach adopted by Milsoms Hotels and
Restaurants been influenced by the family’s entrepreneurial spirit?
EP speaks to Paul Milsom, Managing Director.
Paul is a third generation
restaurateur and hotelier, having
taken over the reins from his
father Gerald Milsom. Running
a family business can bring more
pressure than other operations
but Paul is focused on getting
things right for each five year
plan. Gerald Milsom was a true
entrepreneur, always looking for the
next opportunity and Paul learnt
lots from this approach. The core
of Milsom Hotels & Restaurants
(MH&R) today is an independent
collection of hotels and restaurants which financially support each
other. This approach, with the 65 years of family experience behind it,
enables Paul to be ready for what the future may bring.
Gerald Milsom purchased Le Talbooth situated beside the river
Stour as a tea room in the 1950s which was the beginning of the
group. In the late 1960s he added to this with Maison Talbooth and
established it as a luxury hotel and ten years later The Pier at Harwich
primarily a seafood restaurant, was purchased. In 2001 Paul and wife
Geraldine opened Milsoms in Dedham, a place to eat, drink and stay.
The entrepreneurial essence of the Milsom family is highlighted
by the work Paul and his wife Geraldine complete together. Paul
argues that one of the major changes in the last 20 years has been the
increasing importance of design. Paul says, “I am fortunate to have
married an interior designer whose great ability includes knowing
what works and doesn’t work within our range.
We understand how something that looks great
on day one must be practical and continue to
look great beyond that. If you were to enter any
Milsom property you would instantly see and
feel a familiar house style. Each is different and
unique but with an intertwined thread from the
brand.” Design plays a strong role in the Milsom
collection and must be considered an important
distinction for any independent group.
Is there a secret behind the success of the
company? Paul explains “We are different
to others because we are restaurateurs first,
hoteliers second which means that we worry
about filling our restaurants and our rooms fill on the back of those,
as opposed to hotels who try to fill their rooms and then their
restaurants”, with 65 years of combined family experience, he has
the knowledge and knowhow to run a business the other way around
to others. Paul also believes location has never played a greater role.
“I have watched as independent restaurants have been squeezed out
by branded multiple sites but the choice for the customer on the high
street is now fantastic. It can be difficult to compete in metropolitan
areas and so it is sometimes easier to compete away from London.”
with the 65 years of
behind it, enables
our business to be
ready for what the
future may bring.”
The geographical positioning of the Milsom group must not be
overlooked. “You could draw a 30 to 40 mile radius around our
properties and main target market. We believe it is difficult not to
come across one of our restaurant offers if you live in that area. Once
you do touch upon one of the hotels, restaurants or venues, you may
hopefully explore another.”
The Milsom brand includes four hotels, five restaurants and
event spaces. Paul explains that having numerous business arms
allows each one to look after the other. “Some parts of the business
are fairly intensive over the summer months
where other locations are busy all year round.
For our restaurants, Le Talbooth in Dedham is
our fine dining offer, it’s where people ‘celebrate’
in its setting beside the River Stour and guests
may only visit a few times a year. Whereas
Milsoms has a more relaxed feel and is a busy
and bustling restaurant which provides a contrast
to Le Talbooth and together they support the
Further strength was added to this strategy
when in 2008 Paul embarked on a joint venture
with the local building company, Hills Building
Group and opened Milsoms Kesgrave Hall
hotel and restaurant, a Grade II listed Suffolk mansion which had
previously been operated as a school. In 2014 the former school
sports hall was developed into a dedicated events space for up to 300
people. “Each market we operate in has scope for opportunity and
challenges but having conference and party facilities alongside the
restaurants and hotels have certainly helped.”
Some hotels and restaurants have been quite open about their
concern for staff levels and what Brexit will mean this year. Paul
argues the challenges ahead may not impact on MH&R as much as
16 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 17
FOOD & DRINK: MILSOM HOTELS & RESTAURANTS
HOW CAN WE ASPIRE
TO WHAT CAN’T BE SEEN?
There are similarities between the hospitality and
legal industries, but what changes need to happen
for women to progress in both asks Hayley Cross,
Associate – Corporate/Commercial at Joelson.
it will for others, due to the properties locations. “Throughout the
50s and 60s we employed lots of people from Switzerland to the
extent that the staff uniform was actually the Swiss national dress,
When Britain joined the EU in the 70s we were unable to continue
with this because Switzerland was outside the EU, we then went
through a French and then Spanish period. Immigration isn’t, as far
as I’m concerned, a new thing in our industry which has always relied
on good people from other parts of the world, it’s what makes us so
vibrant. I have no doubt the Government will find a way through,
but Brexit is potentially damaging and my worry is that if it becomes
too difficult for Europeans to work in Britain then many hospitality
businesses will have to close because they will not get the staff. Paul
made the decision to remove staff accommodation in the last few
years and changed the recruitment strategy to target local talent.
“Our team works hard at bringing in locals and this is essential for the
summer months when we may have 400 employees in total due to the
outside catering part of the business. They are virtually all British and
many are students who work during their holidays.”
Does the next generation possess ‘true’ hoteliers?
“Those coming through have lots of admirable attributes but they
will face challenges. I don’t believe the work is any harder but this
really is a young person’s game. My father would say that ‘the average
age in our business remains the same, I just get older, this is now
happening to me!’. The vast majority of those aged 18 to 30 will not
be working in the industry in their 30s and 40s. However I do believe
everyone should work in hospitality at least once. The skills and
experience from working in front of house or in a restaurant will help
in any career.”
For the future Paul believes customer expectations will continue
to rise. “It is still the case of constantly reinventing. We are fortunate
because there are no outside investors telling us when we need to
open a new location but this also means we don’t always have the
funds needed to open somewhere new. We are more traditional and
therefore slower, but our roots are deeper.”
International Women’s Day was a couple
of months ago now, but I don’t think that
should preclude us from continuing to
speak about gender equality. Someone told
me this year that they thought that IWD was
“boring”, she compared it to Valentine’s Day
and said that she did not see a need for it. My
response – “Lucky you!” I whole-heartedly
disagreed with her and was disappointed
that she didn’t see the need for a day from
which we can leverage change and start new
discussions around the steps that still need to
be taken to force that change.
As a lawyer who works with many clients
within the hospitality
industry, I can clearly spot
the similarities between
the legal profession and
the hospitality sector – an
abundance of women
entering, with few reaching
the top. For many years there have been
more women than men graduating with law
degrees; more women being offered training
contracts; and, more women qualifying as
solicitors. This year, for the first time, we
are expecting there to be more women than
men registered as qualified solicitors. It will
be a small margin, but it signifies a further
shift in gender balance within law firms.
Unfortunately, it also highlights the gap we
have between female representation at entry
level and that at the top. For the hospitality
industry, you will know, this is not something
new. The hospitality industry has been
heavily dominated by women for many years
(currently around 60%) but it is finding it as
difficult as the legal profession to balance out
those top jobs, with less than 10% of board
positions taken up by women.
There is now evidence that shows that
companies with a fair representation of
women on their boards benefit greatly from
such diversity. There have been some highprofile
female appointments in the hospitality
industry over the past few years, which is
a positive step; but with recent news that
the level of female appointments to boards
(across all sectors) has slowed down to a rate
below that which we saw between 2012 and
“BARRIERS ARE TOO HIGH AND DIFFICULT TO
MANOEUVRE AND WOMEN TAKE THEIR SKILLS AND
EXPERIENCE AND GO ELSEWHERE LEAVING A GAP.”
2014, companies need to continue to make
changes to maintain women at a senior level.
The moral arguments for such changes are
self-explanatory; it is obviously just and fair
that women have the same rights as men in the
workplace, but possibly of more significance,
is the strong commercial case for promoting
women to the top. Law firms and hospitality
businesses alike spend a lot of money and
resources training women, and will continue
to do so as more women join the ranks.
At some point between entry and board/
partnership level these women disappear and
with them goes all of their training, skills and
experience. The barriers are often too high and
difficult to manoeuvre and women take their
skills and experience and go elsewhere leaving
a gap in the offering to clients and customers
and a lack of senior female representation for
junior members of staff. For the hospitality
industry, changes within business generally
have a knock-on effect on the industry’s
offering – now, not only do women often make
the decisions around leisure-time activities
with their families but, the same women are
now also running their own businesses, dining
out with business contacts and travelling
for business. So, as the customer base
continues to change, management needs to
be prepared to respond
to their requirements and
a business with a diverse
management is going
to be far better placed
There are still many
barriers to women reaching the top of
the hospitality industry, as with the legal
profession, including role stereotypes and
cultural expectations (the most obvious for
both sectors being the expectation of working
long and unsociable hours) which often
breed direct and indirect discrimination.
The journey to the top is made tougher still
when there is a lack of female representation
making it difficult for junior employees to
aspire to be what “they can see”. I, personally,
do not agree with quotas but I do believe that
to choose from the biggest and best pool of
talent we need to take away as many of the
barriers for as many people as possible.
18 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 19
SPECIAL FEATURE: REINVENTION
INNOVATING WITH CAREERS.
MAXIMISING THE HUMAN ASSET
Great people are as important as ever – but finding talent is arguably
as hard as ever. Many today require a new sense of purpose and
they need to be brought into a community. Reinvention can be for
everybody but what support is there for people who lose their way?
PROVIDING A PLATFORM TO SHOWCASE CUTTING EDGE INNOVATION
Amadeus and EP are proud to announce a new Innovation
Hub which is designed to recognise exceptional innovation
The Hub is a platform for entrepreneurs and SMEs with exciting
companies and concepts they are keen to bring into the highly
competitive hospitality sector.
The Hub is designed to identify the best products, concepts
and solutions in the sector and all types of companies can apply.
This is the chance to present to Amadeus, a leading foodservice
company. They place innovation on the highest priority as they
believe it’s what keeps the industry moving forward.
Finalists will have the chance to present their proposal or
company to Amadeus with the potential to work with the
organisation and receive mentoring and an opportunity to
knowledge share with our senior operators. This a unique
opportunity and the experience gained will be of huge benefit.
Entries have until 30th September 2017 to apply for the award.
Those entering must summit:
l Description of their company – 500 words max
l Their business plan
l How they deliver their concept or product – 500 words max
l Reasons why they would work well in Amadeus –
1000 words max
l What makes them unique – 500 words max
An independent panel will select the shortlist who will then
be invited to ‘pitch’ their concept or company to a select
group of judges. Pitches will take place in late October with
the results announced in early November. This is an incredible
opportunity to put a new concept or company in front of an
experience innovative leading company. It is a great way to
connect with Amadeus and share ideas and challenges within
the hospitality industry.
It is said that we are living through a
second industrial (digital) revolution which
is changing work patterns and productivity
just as much the original one.
Finding talent is arguably as hard as
ever and may get harder yet. Therefore it is
important that we make the most of existing
talent and help people that sometimes lose
their way or becomes stale. Reinvention or
simply adjusting and changing can renew a
person’s sense of purpose.
It is argued that everybody will change as
they travel along the career road. Careers
today are journeys and there needs to be
a focus on the development of the mind,
thought processes and creativity. Too many
boards are arguing that their people are too
narrow in the focus and not helping create
change agendas. Is it fair to suggest that it is
not people but business processes that are the
barrier? There needs to be greater innovation
in terms of freeing up talent and supporting
skills to change and adjust to conditions.
In April EP brought together many senior
players from across the Hospitality and
Sporting worlds to discuss Reinvention.
During dinner at The May Fair in London,
the core argument of people innovation was
explored – the need to redevelop skills and
maximise talent. It is now important that
organisations plan and make the most of
human assets that lie within their business.
Often the talent is there but needs support.
Is it time businesses innovate their people
so they can change, reinvent themselves and
add greater value?
From the evening the hard truth became
clear – we all need to change as we travel
along the career road. Careers today are
journeys and there needs to be a focus on the
development of the mind, thought processes
and creativity. In an age where digitization
is becoming increasingly controlling and
important to the daily work life, the most
important area of innovation lies with people.
There are barriers to new leadership
and new solutions. Hospitality especially
possesses great people and now is the time to
invest in their innovation and also reinvention. >
© PHOTOGRAPHERLONDON | DREAMSTIME.COM
SUBMIT ENTRIES VIA EMAIL TO BEN.BUTLER@EPMAGAZINE.CO.UK
epmagazine.co.uk | 21
SPECIAL FEATURE: REINVENTION
Reinvention at London’s May Fair Hotel
Speakers on the night included Simon Halliday, a former England
Rugby player (double Grand Slam winner in 1991 and 1992) but also
a Director within Lehman Brothers at the time of the crash, who has
reinvented himself and his career in a completely new direction.
All American Swimmer turned CNN reporter turned leadership
coach Lynn Blades shared her passionate story and brought real
truth into the conversation. Lynn is the Co-Founder of The F.E.A.S.T.
Project – dedicated to the mission of finding excellence around a
Brian Deane provided an insight into what it is really like for
footballers. The English football coach and former player whose most
recent position was as the manager of the Norwegian side Sarpsborg
08, was inspiring for many.
Former GB swimmer turned entrepreneur, Angela Wilson, is now
CEO of Angela’s Swim School. She shared her story of missing out on
an Olympic dream and how she used it to pursue her company goals.
Angela now has 18 franchises which teach over 3000 children a week
and her story touched many.
Matt Church played cricket for Worcestershire and Gloucestershire
and has reinvented himself by becoming a Strength and Conditioning
Coach as a second career and owns Locker 27 – a specialist gym. Matt
shared his views on the cricketing world and what needs to be done to
ensure more are supported.
All shared stories and examples of reinvention and were passionate
about the need to help others reinvent themselves. The evening
included Champagne supplied by Gordon Dadds and wines from The
Sporting Wine Club. >
22 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 23
SPECIAL FEATURE: REINVENTION
SPECIAL FEATURE: NED
EXPERIENCE IS NEEDED
NOW MORE THAN EVER BEFORE
The NED Panel are proven experts who can support growing business
© RAWPIXEL | 123RF.COM
EP launched The NED Panel this year to support those struggling with
the pace of change and the upcoming challenges. This group of experts
have worked through periods of turbulence and their perspective and
knowledge can only be of value, which younger businesses can use for
their learning. There is a whole bank of knowledge and experience that can
be called upon.
MANY INDUSTRIES, INCLUDING HOSPITALITY, ARE
BEGINNING TO MEASURE FOOD WASTE, THE COST OF
RECRUITMENT, THE COST OF LOSING A GOOD PERSON.
HOWEVER, THE AMOUNT GAINED BY REDEVELOPING
EXISTING TALENT IS NEVER MEASURED.
Now it is time a structure is put in place
which can help former sporting players and
also those who need to reinvent themselves
in any industry. Help that has not always
Many industries, including hospitality, are
beginning to measure food waste, the cost of
recruitment, the cost of losing a good person.
However, the amount gained by redeveloping
existing talent is never measured. Now
is the time to do so and the irony is that
often it is not the complex skills that need
redevelopment but the simple social skills:
n Social competence
n How to build strong professional
relationships of value
n The art of conversation and how to
n How to network and open doors
n How to present oneself
n How to make others feel reassured
n How to think laterally and creatively
n How to be proactive and add value
n How to be problem solvers
It is all these traditional skills that can
make a difference in a career and a life but
not enough time is spent on these skills or
invested in them.
People may talk Hospitality but they need
to breathe it too. Innovation is important but
nothing is more important that freeing up
talent so that it can express itself well and be
effective. There are barriers to new leadership
and new solutions. The sector possesses great
people and now is the time to invest in their
innovation and their reinvention.
EP has pulled together an experienced
team of professionals that can work with
those that need to change and find new
direction. The talent exists for the Industry
to thrive and prosper; there is just a greater
need to focus on the development of skills
sets and broaden thinking.
Many of the NED Panel are from the Baby Boomer generation who led
lives based on actions. They went through a series of crisis including
the three day week in the 1970s, the oil crisis, four recessions, Black
Wednesday, the first Iraq war, the financial crash of 2008 and much more.
The NED Panel is a group of some of Industry’s greatest leaders from over
the past thirty years and who can add real value to emerging businesses
that would like a proven industry player that they can call upon and work
with their boards. Nothing is more important in making decisions than
experience and understanding of market dynamics beyond the workings
of the business.
It is important to call upon proven experience to help guide and support
board decisions in this period of change. Knowledge is an invaluable
commodity for every company.
For more information please contact Ben.Butler@epmagazine.co.uk
24 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 25
THE WORLD OF
WORK IS CHANGING
Antony Woodcock, Co-founder and Chief Executive
of GIG explains how recruiting temporary staff needs
to change to solve a millennial problem.
The hospitality industry has always
seemed to be at the back of the pack with
regards to innovation and technology.
Like the last guy to be picked at gym class,
it’s desperate to be recognised but never had
enough to offer.
The unique nature of its operational
intricacies, increasing costs and the lack of
a personal service have all played their part
in the industry’s initial reluctance to change
model and adopt. But with new trends and
technology hitting the marketplace at break
neck speed, the industry is being forced
into action. For the first time it seems the
hospitality industry has finally been ‘hitting
The root cause of this change? The
consumer. Third parties have had to step in
to revamp the somewhat dated practices of
the industry, to make independent owner/
operators wake up to the importance of a
digital presence. The likes of Trip Advisor,
Bookings.com and more recently Airbnb, all
disrupted the market and forced the tourism
sector to sit up and pay attention. Deliveroo
has had the same effect on the takeaway food
industry. But how did these industries fail to
spot a threat like this for so long? And what
cost did they face in doing nothing?
When you look at Deliveroo – and also
Uber, for that matter – it’s clear that many
of today’s disruptors achieved their success
by simply understanding and responding to
shifts in consumer behaviour. People wanted
a straightforward mobile experience, at a
Uber started out as a platform that
enabled users to make extra cash out of an
underutilised asset and became the largest
A RECENT MCKINSEY REPORT SHOWED THAT
BETWEEN 20 AND 30 PER CENT OF PEOPLE ARE
WORKING IN THE ‘GIG ECONOMY’.
taxi company on the planet. It was originally
meant for people who had a car but soon
people started buying or leasing a car just so
they could get involved.
The working world is rapidly changing.
A recent McKinsey Global Institute report
showed that between 20 and 30 per cent of
people in the US and Europe are working
independently in the ‘gig economy.’ And this
number of people choosing to live and work
more flexibly is only going to increase. As
a result, one such area undergoing its own
renovation is the temporary staffing agency.
Business in hospitality have long since
adopted the model of recruiting temporary
staff to manage seasonal demand. However
they have been held at ransom by growing
costs with an extreme lack of transparency.
The alternative approach of doing it yourself
however doesn’t leave much to be desired
either – dealing with part time or fixed
term contracts, having to add and remove
staff to the payroll, sort out payslips, deal
with tax, NI, holiday pay and complete a
right to work check to name but a few of the
Now, for the first time, mobile technology
is helping to create a truly on-demand
service whilst providing greater transparency
around costs and potential staff. Not only
does this technology help to streamline a
very manual industry it also makes it more
accessible again to both business owners and
My brother and I run a sushi store called
Maki. We noticed that most of our employees
were millennials who wanted to work flexibly
to fit earning extra cash around either
their studies or busy social lives. Our trade
increased dramatically over the summer,
which meant having to hire extra staff on
inflexible part-time contracts. Therefore
we created GIG to automate that part of the
process and make it easier for employers like
Maki. On the worker side a lot of our staff
had other more important priorities (studies,
passions etc) and getting people to stick to
their rota’d shifts was always a nightmare so
why force them...let them choose.
GIG is the brainchild of three lifelong
hospitality professionals. We wanted to
create an efficient, cost effective shift based
marketplace. To create a platform that would
work in favour of both the work seeker and
work provider, by focusing on flexibility and
immediacy. The technology we have used has
enabled us to remove unnecessary middle-man
process and connect the business and worker
directly, empowering businesses and workers
to make their own decisions about who to
hire and where, when and who to work for.
Smart companies are those that recognise
that disruption is inevitable and adopt it as
an active business strategy. It’s now time
for industry leaders to recognise that the
modern workforce is looking for flexibility
over and above long-term stability. The
working population is the technology
population, and the opportunity that mobile
technology now offers enables businesses to
rethink their entire staffing strategy.
Don’t leave it too late and pay the price at
a later date. By getting involved now, you can
shape how businesses like GIG will operate.
Innovation, and eventually disruption,
is something that companies either take
control of, or risk facing the consequence
down the line.
26 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 27
EMERGING LEADER: FAISEL CHOUDHRY
‘Employees will be less
committed to organisations
in the future’ – is this true?
Faisel Choudhry MVO, is a rare man and potential future leader
to observe. He is still relatively young with a long road still ahead of
him, but this is a man who believes in learning and being open minded
to change. He has an impressive platform to build his career further
from, having already worked within organisations such as The Bank of
England and The Royal Household. He was appointed as a Member
of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) in the 2015 Birthday Honours
Research from the 2020 Agenda indicates this
may happen, so do businesses need to re-assess
their approach to managing people and teams?
list, and has played active roles within both the Territorial Army (T.A.)
and within the Muslim community.
Faisel’s MBA Dissertation is entitled “Understanding the impact
of leadership and the role of emotional intelligence on organisational
commitment”. The objective was to understand the link between
leadership, emotional intelligence and the role these factors play in an
employee’s commitment to an organisation.
In Hospitality emotional intelligence is an important skill and
yet is not often written about in comparison to other key leadership
attributes such as vision, strategy and commercial acumen. It is for
this reason and the questions that the study poses, that has real value.
Faisel’s dissertation struck a chord as it does focus on a subject area
that EP has been writing much about in recent times – the importance
of Human Capital within a business and whether enough is really
done to develop this asset to maximise its potential. Faisel opens his
work with the comment:
“Increasingly organisations are competing in a global economy,
where competitive advantage through factors such as technology,
patent and product is temporary due to the increased pace of change
and competitiveness. Therefore, organisations need to look inwards,
to determine how they can make better use of the human capital
within their organisations, as increasingly more are reliant upon this
as means of competitive advantage than ever before”
It is the right starting point as there are no few research projects
stating that the percentage of people working on a freelance basis
within the next five years will stand at anything between 40–50%.
One has to wonder how organisations can expect to remain
competitive when it will become harder and harder to communicate,
engage with teams and bring them together to work with increased
commitment to the benefit of the organisation – and this has to be
the heart of the strategy. Regardless of Brexit, Britain needs to be
competitive on the world stage and this can only happen with great
teams working as one on behalf of their business. Surely a freelance
culture threatens to undermine this competitiveness?
One of the most common questions across boards throughout the
country is why are there not more young leaders breaking through and
replacing the baby boom generation?
EP has been debating this point in recent issues and there is a belief
that almost a generation has been lost through the 2000s with the
advances in digitalisation and with increased profitable businesses
until the crash of 2009. We arguably lost almost ten years of leaders
through reductions in training budgets and increases in processes,
technology and the management of risk. The result was that the
Faisel’s dissertation struck a chord
as it does focus on a subject area
that EP has been writing much about
in recent times – the importance
of Human Capital within a business
and whether enough is really done
to develop this asset to maximise
its potential. >
© GODRICK | 123RF.COM
28 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 29
EMERGING LEADER: FAISEL CHOUDHRY
estimated skill set and knowledge of middle management fell by an
estimated 30%. New leaders were simply not being prepared. On top
of that, process and risk management have almost hindered teams
learning and accountability.
Now is the time to re-assess how great teams can be developed and
new leaders nurtured. Britain’s businesses need to be competitive
and this requires a greater and more thoughtful strategic approach
towards the human asset.
And hence the importance of Faisel’s work as it touches on this
subject and is being written by one of the modern emerging leaders.
As part of the research, Faisel interviewed participants from
board level down to senior management level with an almost equal
breakdown in gender (male and female).
So what were the key findings from the study for consideration?
Some of the findings were as one would expect:
n The results demonstrated a direct link between a line manager’s
leadership and positive outcomes such as increased commitment
through positive communication and the opposite being true with a
n Empowerment behaviour had a direct link with increased commitment.
n Training/supportive behaviour linked to positive increase in
commitment/job performance and satisfaction.
n A clarity of vision/direction was shown to have positive effects.
n A direct link between the line manager’s Emotional Intelligence
abilities and increased employee commitment – most especially
expressed via “empathy”.
However, these were supported by a number of thought provoking
and very relevant points for the modern era:
Competitive advantage in today’s world can be gained through
committed employees increasing organisational performance.
Therefore, there is a real need for companies to work harder with
their human capital and through key leadership behaviours and
training seek to improve overall performance.
This is an interesting observation as one can make the argument
this was the bedrock principles of success from the 1980s when
training and the development of the human asset was seen to sit at
the core of business. The Forte Empire is a great example of such a
philosophy. This arguably became lost in the 2000s when Britain
was in a period of a sustained boom, and maybe some of the core
principles that lay in the foundations of business were forgotten and
are only now getting renewed.
The leaders of the 1970s and 80s lived through some dark
days from the three day week to the oil crisis to three recessions.
These were some of the hardest times in post war Britain and
this generation of leader lay their belief in training and the
importance of teams. It is no coincidence that there is a new rising
belief in how the companies can support human capital. However,
the difference is that there is greater awareness of the need for
flexibility and understanding of individuals that play key roles
within organisations. Arguably this is a more complex period of
time with employees of many different cultures and religions,
and therefore there needs to be greater education and emotional
In his work, Faisel notes how leadership theory has evolved and
developed considerably over time. It is true, it has from the days when
the qualities of the leader were analysed to how leaders responded
in differing situations to research on behaviours and functionality,
through to the modern theory of the transactional/transformational
approach to leadership and its further evolution into gender, culture,
integrative and emerging forms. Faisel rightly argues that the
evolution is driven by the macro-environmental factors that leaders
operate within. It all just serves to emphasise the importance that
the HR function can play in the modern business. There has never
been a more important time to develop greater approaches to the
development of talent and teams.
Communication skills are critical to increased commitment.
The communication style should be:
n There needs to be a conscious acknowledgement that remote
working should not lead to a decrease in face to face opportunities
n It is simply not enough for an organisation to produce a vision
statement. It must be an active part of an employee’s day-to-day
interaction with and for the organisation.
n Through empowerment, it is important that managers encourage
employees to take risks and not to create a blame culture.
n Training/supportive behaviours are critical to commitment.
Organisations need to have formal structured yet flexible training
n Treating employees as individuals.
n Organisations need to understand that whilst Emotional
Intelligence (EI) can be taught, it is not an easy process. There is a
need for self-awareness within management.
Faisel writes: “As all individuals are unique, so too are their needs.
Leaders must adapt their style and behaviours accordingly and
those leaders with EI will be best placed to do this through greater
levels of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and
social skill to develop and inspire their employee’s commitment,
thus leading to increased productivity and in the end, to personal and
One of the aspects that make Faisel’s work stand out is that at its
heart it lies with the pursuit of knowledge. He writes:
“You should be more knowledgeable today than you were yesterday,
and more knowledgeable tomorrow than you are today, since if you do
not make some improvements on a daily basis, in effect you are going
backwards; the world would have changed and improved and you
would not have progressed accordingly”
One of the other great debates that has been going on is the challenge
in managing Millennials in comparison to the skills and behaviours
possessed by the Baby Boom generation. Arguably the Baby Boom
generation was driven more by an action culture that reflected the
ethos of the 1980s being about personal responsibility and personal
accountability. It was about creating actions to power growth in wealth
and the economy. It was Thatcher’s ethos. It wasn’t all good; it wasn’t
all bad but for a period of time it was very effective. This generation has
led the industry for close to twenty years very successfully. Their legacy
is safe and secure as having been at the heart of a golden era.
The problem is, this is a different era with a different ethos. The
emerging generations do look at life in a very different way – one
where knowledge and community sit at the heart. Faisel is an example
of this new breed. Faisel is certainly not afraid of actions having
worked hard to build his career, complete his MBA whilst working
and playing a role in mentoring other young leaders. He is as action
focused as anyone. The difference is that his outlook is different and at
the heart lies a desire to learn and improve.
The Millennials have taken some intense criticism in recent
times – some of it is fair, they do often lack the life skills that the
Baby Boomers naturally possessed but is this their fault or have they
been more protected in their developmental years? However, this is
also one of the first generations to emerge from University with debt
and they view life with, not concern or stress, but a greater belief in
knowledge, globalisation, community and social agenda. There is a
belief in the good from capitalism being combined with the good from
social agendas to create new solutions.
The whole concept really started growing again in the mid to late
1990s and great examples include:
n The Eden project
n John Lewis Partnership
n The Big Issue
n Cafedirect >
30 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 31
EMERGING LEADER: FAISEL CHOUDHRY
SPECIAL FEATURE: THE ONE AND ALL FOUNDATION
becoming lost because they lack some of the essential skills needed
for professional growth. Those who possess strong networking skills
are in many ways more successful at reinventing themselves – an
experience which can make a real difference in a career and in a life.
Often not enough time is spent or invested in the core skills required.
For the industry to thrive and prosper there is a greater need to focus
on the development of skill sets and broadening thinking.
The underlying point is that this has been a growing development
since the advent of Tony Blair and a more social conscience from
the mid-90s and the emerging talent are only a product of this age.
The real need is for business to understand the emerging generations
and to develop new flexible approaches to maximise the exceptional
potential that sits within.
As Faisel would remark – this is a time when Knowledge can
THE ONE & ALL FOUNDATION
We can do more to support good talent grow.
Profile of Faisel Choudhry
A survey conducted for the Social Enterprise Unit in 2004 found
that there were 15,000 social enterprises in the UK. This was 1.2% of
all enterprises in the UK. They employed 450,000 people, of whom
two-thirds are full-time, plus a further 300,000 volunteers. Their
combined annual turnover is £18 billion and the median turnover
is £285,000, of this, 84% is from trading. In 2006, the government
revised this estimate upwards to 55,000, based on a survey of a sample
of business owners with employees, which found that 5% of them
define themselves as social enterprises. The most up to date estimates
suggest that there are approximately 78,000 social enterprises in the
UK, contributing £24 billion to the UK economy.
Using the EU definition of social economy, the annual contribution
of social enterprises to the UK economy is four times larger at £98
billion because it includes the contribution of all co-operatives,
mutuals and associations that produce goods or services to improve
The rise of the social enterprise is just one example that shows the
changing nature of business between generations. Emerging leaders
such as Faisel have recognised the changes and appreciate that they
need to be made. Today, perhaps more so than ever before, people are
Faisel undertook his first role working at the Houses of
Parliament for a Shadow Cabinet Minister aged 14, this first
foray into the working world of Central Government sparked his
interest and passion for Public Service.
At age 15 he began his first paid employment working for a
small computer company in the West End (Tottenham Court
Road) beginning in the Sales team, whilst undertaking his GCSE’s
and progressing to General Manager at 18 during his A-Levels.
After graduating Faisel’s formal career began at The Royal
Household in 2002 as a Technical Specialist, and progressed
through several roles into management positions within
Technology during his 12.5 years at the organisation.
In 2012 Faisel undertook a part time Executive MBA at
Henley Business School to further his understanding of strategic
business thinking and to build upon his leadership skillset, whilst
continuing full time employment. He also became a Chartered
Manager of the Chartered Management Institute and was the
second youngest member, who was both a Chartered Manager
and Fellow of the Institute.
In 2015 Faisel began employment at the Bank of England
within the Technology Directorate, managing a team of approx.
60 staff leading on the customer service aspect of IT, and
contributing to the Bank’s mission to promote the good of the
people of the United Kingdom by maintaining monetary and
financial stability. Faisel is currently undertaking a secondment to
the HR Directorate to broaden his organisational HR knowledge.
Faisel also gives annual talks on leadership and personal
development to a select number of aspiring young Muslim
leaders at Oxford University, as part of the Oxford Centre for
Islamic Studies. As an alumnus of the Young Muslim Leadership
Programme, Faisel has spoken since 2010 at the programme
setup in cooperation with The Prince’s Charities.
The One & All Foundation was founded
to support all talent, regardless of origin,
background, gender, sexual orientation,
or age. Talent is talent. We want great talent
to be nurtured and encouraged and the
traditional barriers to be stripped away.
The One & All Foundation has been
developed to ensure that every individual can
fulfil their potential in an open, diverse and
dynamic hospitality industry. We believe
It’s a fact: Times are changing. Society is
changing. The workforce has already changed.
It has been proven that those organisations
that are the most inclusive produce greater
results. This is not just about great people but
great business, great service, and great teams.
One & All is charged with empowering
individuals to change and grow; to maximise
their potential. We will achieve this through
mentors and coaching; through bespoke
programmes centred on individuals.
We will celebrate case studies of those
that have broken through barriers and glass
ceilings. These case studies and people
stories can be the inspiration for others and
create the strength for change.
Our goal is simple –
To let talent grow and allow good people to
achieve great work through their everyday
choices and behaviour.
Hospitality is an international industry
that excites almost everyone in one form or
another. This can only happen through our
people. We need great people. It is time to
end once and for all the discussions about
a lack of good people, lack of leaders, a
lack of skills. Instead, we need to focus on
developing talent of all types.
Please come and work with us to achieve
our goal – One Industry, All People.
What can you do to support another to
Contact details: To find out more about
the One and All Foundation please
© STYLE PHOTOGRAPHS | 123RF.COM
32 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 33
INNOVATION: WINNOW SOLUTIONS
A YOUNG LEADER’S
JOURNEY TO SOLVE THE
FOOD WASTE CHALLENGE
EP speaks to Marguerite Velay, Winnow’s Client Success
Manager about her experience within the hospitality world and
the role of technology to reduce food waste in the sector.
Winnow is on a mission to help the hospitality industry cut down
on food waste by making the kitchen ‘smarter.’ They connect
commercial kitchens to the cloud allowing them to record and analyse
exactly what is put in the bin. A team of dedicated and passionate
professionals are behind this, but what are the main benefits
and challenges of using technology to drive behaviour changes in
With an in-depth knowledge of customers and extensive domain
expertise, Marguerite Velay, has changed people’s mentality on food
waste. Consequently, she has helped restaurants, hotels and caterers
become more efficient and profitable. During a training session in a
kitchen site located in London, she shared some of her insights.
Where did your hospitality career begin?
It all started when I became a waitress at Hotel Amour, a trendy
restaurant located in the heart of Paris, a favourite spot of many
celebrities. I had finished school and I wanted to gain experience and
savings to spend during
a trip to Australia and
North America. I ended
up gaining a lot more
than money and during
my time. I learned about
the importance of guidance and communication in a busy workspace.
I enjoyed working close to customers, and I was amazed at how
everyone knows each other on the Parisian restaurant scene. I realised
that hospitality is tight knit community all over the world.
How did you find yourself doing what you do now?
I went to Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, the most renowned hospitality
school in Switzerland. During my four years I became the President of
the university’s Student Social Responsibility Committee. I focused
mainly in waste management, and we worked very hard to make sure
an efficient waste sorting system was put in place across the campus.
We also planned events to raise awareness on food consumption and
“Chefs can’t put a value against
the food wasted daily.”
soft mobility among students. Following graduation, I moved to India;
I had fallen in love with the country and found the best way to know it
would be to live like a local.
In Mumbai, I managed a French cafe for over a year, where I was
in charge of leading a team of 35 people. One of my great challenges
was to make sure we were producing European food using only local
ingredients. I then acquired additional operational experience as a
Banqueting Manager at the Grand Hotel Kempinski in Geneva.
After these diverse experiences I wanted to find a job that would
involve waste management and hospitality. I found this perfect match
when joining Winnow!
How does Winnow’s technology impact the hospitality
industry and waste reduction efforts?
Winnow’s technology has disrupted the market in three ways.
First, it has helped the hospitality sector take notice of the big issue
of food waste. Second, it has helped change behaviour in the kitchen.
Often, Winnow is the
first piece of technology
to be introduced and it
is interesting to see the
kitchen staff embedding
it into their daily
routine. Finally, Winnow’s detailed report is the first tool capable of
giving chefs the information to make them drive change and reduce
What’s the biggest challenge?
I believe that the biggest challenge is always convincing the team
that technology will help their operations, allowing them to
optimise the time spent in their kitchen. We frequently notice that
overproduction is one of the main reasons for food waste in the
hospitality sector. Once the issue is identified, the kitchen team save
time by reducing the amount of food prepared and preventing it from
ending up in the bin.
How do you achieve the collective
buy-in of the kitchen team to use
We ask the kitchen staff if they have any data
about their food waste. Typically, Chefs can’t
put a value against the food wasted daily.
After we show them how much food is wasted
and the impact that it has on the business,
their behaviour changes. In addition, we
identify leaders in the kitchen, select them as
Champions and teach them how to keep the
rest of the team engaged and motivated.
What feedback do you receive from clients?
It is always very interesting when I hear
that after receiving our reports, a team
has found out that two thirds of the waste
happens before the food reaches the
customers’ plates. Often, they believe that
the majority of the waste comes from their
customers leaving food on their plates. Our
reports typically reveal that pre-consumer
waste is much higher.
Which project has made the most
difference to date?
I can identify two different projects. One
was a very small kitchen where the entire
team did not believe that food was being
wasted. They didn’t believe it was possible
to reduce waste, due to the challenges of
working in such a small environment.
The team ended up reducing 25% of its
The second project took place in a very
large kitchen where the staff were wasting a
great amount of food due to poor operational
control and limited staff engagement.
It is very difficult to manage a large kitchen,
but the head chef eventually came on board
and cut food waste by more than 50%.
As the result, this client had a very good
return on investment.
What’s your advice for hotels looking
to reduce food waste?
What gets measured, gets managed. It is
important to know the volume of the waste,
and calculate its value. Also, to reduce food
waste on the long term, it is essential to
understand what is the reason for it.
34 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 35
COMMENT: PENDULUM PARTNERSHIP
When was the last time you saw yourself
as creative? As a child when you built a
cubby house or created something fun out
of raw materials? Or when you did an A
Level in Art as part of your broad-spectrum
education before tapering off into a ‘sensible’
career option at university? Make no
mistake, hospitality is full of creatives; a
tag often given to chefs and other artistes
in the spotlight of the food and beverage
world. Particularly in the UK, the cultural
focus on the arts as an industry, as inspiring
and fabulous as it is, often results in the
conclusion that these are the creative icons of
LEADERSHIP: THE NEXT
So much is focused on the importance of creativity
when leading change. Little is often said about what it
really takes to build this aspect of a leader’s mindset.
Heather Gibson, Managing Director at Pendulum
Partnership explains how in three steps.
the universe and the rest of us are just getting
on with the logical, pragmatic and realistic.
Unfortunately, this perception is a serious
impediment to meeting the challenge of
disruption head on and needs to change,
urgently and forever.
First things first: we are all creative. Oh
yes, we are. The key point is that we have not
developed the ability to align our creative
attributes with our work lives. The reason?
It’s all to do with the progressive loss of
individuality that is drummed into us as we
evolve our careers. Oh yes, it is. If you have
that nagging feeling you have kept quiet
too long, just gone with the flow or simply
raced along on the promotional journey to
something bigger, better and fast, I think
you might be wondering what happened to
the real you right about now in this sea of
ambiguity and disruption. For now is the
time to dispense with these etiquettes and
accept the point that there is no boundary
with work and life; these two facets are
intrinsically linked and we have been
dumbing down our real selves to ‘get ahead’
to varying degrees for a long time.
Take health and fitness as a wonderful
contrast to the world of work. No boundaries
© MAIKPETER | DREAMSTIME.COM
here for those prone to the pursuit of
excellence including the ability to develop
terrific resilience and focus. That blood
pumping, adrenalin inducing challenge
is a gateway to seeing yourself in all your
potential glory and requires problem-solving,
incremental progression and ambitious goals
to be successful. Apply this to work and you
have essentially cracked the code. In this
space, there are no limits: you push yourself
forward no matter what, and this is exactly
what it takes to bring creativity to leading
change. So, it’s time to stop kidding ourselves
about the work, life, balance, different facefor-work
mantra that you’ve been believing
and practising, to some extent, your whole
The essence of values based change is
that the problem is, you don’t know what
the problem is. This doesn’t mean change
is unattainable, it means that the outcomes
you get are never necessarily the ones you
intended and that the variables coming your
way are unknown. It is a calling card for
leadership that is completely emotionally
engaged and passionate, curious as to
the inevitable curve
balls and constantly
problem solving to
make choices in any
range of circumstance.
Your mindset needs to
be focused, but aligned
with your individual
interpretation of the why of change. A bit
of your soul needs to become part of the
journey and this lightbulb going on will push
you to build the energy, pace and adaptability
needed to drive towards the future state.
To develop creativity a leader needs to work
way through a degree of unlearning and build a
new mindset aligned to a wholly new paradigm:
1Accept, understand and be cognisant of
the amazing, beautiful human you are.
We need these unique qualities to be worn
openly and honestly every single day you
front up to lead in the world of change.
It’s the differences in our stories and the
qualities we have as a result of our journey
that brings creativity into a new leadership
paradigm. It’s not about perfection; it’s about
the ways in which you have twisted and
turned throughout life that provides your
anchor of authenticity, and really does give
you the tools needed to lead successfully.
Intuition, compassion, humanity and a voice.
Just stop and think about what this means to
you for a minute (or two).
You are in a constant state of
transformation. Think back to how you
have changed your life since the onset of
the global financial crisis and the events
that have taken place; I bet you feel busier,
more challenged and more frenetic. But
with the hindsight of the past decade or so,
also a little more fulfilled, more realistic,
even a bit more driven with purpose. This
forced transformation has made us wiser
and allowed us to be reminded of the
positive and negative elements of life. The
positives will undoubtedly be the result of
human connections, both personally and
professionally. Learning from each other
and building a platform of trust to move
ahead to strive towards being a sustainable
organisation, regardless of disruption.
NEVER FORGET THAT PEOPLE BUY PEOPLE AND
OFTEN JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK:
YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS.
2Stop apologising. Grasp the lessons and
tell your story in your passionate voice.
To effectively lead change, you need
complete mental clarity. This starts
with aligning your personal story of
transformation to interpret the why
of change and to be empowered to
communicate intelligently and often. Never
forget that people buy people and often just
want to know what you think: you don’t have
to have all the answers. You also don’t need
to apologise; in fact, the real requirement
is just “let ‘em have it”. Spare yourself the
academics of story-telling: just say it because
there is no excuse for ignorance anymore.
Creativity begins by unlocking
psychological barriers so that there is
no preconceived filter with what you are
thinking and what you know needs to be said.
Emotionally intelligent communication
is important, but the real need is to do
what’s right. Manifest transparency: your
voice is what is needed to lead change and
authenticity is critical.
3Plan for the crisis scenario as the norm,
game changers and all. Don’t deny
the possibilities and break down mental
barriers to get stuff done regardless. You
will make progress.
Practice the breakdown of scenarios as a
daily habit. Go there. See the crisis scenario
and play it out in your mind. How will you
deal with it? This is where collaboration
and connections come to the forefront. An
ongoing discussion and debate of change is
vital; even without knowing all the variables,
a constant dialogue will help to flag potential
disruptors from a number of perspectives.
You can’t do it alone and reframing your
perspective is a necessary habit to form a
Creativity starts and ends with mindset and
the ability to break down barriers and get stuff
done. By envisioning
the why of change and
taking ownership for
story, you are building
clarity and helping to
define a problem in
a way that it can be
managed. Leading change is like breaking
down a wall with the tiniest ice pick you
have ever seen. Keep chipping away and
eventually you will get the break through, but
this will come because you have not stopped
communicating and interpreting what is
happening around you, day in, day out.
A leader’s mind needs to be malleable
to the nuances and abject disruptors of
change to grasp the links between external
variables and organisational strategy, to
reframe and reinterpret the next move.
This is why leadership is the next creative
industry. An organisation’s ability to change
is the ultimate business opportunity and
competitive advantage; the journey never
ends and creativity is essential to build a
36 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 37
IS 2017 THE YEAR THE
DEFINITION OF WORK CHANGED?
With job reinvention through technology
and automation increasing, human
aspects are becoming more important
than ever. Deloitte surveyed more than
10,000 HR executives from 140 countries in
their report, ‘Global Human Capital Trends’.
The findings showed that the workplace shift
is having big consequences across the talent
management spectrum, from learning and
management to executive recruiting.
It is somewhat
unsurprising that talent
is in the middle of the
current changes taking
place in organisations.
HR and business leaders
are trying to stay ahead
and according to the
survey – 90 per cent
of them say building
the ‘organisation of
the future’ is their top
priority. To get there,
the workplace has to
evolve – from focusing on
networks of teams and
recruiting to developing
the right people.
Every business in some shape or form has
experienced a radical work transformation
– whether digitally with social media,
demographically or in other ways. In the report,
Deloitte issues a call-to-action for companies
to completely reconsider their organisational
structure, talent and HR strategies to keep
up with the disruption taking place.
A large workforce survey was recently conducted by Deloitte
to discover what is happening in the world of work. The findings were
startling and showed that talent acquisition is becoming one of the
biggest concerns facing companies. EP explores why Deloitte believe
a radical transition is already underway.
FOR EVERY ASPECT
OF THEIR HUMAN
Technology is advancing at unprecedented
rates and these innovations are completely
transforming the way people live, work and
communicate. Organisations must now shift
their mind-set and behaviours to ensure they
can lead, organise, motivate, manage and
engage the 21st century workforce.
New organisational models highlight the
need for a networked world of work, but the
report states HR leaders
are struggling to keep
up, with only 35 per
cent of them rating their
capabilities as ‘good’ or
and robotics are all
models and work, to
organisations must keep up.
Has the search for
talent really improved?
As the workforce
are focusing on networks of teams, and
recruiting and developing the right people
is more consequential than ever. Deloitte
survey respondents point to talent
acquisition as one of the biggest issues
organisations face, with 81 per cent of
companies citing it as ‘very important’ or
‘important’. Technology is used by leaders
to bring talent into a company but there is a
lack of differentiated employee experiences
once they are acquired. Linked to this is a
desire for a more personalised approach and
a rising weariness of job boards and the more
transactional approach that recruitment has
become. It is one of the fascinating lessons of
the present era – companies are experiencing
a new digital age which increases the speed
of communication and makes the world
transparent but there is still a desire for
good old fashioned personal representation
It is all natural. If one is seeking to appoint
a senior executive, one wants confidentiality,
discretion and some real thought in
the process. However the last decade
has changed the traditional search and
recruitment consultancy to becoming more
transactional and less personal.
The pendulum is now swinging back and
for good reason. However it is swinging back
with a difference. One of the most common
discussion pieces over the last decade is why
hasn’t more talent broken through and taken
leadership roles. The natural place to look
at is the talent itself but that is there and
some exceptional talent seeking to break
through. So the barrier is not the talent
but how business has changed. The digital
age has made companies focus on greater
process, and compliance coupled with the
management of risk. Companies have never
been better technically managed. However
talent is struggling to break through.
The desires of job candidates are also
changing with culture and flexibility topping
the list of preferences. Organisations need
talented employees to drive strategy and
achieve goals, but finding, recruiting and
retaining people is becoming more difficult.
According to the report, taking an
integrated approach to building the
employee experience, with a large part
centred on ‘careers and learning,’ rose to
second place on HRs’ and business leaders
priority lists, with 83 per cent of those
surveyed ranking it as ‘important’ or ‘very
important’. Now a higher premium must be
placed on immersive learning experiences
to develop leaders who can thrive in
today’s digital world and appeal to a diverse
The importance of leadership as a driver
of the employee experience remains strong
according to the survey. The percentage of
companies with experiential programs for
leaders rose nearly 20 percentage points
from 47 per cent in 2015 to 64 per cent in
2016. However there is still a crucial need for
stronger and different types of leaders.
As organisations become more digital,
leaders should consider disruptive
© SELLINGPIX | DREAMSTIME.COM
technologies for every aspect of their human
capital needs. Deloitte found that 56 per
cent of companies are redesigning their HR
programs to leverage digital and mobile tools.
The trends in the Deloitte report show
signs of reinvention on all fronts, including
jobs themselves. They found 41 per cent
of respondents reported having fully
implemented or having made significant
progress in adopting cognitive and AI
technologies within their workforce.
However only 17 per cent of global
executives reported they are ready to manage
a workforce with people, robots and AI
working side by wide – the lowest readiness
level for a trend in the five years of the survey.
It is important to note that empathy,
communication and problem solving are
still seen as essential aspects of work. These
human aspects are becoming more important
than ever before. The insights and capabilities
of employees are now also needed with only
eight per cent reporting they have usable
data. With a lack of knowledge of talent,
organisations may lack the understanding
that can drive performance.
So has the definition of work changed?
Fundamentally it hasn’t but it is constantly
evolving and organisations need to be
aware and ready to adapt to the changing
conditions. The Deloitte surveyed raised
many values points and argued that
organisations face a radically shifting content
for the workforce, the workplace, and the
world of work. Businesses must focus on
getting better at organising, managing,
developing and aligning their people at work.
The report should be taken as a call to
action for HR and business leaders as a
number of converging issues are driving the
need to ‘rewrite the rules’. Technology is
advancing, individuals are relatively quick
to react to innovation but organisations are
at a slower pace. There are gaps and now
organisations must adapt to technology,
help their people adapt to new models of
work and careers, and help the company as a
whole adapt and encourage positive change
in all aspects.
38 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 39
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: ETC. VENUES
A challenger mentality
in a traditional space
etc. venues – typical event space business or entrepreneurial disruptor?
“THE LANDLORD HAS BEEN WAITING
FOR THE RIGHT COMPANY TO COME
ALONG AND ADD TO HIS VISION OF
MAKING THE BUILDING COME ALIVE.”
communication.” Alastair says in one of the colourful open spaces
at County Hall. “We believe we operate in a position between
the established hotel and serviced office groups competing for
the meetings market. Increasingly we have been targeting larger
conferences and events and believe this space can add significantly
to our presence in the events market.”
Starting life as the answer to a frustrating lack of quality training
spaces, etc. venues was the answer for those who craved more
than a boring room with a flip board and marker pens. The business
has grown from its first venue, Avonmouth House in South London, to
comprise a collection of venues. Today, training and conference needs
are continuously changing – both for the event planner and event
attendee. With an apparent abundant supply of venue space, what
must a modern company do to ensure their secure business?
etc. venues would argue that it has a challenger brand mentality,
an unusual approach for a leadership team from mostly corporate
backgrounds. ‘Disruptors’ change how a business in a market thinks,
behaves and goes about its day-to-day activities. etc. venues is moving
its strategy by recognising that a different generation of delegates
has very different needs to their parents, who typically went off to the
countryside for their training courses. So by amending its approach,
has etc. venues become an entrepreneurial player? Can a core team
from a corporate background become destructive and creative in a
Alastair Stewart’s manner is relaxed but confident in etc. venues
latest venue, County Hall, the famous imposing building on the south
bank of the River Thames. Surrounded by a large expanse of restored
original parquet floor, he speaks with the assurance of a man in charge
of a company that has quadrupled in size since he arrived in 2006.
Backed by private equity, Alastair has overseen the growth of the
business into a leading conference brand. It has been a special journey
and the core team has unusually been together for 10 years now.
Finance Director Paul Keen arrived shortly after 2006 –Buy in Buy
out – to join Margaretha Welsford, Director of Sales, who was already
with etc, Iain Dix, Director of Property & Projects, Dominic James,
Director of County Hall and Guy Booth, Director of Operations –
all following Alastair from Initial Style Conferences to etc.venues.
It is this team that’s playing the disruptor game and this year they
are, according to Alastair, stepping up to the next level with their
What have been the challenges for a team that have been together
for this long? “Paul Keen came from outside the venue industry and
that has been the key to challenging some of the norms that can block
innovation and new ideas. We have a very healthy level of debate and
challenge between us, but when the brainstorming period ends and
we make a decision, everyone unites behind a common goal.”
“The business has always kept to the mandate of being a
B2B specialist who brings people together around a mission of
The journey since 2006 has seen sales increase from £9m to £43m in
2016, – hosting some 15,000 events and 660,000 delegates. “We have
been successful but there have of course been challenges along the
way.” Alastair admits. “When the financial crisis hit the training world,
many companies had to change their strategies. Despite the cutbacks,
we found a silver lining in some companies stopping away days
with overnight stays in the country and switching to the city centre.
Our offer became more appealing because with no relevant status,
a company could use our services and not be seen in the same way as
the equivalent in a five star hotel.”
County Hall venue is memorable, which must be one of the
essential requirements that event planners seek. It provides a talking
point with views over the river Thames and towards the Houses of
Parliament. The building includes the London Sea Life Aquarium,
London Dungeon, a Marriott Hotel and several restaurants.
The fourth floor, where etc.venues is based, has unusually been
unoccupied since the 1980s. “The landlord has been waiting for the >
40 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 41
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: ETC. VENUES
& Business Advisors to
the Hotel Industry
From detailed reporting to a fully
outsourced finance function, Ecovis
harnesses expert industry knowledge,
experience and leading technology to
deliver information and advice you can act
right company to come along and add to his vision of making the
building come alive. Our objective of making this a top London space
matched this ambition.” Alastair explains. Their plan is to establish
the new site as a key competitor in the Westminster market and follow
this by positioning themselves as a brand that can provide prestigious
events at any time or day. It is clear where Alastair wants to drive
During this time of change the core philosophy of customised
event solutions has never wavered. Alastair and the team want to
transform their spaces
for what clients actually
want and County Hall
supports this approach.
generation no longer
wants to journey out to
the country and spend a few days away from home, especially if
there’s poor public transport and limited Wi-Fi. There has been
a structural shift where attendees want a quicker experience. At
the same time the event planners role is changing. Fundamentally
it is the same job but they are under increasing pressure to find
something different and our role is to go beyond their expectations.
With social media before, during and after events, the feedback
“THEY DON’T WANT TO SIT AND LISTEN
TO A SPEAKER ALL DAY. WE MUST HELP AN
EVENT COME TO LIFE.
It has also been important for etc.venues to try and match the
delegate expectation of an experience. “They don’t want to sit
and listen to a speaker all day. We must help an event come to life.
Whether that’s networking on arrival, live twitter feeds or throwable
microphone pods. The ratio of conference space to breakout space
has changed. County Hall’s 20 rooms can match this desire and with
smaller spaces it can feel more personal.”
Expansion is set to continue and their first venue in Manchester
opens soon. However Alastair in a bold move is increasingly looking
further afield. “London
is world leading in this
market but we keep
a close eye on what is
taking place in New
York and Paris. I believe
that younger millennial
delegates are seeking different spaces for their training, meetings and
events. These new trends bring further opportunity for collaboration.”
Alastair’s 20 year corporate background now blends with his last 10
years as an entrepreneurial disruptor. He and his team are carving a
niche in the market where they are a contradiction to what is expected
of an established player. They are simply business people who seek
to utilise the best of both corporate and entrepreneurial skillsets to
delivers some of the sector’s best growth and performance.
Outsourcing the finance function was a completely new concept for the business,
Ecovis bought a new dynamic to the team which strengthened internal controls. I was
particularlly impressed with the effort made by the team in engaging with the business
in various locations, rather than working remotely. Ecovis showed commitment at all
levels and their support went beyond the accounting and finance.
Head of Finance, International Hotel Group
0207 495 2244
42 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 43
INNOVATION: TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGES
ON THE CUSP
The biggest developments in technology are about
to happen, but is the industry ready?
The potential impact of technology is the cause for debate in
many communities. Today there is little doubt that technology
has an influence on most aspects of the sector as new forms of tech
continue to grow and adapt at speed. However adopting the right type
at the right time is where the difficulties lie. There is a vast range of
products and services available which vary from conceptual stage to
the very real. They are also diverse – from food to sleep to shelter to
work to entertainment to health to transportation. What should the
hospitality industry monitor?
The integration of “invisible” technologies that guests can’t directly
see but still interact with is driving some developments which create
compelling new product experiences. Voice control is a core part
of this, as is AI with its deep learning that allows for a combination
of sensors and connectivity. A hotel room that can remember what
a guest likes and how it looks might no longer seem an idea for the
future, but possibly in the next couple of years.
It may seem obvious, but having the correct key hardware
components behind the scenes allows for the latest forms of tech
products to work in the sector. The experience with a product
ultimately determines its success, but the hardware plays the critical
role. Without the right mechanisms, new types of tech products
simply won’t operate correctly. In an age where travellers and
guests are connected with multiple devices, they require Wi-Fi that
won’t slow them down. Smartwatches, tablets and phones all require
the reliability of good Wi-Fi and if working correctly make the guest
more comfortable. Free Wi-Fi is now an essential need for groups
booking meeting space but the infrastructure for putting it in all
spaces can be very expensive. However the return on investment
for a business can be worth the investment. A stress free experience
enables the relationship between an organisation and customer
to grow, so having the right hardware to provide the service is an
Reusing old tech
Many people talk of experiences, style and trends going full circle and
this may be happening now with technology. The technology industry
is adopting retro trends which we have witnessed with the rise of
vinyl in the music industry. Older TVs and PCS are now being reused
as are other no-longer-used technology’s such as overhead projectors
which are being revisited and renewed. They create conversation
pieces and can form a community who are keen to ‘save’ these
compelling older products.
3D printing has made strides in other industries such as construction
and the fashion sector, with some designers exploring how clothes
can be printed. Whilst experimental, they are testing the limits of
3D-printing technology and now Filaflex, a Spanish-made filament
that’s more pliable than its hard plastic competitors, is being used
for clothes. The bendable textile opens up a world of possibility.
Projecting these experiments further, the hotel room of the future
may include a 3D printer so guests can print out clothes, forgotten
items or simply enjoy the novelty.
Whilst not a new form of technology, walls of frameless screens
that appear to be one large screen are being adopted by some
organisations in hospitality. The ability to play separate videos or
combined to display one video or logo are appealing for event bookers,
especially those who interact with social media and want to display
live Twitter feeds.
Made-to-measure tailoring is being developed with augmented
reality technology. Clothes are designed in real time and viewed on a
mobile device with the garment shown on a 3D avatar representing a
customer. Clients can choose the fabric and create a whole outfit in an
interactive setting. This opens up many opportunities for hotel guests
who may have clothes designed within their room or at the extreme
have a new wardrobe sent directly to their hotel, safe in the knowledge
that it fits perfectly and is exactly what they want.
With AI and chatbots taking over from the automated customer
service calling systems, the level of understanding will create a more
effective experience. Smart devices can learn a person’s patterns
© KENTOH | 123RF.COM
and preferences, so it should make better and more accurate
suggestions and recommendations. Linked to automation is drone
delivery which is undergoing wide-scale testing, especially by firms
such as Amazon. The scope of possibilities for drones may change
many F&B operation models.
Computing, through PCs, smartphones, wearables and cards will
become more pervasive according to some technology experts. It
has been argued by Intel that by 2020 the world will have 50 billion
connected devices and 200 billion connected sensors. This will create
massive amounts of data and the industry must be ready.
The medical technology market is forecast to exceed $500 billion in
sales by 2021. Therefore it is no surprise that Swansea University’s
Institute of Life Science are focusing on health technology.
Researchers are now developing ‘smart bandages’ which can
detect how a wound is healing and communicate with doctors. The
5G-powered dressing also monitors what treatment is needed and
tracks the wearer’s activity levels. The project is part of a $1.6 billion
deal which aims to turn Swansea into a 5G test hub. The cellular
network boasts higher speed and capacity and is expected for largescale
deployment in 2019.
Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is now ranked as one of the
world’s most effective business leaders. This year Fortune, the
multinational business magazine, announced their findings of their
annual list of World’s Great Leaders. Together with a panel of experts
they found that the visionary and risk-taking Elon is among the
greatest leaders. The billionaire entrepreneur employs 35,000 people
and with Tesla he aims to achieve a carbon-emissions-free world. For
SpaceX, the aerospace start-up, this was founded to lower the cost of
space transportation and ultimately enable the colonisation of Mars.
The rate of digital advancement with automation, big data, emerging
technologies and cyber security will also pose a significant challenge
for future leaders. It will be interesting to observe if many of the
leaders of tomorrow come from the technology world or if Elon is a
rare civic-minded voice.
It is important to monitor developments as they become more
recognised and the true capabilities are explored. However, as ever
in hospitality, the human aspect must never be overlooked. Personal
communication has grown stronger with the rise of certain types of
technology and many will make sure automation never gets to the
point where it runs their lives. What’s clearer today is that future
leaders must be able to use technological change to their advantage, to
lead effectivity and look how to maximise the business and create vale
in an inter-connected society.
44 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 45
COMMENT: THE WORKING WEEK
The world of work is shifting and contract, temporary, freelance and
casual models are growing. With human capital at a premium, do
full-time employers need to focus on encouraging retention or adapt
the traditional working week?
Recently the Grove of Narberth hotel has
introduced a four-day working week for its
kitchen staff to improve the workforce’s
employment conditions. It is a curious
change to the traditional model and one
which has opened up the debate of what’s fair
for people and business.
The Pembrokeshire-based country
house has reduced the hours of its kitchen
team to achieve a better work life balance
and improve staff retention. At the time
the owner argued staff have had a raw deal
working long shifts, so the reduction of
hours would create a happy and energised
workforce. It is a bold change and the
five-star rated hotel
is certainly one
of the first to take
The move does also
raise further questions – why is it for
kitchen staff only and is this only possible
due to a perhaps quieter location? Whilst
some may be sceptical of the move, the
argument should be made that talent is
a true differentiator within the sector
and therefore working fewer hours may
encourage more to enter the industry and
work for a business.
Acquiring the right people will always be
a main aim in the industry. However with
the world of work constantly changing,
many believe that the nurturing of talent
must include an emphasis on investment in
training and unlocking potential which for
numerous reasons has been constrained.
The changes in work include the growth
of zero hour contacts. The number of people
employed on “zero-hours contacts” in their
main job, during October to December 2016
was 905,000, representing 2.8 per cent of
all people in employment (according to the
Labour Force Survey in the UK). While
they remain a relatively small phenomenon,
they have been growing more prevalent.
Some experts thought the contracts were a
fleeting post-recession move that would fade
as employers became less nervous about
hiring permanent employees. However they
seem to have become embedded in some
parts of the hospitality sector even though
BETWEEN 2008 AND 2015 THE NUMBER OF
FREELANCERS IN THE UK INCREASED BY 36 PER CENT.
unemployment is at an 11-year low. The
concern is that employers have the ability
to hire people in a way that can undermine
the bargaining power of other workers, thus
dampening pressure for improved pay and
conditions. Would changes, such as the fourday
week, bring down the number of people
reliant on zero hours?
Another change in the world of work is the
growth of freelance workers. In the UK, ‘The
Association of Independent Professionals
and the Self Employed’ explored the UK
Freelance Workforce in 2015. Their findings
showed there were 1.91 million freelancers
in the UK with a further 255,000 working
freelance in second jobs. Between 2008
and 2015 the number of freelancers in the
UK increased by 36 per cent. The largest
proportion of freelancer workers are 40–49
years of age (25%) but growth has also been
seen in both those aged 16–29 and those 60+.
The speculative estimate of the economic
contribution freelance workers make to the
UK Economy is approximately £109bn a
year. It also provides an estimate £30 billion
a year in ‘added value’ to UK GDP.
The growth of freelance workers is often
argued as positive for both the employer and
the employee. There is increasing demand
from businesses wanting to keep costs down
and hire in skills as and when they need
them. On the other side
there is a growing number
of individuals wanting to
work flexibly. Professional
services firm PwC estimate
from their research that
half of HR professionals expect at least one
in five of the workforce to be made up of
contractors or temporary workers by 2020.
The obvious disadvantage of being a
freelancer is the lack of job security and
having to provide one’s own services from
marketing to accounting and pensions.
Whilst some workers cannot find full-time
roles to suit their skills, the hospitality
industry and the appeal of a four-day work
week may attract more.
The four-day working week is not a new
move in the industry. In 2015 chef Sat
Bains argued he was willing to change to
ensure staff retention. For his Nottingham
restaurant with rooms he believed he would
© AMDOLPHIN | DREAMSTIME.COM
lose more than £100,000 by changing
working practices for staff. This was just
one of the radical changes that many believe
are necessarily to address the chef shortage
problem across the country. However, not
many businesses seem to have changed
or if they have, it’s been kept quiet. Other
businesses have looked at offering profitsharing
schemes and cutting certain services
to improve staff hours.
At the extreme, some have argued that
a reduced work week would redefine the
relationship between work and life. The
‘radical’ new policy has also been adopted by
some British political parties, who argue a
future of innovative and creative disruption
requires a model of this type.
AT THE EXTREME,
SOME HAVE ARGUED
THAT A REDUCED
WORK WEEK WOULD
WORK AND LIFE.
The four day week will undoubtedly
appeal to some individuals. For businesses
the concern is that unorthodox shift
structures impact on productivity. Early
adopters may provide clues to its success,
but until the financials are investigated,
the argument will labour in the undecided
field. As more people push into working
50, 60, 70 hours a week, business may
notice their output performances dropping
and people suffering. The natural move
for an individual is to then look to these
models and the appeal may grow. Hospitality
is all about people but pushing them
beyond the time they should work may
lead to consequences that damage the
46 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 47
CAN FUTURE CSR
POLICIES ATTRACT THE
© MICHAIL PANAGIOTIDIS | 123RF.COM
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
policies aren’t a new concept and most
businesses have implemented steps to
reduce their environmental impact. Whilst
many are talking about their CSR strategies
and ways to engage with the 88% of
consumers who are more likely to buy from a
company which has CSR activities, the same
principals need to be applied to internal
policies and recruitment plans – particularly
when it comes to
The Guardian, the
is the largest to date,
presenting a significant
and workforce – it’s
predicted that by 2025
75% of the global workforce will be made up
by Millennials. When it comes to attracting
this generation, recruitment, culture and
internal procedures should be approached
in a completely different manner to appeal
to these potential employees who are the
most sustainably conscious generation.
Most Millennials take the responsibility
to help solve today’s sustainable and social
issues and they expect businesses to do the
same. In fact, 88% of Millennials prefer a
company that emphasises corporate social
responsibility and 86% would consider
Shirley Duncalf, Head of Sustainability at Bidfood
explores how using CSR polices can effectivity reach the
Millennial recruitment pool.
leaving an employer if the CSR policy no
longer met their expectations (Lumesse,
Corporate Social Responsibility and
Attracting Millennials, 2016).
Clearly, it is crucial that the industry
adapts its strategies to ensure it attracts a
portion of this burgeoning pool of talent.
It’s also important for businesses to have a
strategy behind their CSR policies and some
clarity on what area to focus on and why.
OFFERING EMPLOYEE BENEFITS WHICH
ALIGN DIRECTLY BACK TO SUSTAINABILITY CAN
GO A LONG WAY IN HELPING A COMPANY TO
STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
This means understanding what you want
from your CSR strategy, and how this links
to engaging your team. Is it focusing on areas
that make more business sense (e.g. saving
resources), linking to the wider industry in
addressing key sustainability issues, or is it
important culturally to motivate and engage
team members, particularly those who are
more responsibility minded like Millennials?
So, as a hospitality employer, how do
you ensure your sustainability strategy
stands out to this generation and meets your
Start from the inside
Businesses are always looking to better
their internal green policies, whether that’s
implementing waste management strategies,
investing in eco appliances or working with
suppliers to reduce emissions. However,
when it comes to Millennials they’re looking
for something more, from businesses who are
prepared to do things a bit differently.
To really engage your teams and
it pays to know what
motivates them. Is it
causes that are close
to home, or are they
concerned about some
of the wider global
challenges facing us?
We recently polled
over 3,000 Millennials
on which of the United Nations key
sustainability goals are important to them.
The results showed the top five topics they
associated with sustainability were:
1. Ensuring healthy living and promoting
2. Ensuring sustainable water and sanitation
3. Ending hunger, achieving nutrition and
4. Access to affordable, reliable clean energy
5. Ending poverty
A recent study by the ‘Society for Human
Resource Management’ also found that
94% of Millennials are interested in
using their skills to benefit a cause, and 57%
wish for more company-wide service days.
A way to harness this is through fundraising
initiatives. According to a Deloitte study,
63% of Millennials donate to charity, and
likewise want their employer to have a sense
of purpose beyond profit. Hosting regular
prize draws, where employees can opt in and
take part, is a way to encourage donations
and reward employees at the same time.
Strategic partnerships can also work really
well. Supporting a charity, body or local
group which aligns to the values within your
sustainability strategy means employees
are united in supporting a common goal.
With partnerships, all employees can get
involved in different ways and this approach
particularly appeals to Millennials who
place high importance on being able to make
progress in meaningful work.
Ways to do this, for example, is through
donating any unusable products that would
ordinarily be wasted to local projects.
Broken bags of sugar could be given to local
beekeepers and help to feed honey bees, as a
substitute to nectar. Equally, any short-life
products could be donated to food banks, or
old office furniture can be passed onto local
“Going one step further, study tours can
also work really well. We’ve worked with
One Water – a life changing ethical bottled
water brand – for many years, helping to
raise awareness of the global water crisis.
A team of us visited Malawi to see first-hand
the effects that access to fresh water can have
on communities. Study tours with a charity
partner can offer a genuinely enriching
experience for employees and harness
the passion that so many of the Millennial
generation have for ‘giving back’.
A companies’ mission, vision, and culture
has a significant impact on the quality of the
candidates it attracts, especially Millennials.
Offering employee benefits which align
directly back to sustainability can go a
long way in helping a company to stand
out from the crowd to potential
employees. The ‘Association for
Talent Development’ in 2016
said 87% of Millennials view a
successful business as going
beyond financial metrics to focus
on issues such as environmental
and social impact. For example, instead
of being able to purchase extra annual
leave days, employees could opt for
extra ‘charity days’, which could be used to
volunteer for a cause they are passionate
about – perhaps working with the homeless,
a soup kitchen, visiting schools and generally
supporting improvement measures in
In a world where the emphasis on
sustainability is continually increasing, a
company’s green credentials are now highly
regarded by many alongside the services
or products it provides. CSR policies are
a major contributing factor to a business’
reputation and it’s this reputation which
will lead to an increase in job applications,
particularly from Millennials. As Millennials
are the future of business, the time to start
adapting policies to fit with their outlooks
and ways of working is now, in order to
futureproof your company.”
48 | Perspective | June 2017 epmagazine.co.uk | 49
“Innovation brings new business challenges around scale,
security and the management of it all has no endpoint”
“Catching that wave of innovation has had a profound effect
on the business which is now more profitable.”
20 OCTOBER 2017, THE BREWERY, LONDON
Most forward thinking companies argue
they have access to the latest innovation.
After long internal processes a business may
embrace a ‘new’ concept or product and
then look to communicate this adoption to
their target market. It is this ability to weave
innovation into a business that some struggle
with. The acquisition of the latest ideas can
also be difficult, but businesses are often less
forthcoming in admitting this.
EP prides itself on its Entrepreneurs Club
and bringing innovation into companies
across the hospitality industry. However as
more organisations look to add value and
differentiate themselves, does the word
50 | Perspective | June 2017
They are extremes but natural responses to the question on whether
innovation should be adopted by an organisation. Not all forms of
innovation will be right for a company, but it is important to discover and
explore partnerships with ventures that may fulfil some requirements or
solve a certain problem. How does a large player find innovation?
‘innovation’ grow in importance but lose its
actual reasoning and use?
Innovation can be used to transform
current ways of working and can be applied
to all layers of a business. In a recent report
by Deloitte, which surveyed 10,000 HR
executives, the findings showed that talent
management (from learning and management
to executive recruiting) is shifting. The
result of the workplace change is the growing
importance of human capital – possibly the
last area of innovation?
Therefore technology isn’t the only form of
innovation. There are numerous examples of
non-tech innovations which can add value.
© DOLGACHOV | 123RF.COM
Some forms of innovation are seeing shifts
in business models with a shared economy or
peer-to-peer economy growing. It can range
from simple changes to complete overhauls.
The overuse of the term, innovation, may also
lead to confusion and diminished importance.
Today, new ideas must be designed to
combat issues and also create solutions to
problems that may be faced in the future. This
need to evolve is highlighted by the examples
of Blockbusters and Woolworths, who in some
ways, failed to adapt to a changing market.
Innovation can simply mean thinking
differently in the way an organisation approaches
problems. Some companies argued that customerled
innovation is the most important route.
But is the secret to innovate slightly ahead of
customers? Operating at a speed as trends are
recognised and therefore innovating at the
same speed as customers are exposed to them.
It can be hard to truly innovate. Inventing
the future is never easy. The future also often
comes from unexpected sources. Innovation
may come from within a business or some need
support which can come from communities –
such as EP’s entrepreneurial work.
The essential part is that support comes
from innovation leaders. Great innovators in
history have often been leaders – those who
trust instincts and hold self-belief in their
authority. Is there a lack of these leaders
today? As many look to innovate within a
company, others are looking to reinvent a new
generation of innovative leaders.
Earn your industry stamp of approval
London offers world-beating venues for all types of functions and
the London Venue Awards 2017 returns to identify and reward the
very best venues in the capital.
• Best New or Refurbished Venue
• Best Historic Venue or Livery Hall
• Best Sporting Venue for Events
• Best Unusual or Unique Venue
• Best Catering at a Venue
• Best Venue Customer Service
• Best Christmas Party Venue
• Best Summer Party Venue
• Best London Rooftop or Outdoor Venue
• Best Wedding Venue
• Best London Event Venue
• Best London Bar or Club
• Best London Hotel
• Best Venue with Meeting rooms for less
than 50 attendees
• Best Venue Space in the City
• Most Versatile London Venue
• Most Popular London Venue of the Year
JUDGING PANEL INCLUDES:
Founder and Chief
Executive, Green &
CEO, Excel London
Director of Business
Tourism & Major
Events , London &
Entry Deadline – June 16th 2017
Register your interest now to SAVE £50 off the entry fee
BRINGING TOGETHER LEADERS OF THE
HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM INDUSTRY
6 June 2017 – The Grand Connaught Rooms, London
A 360-degree perspective is pivotal to the advancement of
BRINGING business, to better TOGETHER economic performance, LEADERS and to improve OF the THE
HOSPITALITY quality of life of our customers AND and TOURISM the community INDUSTRY
On 6 June 2017, The Summit will expose the intersection between
6 June 2017 – The Grand Connaught Rooms, London
business, government and society, and will address some of the
A hard 360-degree truths and perspective immediate is opportunities pivotal to the available. advancement In particular, of
business, the necessity to better of radically economic upgrading performance, the perception and to improve of our industry the
quality as a career of life of of choice our customers and prioritising and the our community business needs at large. in the
political decision making process around the Brexit negotiations
next two years.
business, government and society, and will address some of the
hard truths and immediate opportunities available. In particular,
the REGISTER necessity of radically NOW upgrading the perception of our industry
as a career of choice and prioritising our business needs in the
decision making #BHAsummit process around the @BHAsummit
that will dominate the debate for at least the next two years.