Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gregerman

Alan S. Gregerman

President & Chief Innovation Officer, Venture Works, Inc.

Dr. Alan S. Gregerman is President and Chief Innovation Officer of VENTURE WORKS Inc., a consulting firm based in the Washington, D.C. area that helps leading companies and organizations to develop winning strategies and create successful new products, services, ventures, customer experiences, and ways of doing business. His customers are a wide range of Fortune 500 corporations, growing firms, start-ups and nonprofits including Discovery Communications, Marriott International, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, Lockheed Martin, L-3, Raytheon, Omnicom, ICF International, the International Finance Corporation, Ritz-Carlton, CGI, Children’s National Medical Center, and the National Civil Rights Museum. Mr. Gregerman is an internationally-respected expert on strategy, innovation, customer service, and unlocking the talent in people at all levels of organizations. In the past 20 years he has helped more than 300 teams and organizations to create important innovations—with a 90% success rate. He is also an award-winning teacher, author, and keynote speaker who has been called “one of the most original thinkers in business today” and “the Robin Williams of business consulting.” His first book, Lessons from the Sandbox, provided a powerful formula for business success based on the magic of childhood. His newest book, Surrounded by Geniuses—winner of the Axiom Award as one of the best leadership books of 2008—shows companies and organizations how to unlock compelling value by finding powerful insight in their own people and the world around them. Before starting VENTURE WORKS Mr. Gregerman was Director of Entrepreneurial Services for a national consulting firm, Special Assistant for Operations at the U.S. Department of Commerce and the first Visiting Scholar in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Library of Congress. He has also worked as a mapmaker, subway mechanic, and hotel housekeeper. Mr. Gregerman earned his B.A. in geography, magna cum laude, from Northwestern University, and his M.A. in economic geography and Ph.D. in urban and technological planning, with highest honors, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In his free time, he is founder and President of Passion for Learning, Inc., where he is involved in efforts to build innovative partnerships between the business community and low-income schools to make curriculum come alive for at-risk children. Mr. Gregerman is also an active member of Leadership Greater Washington, serves on the boards of the Primary Care Coalition and the Promise of Good Sports, and is math and writing tutor in the public schools.

Mr. Gregerman can be contacted at 301-585-1600 or innovate@venture-works.com

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.