Industry Update
Opinion Article 9 May 2006

Mission Impossible It Ain't!

By Gene Ference, President at Ference Leadership & Strategy

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Skills that are necessary for you to reach the productivity demanded at your property or in your department can be separated into Professional & Organizational Skill Sets. Use the FMDC as the ultimate performance feedback & professional growth tool.

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Whether you are familiar with the TV version of Mission Impossible that aired between 1966-1973, or the more up-to-date movie versions that began in 1996 and that are continuing with the third of its kind movie due out in early May, you should be aware that:

The skill sets that allow each Mission Impossible to succeed are the
same ones that allow you to succeed in your work environment each day!

Sound impossible? It almost is for Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, but it shouldn't be for you as manager or supervisor in your hotel, resort, club, restaurant, or casino.

In fact, "Mission Impossible it ain't!"—to coin a phrase from the new script. Skills that are necessary for you to reach the productivity demanded at your property or in your department can be separated into Professional Skill Sets and Organizational Skill Sets. While the Mission Impossible espionage-type people have to "go it alone," you can actually have help in developing your skills.

The Ference Management-Development Cycle™ that can be utilized through HVS/The Ference Group should be viewed as the ultimate performance feedback and professional growth tool. Provided as an on-line development tool, it features ten critical management skills designed to support best practices—and success in your department and in your company. Ethan Hunt never had it so good!

Professional Skill Set

  • Skill Set #1: THE DYNAMICS OF COMMUNICATION

    Demonstrates the abilities to interact with others in a manner that promotes productive relationships, the transfer of messages, and the exchange of thoughts, insights, and observations. These are real communication skills versus merely being secretive and talking to another "operative" on your cell phone while someone is shooting at you.

  • Skill Set #2. THE DYNAMICS OF LEADERSHIP

    Demonstrates the abilities to provide effective levels of direction and support needed to influence individual and team situations and optimize working environments. Not just having Mr. Phelps show his leadership skills by saying, "...should you decide to accept this mission..."

  • Skill Set #3: THE DYNAMICS OF MOTIVATION

    Demonstrates the abilities to inspire enthusiasm and build passion within the work team by understanding individual personalities and the recognition, rewards, and incentives that drive people's motives for achieving standards and goals.. Not just doing things because they "have to," like when the timer on a bomb is ticking down, that's motivation for the Mission Impossible team!

  • Skill Set #4. THE DYNAMICS OF QUALITY

    Demonstrates the abilities to achieve best in class, superiority, and excellence in product and service by understanding market needs and providing the appropriate levels of worth, significance, and value.. Not quite like clearing the area of all subversive adversaries to be sure the "damsel in distress" or "knight in shining armor" is able to dine with you later—but close.

  • Skill Set #5. THE DYNAMICS OF TRUST

    Demonstrates the abilities to have others confident that you walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk, thus fulfilling expectations, beliefs, and probabilities that certain things will happen.. Not like having to keep "one eye open" when having to sleep next to a foreign operative who may not be on your side—but maybe.

Organizational Skill Set

  • Skill Set #6. THE DYNAMICS OF TEAMWORK

    Demonstrates the abilities to generate cooperation and collaboration among team members in order to put forth a joint effort in achieving peak performance.. Kind of like having your partner lift you over a fence that was too high to scale by yourself, just as a pack of pit bulls arrive on the scene.

  • Skill Set #7. THE DYNAMICS OF PLANNING

    Demonstrates the abilities necessary for the timely organization and effective implementation of systems, processes, procedures, standards and goals.. Not unlike being lowered into a room full of pit bulls that guard a precious gem, and getting away with it without losing your arm!

  • Skill Set #8. THE DYNAMICS OF PROBLEM SOLVING

    Demonstrates the abilities to identify the key elements of a problem, analyze their impact, and make decisions considering short, medium, and long range perspectives.. Remember those pit bulls? A definite problem when they're drooling and waiting for you to drop from the ceiling. However, generating decision-making criteria like tossing them a couple pounds of chop meat laced with sleeping pills should be a viable solution.

  • Skill Set #9. THE DYNAMICS OF DEVELOPING OTHERS

    Demonstrates the abilities to establish a learning environment and educational spectrum enabling the growth and development of others.. Even as James Bond has had to step aside, Ethan Hunt will one day do so as well—when a new and younger apprentice might take over the reigns. It all depends on your apprentice system.

  • Skill Set #10. THE DYNAMICS OF GOAL ACHIEVEMENT

    Demonstrates abilities to establish, pursue, and attain achievable goals through understanding strategies and tactics needed for technical functions, relationship management, and big-picture understanding of organizational objectives and purpose.. For Ethan Hunt, staying alive may be his biggest goal. Finding inventive ways to do that is the stuff that makes you want to go to the movies!

Program content has been developed from our over 25 years of organizational development work in the Hospitality Industry. Management skill sets and content trends have been derived from our database of well over 1,000,000 employee and guest surveys conducted in the service industries.

Whether you follow the twists and turns of that of the MI team, your "Ultimate Mission" is to follow the FMDC (Ference Management-Development Cycle) to successful completion. It is truly a tool that you and your managerial/supervisory staff can use to achieve Peak Performance in your work and also use in personal life in a "Global Hunt" for all-around excellence.


Additional articles can be found in our management library.[]

For more information regarding development programs, contact, Gene Ference, President, HVS/The Ference Group. [[email protected]]

HVS/The Ference Group provides programs in TeamStrategics: organizational development, business health assessments, and strategic planning. Our clients include successful applicants for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Employer of Choice, Best Human Resources, Employer of the Year, Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For as well as quality of work life and service culture awards of Great Britain, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, The Netherlands and Singapore.

HVS International is a hospitality services firm providing industry skill and knowledge worldwide. The organization and its specialists possess a wide range of expertise and offer market feasibility studies, valuations, strategic analyses, development planning, and litigation support. Additionally, HVS International supplies unique knowledge in the areas of executive search, investment banking, environmental sustainability, timeshare consulting, food and beverage operations, interior design, gaming, technology strategies, organizational assessments, operational management, strategy development, convention facilities consulting, marketing communications, property tax appeals and investment consulting. Since 1980, HVS International has provided hospitality services to more than 10,000 hotels throughout the world. Principals and associates of the firm have authored textbooks and thousands of articles regarding all aspects of the hospitality industry. Click here for more...

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