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Saudi Arabia’s Al Faisaliah Suites, which took the double honour of World’s Leading Luxury Suites Hotel and World’s Leading Hotel Penthouse, while InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort was recognised as the World’s Leading Luxury Resort and Abu Dhabi flag-carrier Etihad Airways has been awarded the title of World’s Leading Airline for the seventh consecutive year at the World Travel Awards Grand Final 2015.
In two special awards presented by the World Travel Awards Academy, Moroccan Minister of Tourism, Dr Lahcen Haddad, was recognised for Outstanding Contribution to the Travel & Tourism Industry 2015, while the trophy for World’s Leading Exemplary Hotel Personality 2015 was presented to Al Khozama Management Company Vice President, Hospitality Division, Mr Hussein Ali Hatata.
World Travel Awards President Graham Cooke said: “It has been an honour to recognise the achievements of the global hospitality sector here at the Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort in Morocco.
“Each of our Grand Final nominees has been recognised as a regional leader during our Grand Tour 2015, and this evening we were able to salute the best of the best – the elite of international tourism.
“My heartfelt congratulations to each and every one of our recipients this evening, it is your hard work, dedication, initiative and investment that makes the tourism sector the success it is today.”
Also among the winners was HNA Tourism Group, which walked away with the title of World’s Leading Integrated Tourism Group, while Frasers Hospitality took the title of World’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand.
The title of World’s Leading Tourist Attraction went to the Las Vegas Strip, while World’s Leading Fully Integrated Resort was awarded to Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa.
In the technology sector, Atlantis, Paradise Island, took the title of World’s Leading Hotel Website.
A full list of winners can be seen here.
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Made any New Year resolutions yet? Yes you’re right; this is another of those articles which appear at the turn of the year and encourage you to do more, be more, achieve more in the year to come. But unlike many of those article writers I don’t really care if you take up my challenge in January or July; what I do care about is that if you do take up my challenge you have the determination and staying power to carry it through.
Effectively resolutions, New Year or otherwise, fall into two categories. The first, and by far the overwhelming majority of them, are mere reactions to the moment; an impulse decision which is made with no thought either for the ongoing consequences or for the difficulty of the challenge. Because they have no foundation it’s little wonder that many of these fail; and in their failure they beget the seeds for future failures, for change apathy which arises from a growing conviction that ‘it doesn’t matter what you try, nothing will work.’
The second type of resolution only comes into being once it has been researched, considered and the consequences fully explored. Whether New Year is used as a stepping off point or whether any other arbitrary date or event is chosen doesn’t really matter; what does matter is that the chance of success has been greatly enhanced by the preparatory work.
Three paragraphs in and by now you’re probably wondering what my challenge is. Quite simply, I’m challenging you to create a game changing, strong future for your organisation by building a culture of innovation into the fabric of its being. Is that all, I can hear you asking as you relax back into your seat. We’re good at culture change – we’ve done it lots of times before.
Well you may have done; but ask yourself this, if your previous attempts at culture change were so successful, why was it that you needed to carry out another one and another one and another one. Is there a possibility that there was something missing in the understanding or the approach or the determination? Let’s take a quick look at these in order starting with understanding.
Given the way in which business information travels across the globe, any successful system or idea can give rise to numerous publications; and the more apparently successful the system, the more publications there are. Whilst many of these are useful, some are merely trying to jump on the bandwagon and to promote a particular service which with the best will in the world is only loosely connected to the original idea. These can create a level of background clutter which is confusing at the best of times. Pick the wrong bit and you could find yourself trying to solve employee engagement problems by handing out free sweets.
Even without the potential confusion caused by bandwagon jumpers it has to be remembered that no two organisations are alike. Even those working in the same business sector will have different cultures and differing levels of innovation maturity and therefore what works well for one business could be a potential disaster for another. As a result, simply copying the approach adopted by another organisation is not going to provide the optimum solution for your business. The only answer is to strip the original idea back to basics in order to fully understand its ethos and then to build your own level of understanding based on your own business culture.
But even with that level of understanding, if you approach change in the wrong way you can severely diminish the chance of success. Failing to plan your route towards change; adopting an incremental implementation schedule which is too short, too sharp or too shallow; or not taking account of the people aspect of change can all result in yet another culture change attempt whose only outcome is change fatigue, reduced employee engagement and shock horror… no real movement of the innovation needle!
Overarching all the other potential failure points is the one sure fire way to guarantee failure; a lack of resolve on the part of the top team. In our book Building a Culture of Innovation we warn that if it’s not on the top team’s agenda, it’s not going to be in the culture. This is no idle warning; I’ve seen far too many culture change attempts broken by the lack of resolve on the part of the top team.
The trouble is, it is easy to sit in a board meeting and agree to change but unless every individual member of the top team is aligned and builds that change into their own beliefs, behaviours, attitudes and expectations then they are effectively acting as a roadblock on the pathway to innovation progress. So when the accountant agrees to innovation change but refuses to sign off experimental projects, when the sales manager agrees to innovation change but targets on volume rather than outcome, when HR agrees to innovation change but target rewards based on individual achievements rather than collaboration and approach then all they are doing is creating barriers to change in pursuit of innovation.
Building a culture of innovation is not rocket science; but it does require people to invest in change and to approach that change in the right way. It means building understanding, engaging people and being prepared to commit now for future outcomes. It requires understanding and a strategic approach but above all it requires resolve and determination.
If you’re thinking of building a culture of innovation just remember that it isn’t some toy that you can pick up and put down on a whim; nor is it something that you can easily revisit later on if you get it wrong the first time – overcoming the sense of futility which arises from change fatigue is no easy task. So if you’re going to build a culture of innovation you have to be prepared to be in it for the long haul, to make a lasting change in which success will build on success to the benefit of the organisation, its people, its customers and the wider world.
Have you made any New Year resolutions yet? If you’ve decided to make 2016 the stepping off point for your innovation journey then make sure that the approach and the planning and most importantly your resolve is firmly in place. After all, it’s the future of your organisation that we’re talking about and it deserves the best from its leaders.
About the author
Originally trained as a product & industrial designer, Cris spent over a decade as a successful entrepreneur & CEO building an award-winning design group. He is now recognised globally as an expert on strategic innovation and creating innovative organisations.
As well as being an author and speaker, Cris is the Founder & CEO of niche innovation consultancy The Future Shapers. He specialises in working with CEOs and senior teams on the strategy, leadership and culture innovation requires and has coached, advised and delivered keynotes to some of the worlds most successful companies on how to become exceptional by building game-changing innovation capability and embedding it into organisational culture.
Cris has also delivered executive education programmes on innovation for leading UK business schools such as Henley Business School, Southampton Business School and Cranfield University’s Centre for Competitive Creative Design as well as international business schools such as Synergy Business School in Dubai and Icesi University in Columbia.
Cris is also the author of the ‘The Road to Innovation’ and his latest book ‘Building a Culture of Innovation’ has recently been published by Kogan Page. As well as authoring numerous white papers Cris has also contributed to articles for The Times, Financial Times and The Sunday Telegraph to name but a few.
What is happening in the world of innovation these days? In this article, innovation architect Doug Collins reflects on what he heard and learned at the Chief Innovation Officer Summit in New York this month. In short: do not underestimate the value of transparency that the practice brings.
The Chief Innovation Officer Summit 2015
I had the chance to attend the Chief Innovation Officer Summit in New York this month. There, people who run the innovation practices and programs for their organizations shared trade craft.
Presenters came from organizations such as MetLife, the bank BBVA, Humana, The Estee Lauder Companies, and the Snap-On Tool Company—large companies that often had a global footprint.
One of the advantages of going to an industry conference and sitting through the sessions, as opposed to hearing one presentation in a private setting, is that you can pick up on themes. I got to hear nine (9) or so presentations in immediate succession from practitioners.
Variations on a Theme
The presenters were skilled story tellers, having told the story of their practice many times ahead of addressing the audience at the summit.
A common narrative unfolded…
Our organization sought greater innovation, either because we were in crisis or we feared entering crisis.
I was recruited, appointed, or somehow found myself leading the innovation initiative. I wrestled with the ambiguity of the role as I wrestled with the ambiguity of the practice itself. The job itself became a hypothesis to be explored.
Internally, I wrestled with the elements of our culture that impeded innovation.
Externally, I made best efforts to connect the organization to smart, entrepreneurial people outside our four walls. Work with us. Join us: we are doing exciting things, and we can help you scale.
Here is what I have learned so far. Here is where I am going next.
The primary lesson learned? The chief innovation officer or their equivalent must be proactive in defining and communicating the value of the practice. Yes, innovation is the word of the day. A multi-year initiative, run quarter by quarter, remains under continual stress to prove itself, however. The savvy chief innovation officer makes peace with this tension.
I learned something new at the summit, as much through my hallway conversations as from the formal presentations. Specifically, a number of chief innovation officers emphasized to me the value of the practice in helping people really understand what was happening in their organization.
Who was working on what?
Who cared about what?
Who was the right point of contact for an inquiry?
One chief innovation officer observed to me that, were a potential collaborator to view their external web site to understand where the company was focusing its research and development, they would come away stymied. The compelling conversations they host inside never are reflected, externally, in a way that others can grasp. As a result, they miss an untold number of opportunities to collaborate. They have to work a lot harder to attract talent and the genesis of new ventures.
The chief innovation officer is on the front lines in the war for talent: for entrepreneurial, innovative people.
By comparison, the presenters who pursue collaborative innovation outside the organization have the self-imposed discipline of expressing what is important to the organization by the questions—or challenges—they pose.
I sense a shift in perspective from privacy being an unquestionable goodness for the organization to privacy, in the form of senseless opacity, as being an increasingly serious impediment to fomenting a culture of innovation. A strong culture of innovation is inherently open, transparent.
The exhibitors at the summit featured many small design and engineering firms seeking from the chief innovation officers in attendance. One proprietor of a design firm sought my help in navigating a client we happen to share.
Who, within the client’s organization, might be interested in what sounded like a novel, compelling idea that his firm had developed?
These inquires interest me, always. Large, global organizations seem like huge, indecipherable monoliths from the outside, looking in. People assign high value to colleagues who can help them find their way forward, given the organizations themselves are hard to navigate.
People who purse the practice of collaborative innovation assign value to the increased level of engagement and, ultimately, the innovations that come from their efforts, over time.
I wonder if we have assigned proper value to the benefit of transparency that the programs bring. I suspect not. I suspect that, every day, we commit the folly of believing that our organizations are more transparent than they really are for the ecosystem of potential partners.
A well-articulated innovation practice opens many doors. The savvy chief innovation officer can take credit for their role as catalyst, anecdote by anecdote.
As an author, Doug explores ways in which people can apply the practice of collaborative innovation in his series Innovation Architecture: A New Blueprint for Engaging People through Collaborative Innovation. His bi-weekly column appears in the publication Innovation Management. Doug serves on the board of advisors for Frost & Sullivan’s Global community of Growth, Innovation and Leadership (GIL).
Today, Doug consults with a range of clients as senior practice leader at innovation management company Mindjet. He helps clients realize their potential for leadership by applying the practice of collaborative innovation.
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A development branch or development tree of a piece of software is a version that is under development, and has not yet been officially released. In the open source community, the notion of release is typically metaphorical, since anyone can usually check out any desired version, whether it be in the development branch or not.
Our goal is to help instill self-confidence, self-respect, respect for others and an overall positive attitude in our riders. We believe the positive support of dedicated adults and the bonding that comes from being part of a team are vital to developing life skills.
Some revision control systems have specific jargon for the main development branch; for example, in CVS, it is called the "MAIN"; in Git it is called the "master". A more generic term is "mainline".