Oxford Dictionary defines dinosaur in two ways:

1. A fossil reptile of the Mesozoic era, in many species reaching an enormous size.

2. A person or thing that is outdated or has become obsolete because of failure to adapt to changing circumstances.

The first conjures up scenes of Jurassic Park movies where huge reptilian animals are running wild wreaking havoc on innocent or not so innocent humans.  We all know the images!  The second is a bit more relevant in today’s business world.  Specifically, in the hospitality industry.

We find ourselves in a new and sometimes crazy, post covid hospitality world where hiring and retaining people is a challenge like we’ve never seen.  So, I ask the question, “are we dinosaurs?”  Are we becoming obsolete because we are failing to adapt to the changing circumstances within the confines of the post covid “new normal”?  Are we adapting to new expectations of our teammates and potential teammates?  What strategies, both personally and professionally, are being implemented to attract and retain great people?  Are we standing by waiting for the metaphorical meteor to hit us and cause extinction?

Well, I do not know about you, but I am not interested in becoming Oxford’s second definition of a dinosaur.  I thought of four basic reminders to avoid extinction in today’s hospitality world.

1. Humility
Be humble!  Have the emotional intelligence to look inward.  Be open to new ideas because ideas that worked in your past will more than likely not work in today’s environment.

2. Listen
Listen to your people! Listen to your company’s ecosystem.  What motivates them?  What are their expectations of their role?  How do you define each person’s success?

3. Educate
Constantly educate yourself.  A dinosaur might say, “sharpen the saw!”  I say Read! Read your crew and read relevant books.  What are their interests?  What motivates them inside and outside of work?  Where do they come from?  How do they view work?

4. Flexibility
Gone are the 6 days, 70 plus hour work weeks.  We must be flexible to scheduling, work/life balance, and vacation concerns.  Be creative and flexible to hours of operations and business flow.

It is a crucial time for the hospitality business.  In my view, the old top-down management structure that exists in the traditional hospitality model impedes growth and development in today’s world.  That structure is the dinosaur.  Involve your people at all levels of the decision-making process, be open to new ideas, be ready to hear things that you never thought were traditionally possible, be available to listen to concerns of both work and out of work issues.  In short, open your mind to the possibilities of a new world!  It is here to stay!