Today, we are elevating our conversation to thinking strategically. The Petrova Experience is in the strategy creation business. So, we frequently encounter the difficulty businesses have anticipating, let alone defining, the tangible outcomes of a strategy engagement.
Before the start of the engagement stakeholders want to know what physical artifacts we hand over. And while these are important bi-products of our work and the work of other strategy consultants, the real value of a strategic product is that you, the organization leadership, change your way of thinking, speaking, and leveraging your business.
Strategic thinking is embedded. It stays with you forever, and it is one of the most empowering “products” you can acquire. Think of strategic thinking like a new pair of glasses that are exactly the right prescription. You put on these glasses, and suddenly everything is perfectly clear. You know exactly what your next optimal move is, and why.
For this reason, strategic planning takes the anxiety out of the uncertainties in your business environment. How? By providing a solid plan for the short and long term.
Most importantly, when you think strategically, you are no longer REACTIVE. You are not in panic mode. Instead, you are proactively managing your assets and business. So, we ask you today, are you thinking strategically?
And how do you make this shift?
Strategic Thinking for Airports
Let’s deep dive into some practical examples of when, why and how strategic thinking matters. If you are an airport, have you already thought through your strengths and weaknesses?
Have you created best and WORST business scenarios? Have you thought about the passenger journey that you can and want to build for your travelers post-Covid?
Recently, we spoke about the importance of pro-active communication to your community. However, there is much more you can design around the future travel experience. Consider cleaning technologies, queue management systems, signage companies, and the list goes on. And remember, if you are an airport, and you have not introduced self-service, start there.
Think about carriers that fly to and from your airport. Take time to analyze the passenger types that go through airport. Understand what THEIR decisions might be, and how those decisions will impact your airport utilization. Now you have a better idea about what real estate you have available for new and innovative use.
This knowledge enables you to design and create better experiences for your travelers. But it only allows you to do this once you have gone through the rigor of thinking strategically about all the scenarios that can unfold and how you can create opportunities within them.
Strategic Thinking for Hotels
If you are a hotel or any type of resort, the same need for strategic thinking applies to you. The more innovative you can get, the more opportunities you have to improve experience design. Do keep in mind, thinking through the right mix between touchless/self-service touchpoints and human interactions will be a real challenge.
Room service is a good place to start your reimagining exercise. According to a joint survey by SKIFT and Oracle Travel, 20% of consumers say they will feel more comfortable staying in a hotel if the hotel has expanded room service options. Remember, this is just one touchpoint on your guest’s journey. Instead of reacting and investing in one technology, elevate your thinking from 5K altitude to 30K altitude. Understand holistically what the right course is for you. Then go back and invest in the journey with a vision in mind. I promise, you will be making better decisions both financially and strategically.
Travel Business Strategy
If you are any other travel business, think though all your stakeholders and dependencies, and reposition yourself on the path of your future travelers, wherever you think they will be. Avoid making hasty moves driven by a reactive mindset and triggered by the latest news headline.
Start with your strategy. What was your competitive advantage before Covid? Is it still holding true? Is it not?
If not, where else can your strengths be leveraged to create value for the consumer? Is it the same consumer, or will you have to service new ones?
These are all important questions that you need to answer in order to move forward in a sustainable way.
Today, more than ever, you need to invest in strategy. Even if you are not entirely sure what the tangible product of strategy will be, trust the system and start building your sustainable future.
Give yourself 6 to 8 weeks for a good strategic engagement. I promise, you will not regret it. Not only that. It will be the one thing you did to save your business.