Jan 19, 2010

Change By Design

One of my dreams for the JW is to see our creative efforts written about in a business book. We've had our share of publicity, but a book adds permanency to the unique experiences our guests encounters in the hotel.

I received a copy of Change by Design by Tim Brown from Steelcase's president, Jim Keane. I saw Jim at the Juice Ball and he mentioned it to me then. A few days later, a copy of the book is on my desk.

Tim Brown is the CEO and president of IDEO, ranked as one of the most innovative companies in the world. Apple's first mouse and the Palm V are two of IDEO's design ideas.

Change by Design, according to Tim Brown, is not a book by designers; this is a blueprint fro creative leaders seeking to infuse design thinking - an approach for creative problem solving - into all facets of their organizations, products, or services to discover new alternatives for business and society as a whole.

In talking about building an experience culture, Tim Brown states that "nowhere is the challenge of designing compelling experiences greater than in the hotel industry." He mentions Four Seasons Hotels' staff-training system which results in a service culture of anticipating guest's needs.

I challenge my team to design unique experiences for our associates and hotel guests. We ask our associates to give it that extra "one degree" to help distinguish our guest's experience from other luxury brands. The chef's office is one of those signature JW Marriott Hotels and Resorts' experiences. We use the chef's office as an extension of our dining room; our service culture. This is where we close the deals with our top clients or where our top clients entertain their most respected customers. We have fun with the chef's office and I can guarantee that our chef's thrive on this service differentiator.

Here's the excerpt from Change By Design: Executing the Idea

"On a recent trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan, my colleagues and I arrived in the arly evening at a new JW Marriott hotel. Expecting to grab something to eat in town, we were instead met by one of our partners from Steelcase, who informed us that arrangements had been made for us to eat in the hotel's "stateroom" - our chef's office. Images of the captain's table on the Titanic flashed through my mind. I began to feign symptoms of jet lag, but to no avail. We were escorted into the restaurant and then ushered through the serving doors into the kitchen, where we were greeted by sous chefs, pastry chefs, and waiters and led, finally, into the private office of the executive chef, where a table had been laid for us. We were deep in the inner sanctum, his private domain, surrounded by cookbooks, open wine bottles, favorite music, and all the clutter of a large-scale culinary operation. A perfect meal followed. We chatted with the chef about local produce, secrets of the kitchen, and tricks of the trade. I learned a lot about food that evening, but even more about design."


Pete said...

Great post George! The way you conduct your business is excellent and definitely deserved to be written about. Keep up the great work!

grandrollerz said...

Congrats on the nod in the book and thanks for the tip on another book to add to my reading list.

- Ted

freaxs said...

do you have any pictures of the Chef's office you can share?

My Hotel Life said...

Freaxs - Go to my december 16 post by clicking http://myhotellife.blogspot.com/2009/12/jws-best-kept-secret.html

Viagra Online said...

That's good actually I have my business activities written in my own book, it was hard I spent long hours developing that.

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