MATTER: SURVIVAL INSTINCTS
JOSS KENT, CEO OF ANDBEYOND, ON WHY CHALLENGE MATTERS
Missed this morning’s MATTER session with Joss Kent? Check out his five very practical rules of crisis management and survival in the face of adversity, developed from extensive personal experience.
- Application of military training and the ‘6 Ps’ (Prior Preparation & Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance): have a plan, test it, and test it again. Fail to prepare and you should prepare to fail.
- Guest/client and staff safety are your biggest operational priority: remember who is boss – don’t expect guests/clients to fall into your game plan of trying to keep them committed to that destination. Equally, staff safety should be given as big a focus as that of the guests/clients. Don’t expect them to be put in any situation you would personally not sign up for yourself.
- Time is more valuable than gold: Time is your commercial ‘tourniquet’. Shut down outgoing cash spend ASAP, as cash flow saved will buy you more time. And by ASAP I mean within days… Not weeks or months.
- Cash and data are king: holding on to deposits is key but give guests/clients an alternative destination or product to book. And make that destination/product transition seamless from a guest/client admin perspective. Having a very granular and detailed Forward Booking Report that looks out between 12 and 18 months is absolutely vital and will prove to be a lifesaver. All your operational and commercial decisions will be driven by it. Have it updated every Monday and have your whole senior team review it that day, so your crisis management plan can be tweaked/adjusted as necessary. Be prepared to live in this contingency mode for at least 12 months. No big emergency I have had to deal with has had an impact ‘lifespan’ of less than 12 months.
- Rigorously apply the ‘3 Cs’ (Communicate, Communicate, Communicate) internally and externally: make sure you communicate the right information; staff loyalty is key, followed by client/guest loyalty – they are your business. If the situation is that drastic, get buy-in from staff to a 30% emergency pay-cut. This should be repayable over a set period of time post-emergency and is a much better alternative to losing well-trained, long-serving and loyal staff.