RM 4.0 – What Teenage Years And Revenue Management Have in Common
By Fabian Bartnick, Vice President, Asia Pacific & International Business at LodgIQ
One of the common stereotypes of adolescence is the rebellious wild teen continually at odds with mom and dad. You are going through changes, you at times think you are better than you really are, at other times you sit down and question how good you really are. Let's say it's a confusing time as you find yourself dealing with many new experiences, rising expectations and amidst all this you must figure out that you will take it to the next level. Yes, "will take it"! Chances are, you are not going back to diapers and going from walk to crawl (except for pub crawls) again. You are now ready to move from walk to run. This transformation also adds a key part to who you are and who you will become:
You start to be independent!
What makes it more difficult is that your transitioning from a "I have just learned everything and kind of got a grasp on the world" to "everything is changing around me". And a lot of the things you did are just not working anymore. It feels like everyone including yourself has changed.
Guess what: It is the same in revenue management.
Imagine / Remember you did so well in the things you were doing. You did really well actually! As a reward you move into a new job and all of a sudden you face that barrier - in running you call it "The wall". "But I have always done the same thing" and it always worked. And suddenly - different hotel, markets, strategies tactics, customer, etc. You realize you need to adapt - and that can be very frustrating at times.
Note to yourself: What got you here won't get you there!
Now there is another part of the coin that we need to consider: You might think you are better than you are! You might think of yourself as really really good compared to others. Because of that believe you want to move on and get higher faster; and higher and faster and higher. At this stage you are moving from a stage of asking for help - to "I really don't need help". I can do it alone. The short answer is: You can't.
Peter Principle: The Peter principle is an observation that the tendency in most organizational hierarchies, such as that of a corporation, is for every employee to rise in the hierarchy through promotion until they reach the levels of their respective incompetence. (Management Concept by Laurence J. Peter)
Finding yourself at this stage is not uncommon, however this is where you need to stop and pause, and nurture becomes one of the biggest items that will impact your future. Not everyone requires the same TLC at this stage.
"I break down a new analyst journey into 3 areas that we need to focus on 1) skills (technical skills) knowledge (RM principles, competitor product understanding, hotel product knowledge) 3) experience (the information you learn while you are applying 1 and 2). And we just focus on increasing their capabilities across these 3 areas.
When they are ready to take a 'managerial role' than we start focusing on the skills to influence, communicate, lead, delegate etc. But all this while, we have many transparent discussions on what is appropriate communication about revenue strategies etc. In the world we live in now, the ability to write (email) and speak effectively cannot be taken for granted - it's managing perception and not merely whether or not the details you communicate are right or wrong." - Limin Cheng, Director of Revenue & Distribution at Marina Bay Sands Singapore
Just like teenagers require role models, RM's require a mentors / coach. Mentors don't need to be a RM - you need to find people that you look up to, that you want to learn from. You can find them on linkedin, other departments, your personal surroundings - the right person will reach back to you and hold your hand and say: I care. They do that because changes are: somebody looked after them when they were at this stage. And for you it is important to absorb the different perspectives that are given to you. This is not a training, it is a coaching in other areas - finance, ops, marketing, communication. See it as gaining another viewpoint.
If some of you are thinking - whatever, no, too complex for them, they won't get it etc. - listen up: and REALLY LISTEN!!!
"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid." Albert Einstein.
Data is not always wrong, it is the angle, the interpretation of the data that is wrong in most cases. You want to increase your skills / capabilities - not just the analytical - but the transformative skills - leadership, storytelling, communication, business strategy. It is about taking that next step and making the complex simple. It's about finding the connections and bringing unity.
Now the next thing you will see: You will be interested in other things and you might wonder off: is RM really for me? Is it worth it and is it working? Am I appreciated? Am I having an impact? Chances are the answer sits somewhere in between: yes and no (sorreeee 😉). This is not a time where everything is black and white - it's more like 50 shades of grey.
Now, what does it mean for you and what should you be doing when you find yourself in this stage of your lifecycle?
First: find a mentor. Someone you trust. Find someone who can actively help you and who is interested in YOU, not them, but you - and your success! What got you here, won't get you there! - The will teach you how to overcome the "won't".
Second: never stop learning. You are not gods gift to mankind, not the coolest person in the room, not the one that has all the answers. But equally you are not the worst - you are at a point where you are finding yourself! You are who you are - still trying to navigate your own way. If you have stopped, start learning again. Always invest you yourself. The biggest asset to optimize - is yourself. How can you optimize and asset if you can't optimize yourself?!?!
Third: Fail, fail hard, fail fast - it's time to experiment. Do different things, try out new tactics. When I mean experiment, I don't mean: screw everything you did. Continue what you did well and fine tune. Then find new things, new capabilities, tactics, etc. that you don't know yet and add them to your list of superpowers.
It is the time to take it to the next level - e.g. if you focused on segments, focus on room types and channels.
If you are at this stage right now, embrace it. If you have been through it, I hope you can relate. It is not an easy time yet find comfort that all of us have gone through it. And if you need a helping hand, feel free to reach out. Go get 'em!
VP, Asia Pacific
Phone: +60 12 2706 897
LodgIQ™ provides advanced travel industry revenue optimization technologies. Its breakthrough next-generation revenue optimization platforms, LodgIQ RM and LodgIQ ONE, were developed by seasoned revenue management executives and Silicon Valley technologists. LodgIQ"s products combine sophisticated machine learning with an intuitive and powerful user interface delivering advanced recommendations and actionable analytics. LodgIQ RM is for full-service hotels while LodgIQ ONE is geared to boutique, independent and focused service hotels. LodgIQ is headquartered in New York City, and maintains offices in Silicon Valley, Singapore, London, and Bangalore.