Cornell Service Innovation Roundtable Focuses on Industry Innovation
by Cornell University
“Strategic approaches and tenacious effort can promote innovative guest-service ideas”
Ithaca, NY, June 21, 2011 – Two dozen top hospitality industry innovators gathered for the 2011 Service Innovation Roundtable, produced by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). Proceedings for the roundtable, held in May 2011, are detailed in “Improving the Guest Experience through Service Innovation: Ideas and Principles for the Hospitality Industry,” by Cathy A. Enz, professor of strategy and the Louis G. Schaeneman, Jr. Professor of Innovation and Dynamic Management at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, who chaired the roundtable.
Participants shared details of their current innovation efforts, many of which involved improving the guest experience, often in conjunction with employee assistance and training. Numerous lodging and hospitality firms are focusing intentionally on innovation as a way to improve guest satisfaction and, as a result, boost revenues and profits.
“We found that these innovative people had many issues in common, even though they operated in various hospitality industry segments,” said Enz. “They have been successful due to an intense focus on innovation, supported by research and data. Many of them used a methodical, strategic approach to innovations that allowed them to involve customers early in the innovation process.”
The participants concluded that throughout any innovation, change agents will confront different types of support and resistance, and must have a strategy for addressing the concerns of each type of objection. In the end, innovation must be as data-driven as possible, whether that means asking guests and employees for innovative ideas or finding ways to measure service changes as they are initiated.