The Marriott Hotel Chain is a global brand offering resort and luxury hotel furnishings at popular vacation and business destinations. As the Events & Kitchen Management for global operations, my responsibility includes the overseeing of banquet operations including the process management of the cooking and serving efficiency. I receive complaints from hosts and others that contract our services. Whether the meal is cold or late, or if the order was wrong, there are a number of complaints that I must address as a leader and business manager.
The Event and Kitchen operations must flow seamlessly as an efficient engine that everyone loves because no one notices that it is running. When demand on the system steps up, so does performance. This can be said when the event is in full swing and drinks are being served at any one of our tables. We need to be more reactionary to demand such that preparation is undertaken to address the need to serve more drinks to clientele and for them to waste less time waiting for drinks to spend more time mingling and making contacts.
A system that enables process management coupled to a management leadership style will produce the results expected by our somewhat demanding clients. Indeed, the job of our staff is difficult, as they have to create and operate at 100% effectiveness and excel when clientele are in demand of our services. The process management methodology of Six Sigma and the leadership framework is that of The McKinsey 7S Framework (Leadersphere, 2009).
The six sigma process management is defined by Hayler & Nichols (2004), as a "Methodology that is a practical approach that focuses the tools and rigor of Lean Six Sigma on your critical processes in order to help you identify the most strategic and customer-focused properties for Lean Six Sigma projects in your organization. They suggest that it embodies the following concepts, which are universally accepted under different lists and acronyms such as;" (Kohnen, 2006)
Create compelling new products and service offerings
Provide service delivery as defined by customers
Generate attractive returns for shareholders
Be the best place to work for employees
Operate mutually value-creating partnerships with third-party suppliers
Other constructs have been proposed for this concept such as: define, measure analyze, improve, and control (DMAIC). The authors clearly state that "The most important thing is not to get 'hung up' on these labels, but, to stay focused on what it is we're continually trying to achieve."
Source: Kohnen, (2006). What is six sigma: Process management? The Quality Management Journal (2006).
With regard to the 7S McKinsey Model, "The seven variables include structure, strategy, systems, skills, style, staff, and shared values. Structure is defined as the skeleton of the organization or the organizational chart. The authors describes strategy as the plan or course of action in allocating resources to achieve identified goals over time. The systems are the routinized processes and procedures followed within the organization. Staff are described in terms of personnel categories within the organization (e.g., cooks), whereas the skills variable refers to the capabilities of the staff within the organization as a whole. The way in which managers behave in achieving organizational goals is considering to be the style variable; this variable is thought to encompass the cultural style of the organization. The shared values variable, originally termed superordinate goals, refers to the significant meanings or guiding concepts that organizational members share." (Leadersphere, 2009)
Vision of the Professional Development Plan
The vision is to entice new clients by providing marketing literature displaying highlights of our past events and comments/letters from our guests and hosts of their guests whom patron our banquet and utilize our entertainment staff. Such a vision is a commitment to a system of process management and a leadership style that is consistent with achieving the end result. When our literature shows clients engaging one another at our events rather than waiting online with a rather unhappy and inpatient look, we believe our halls will be books when we throw an additional 15% discount for first time clients.
The described vision of the plan is a function of the current analysis of talent available within the organization and the likelihood of securing knowledgeable staff for future events should our demand for services rise sufficiently to warrant an increase in expenditure for new hires. Each event seeks to create synergies at each level of interaction and engagement. This means we do not want our staff multi-tasking if we can avoid it. Should then need to multi-task, we want it performed functionally by focusing and completing one task quickly and effectively before moving onto the next task.
When these synergies exist and are exploited, the level of service increases significantly and increases the effectiveness of our services when assessed by our guests. The word of mouth regarding the effective management of our event and kitchen staff will enable growth within this cash cow niche market our corporation has increased market share in. By growing our event and kitchen management business, we create greater demand for services in a very strategic market that ostensibly can survive as a stand-alone business rather than apart of broader hotel chain.
To obtain these results, the process management is seen as the enabler to employees that informs them to target delivery times and real-time information regarding demand for services. By communicating with our staff we can facilitate the supply for demand for services and avoid any headaches or complaints from our guests. My vision is to have perfect events, every time. If our staff is committed to the vision of continuous process improvement then there is no doubt we can perform well above the industry standard and thus facilitate more demand for our services.
The reason behind the choosing of six sigma continuous process management control and the McKinsey 7S Framework is due to the proven ability of Kaizen style management theory to the employ that yield tremendous bottom line results to Japanese corporations. I see the management of our event and kitchen staff much the same way. By investing in ways to enable greater communication between our staff, including waiters, hosts, cooks, servers, and bartenders, we can create a seamless and fun environment were mingling and activity becomes the norm.
This particular approach addresses the critical nature of event driven management as a crux to facilitating satisfying services to a diverse and complex guest list. We have no knowledge regarding the particulars of the tastes of each of our guests and therefore, we use our ingenuity to create dishes that will please just about any palate. The understanding is our staff can just add salt to a meal should we think such a measure will satisfy our guests however, we understand that to err on the side of lower salt is to enable process management control to 'spice' up the meal rather than have to replace the whole meal due to providing too much 'spice'.
The McKinsey Framework is chosen for its managerial effectiveness regarding multiple staff and their responsibilities and how their efforts are related to the effectiveness of the organization as a whole. As my staff cannot be bothered with a leadership style that forces them to change how they think or act, the McKinsey Framework adjusts how my staff works such that their efforts are now maximized toward producing our desired end goal. We understand that although such metrics as time are important, if our staff takes a minute out to speak to our guests, we understand how that experience will positively impact our organization and therefore we choose manage the operation accordingly.
Leadership Development Plan, Goals and Outcomes
The Leadership Development Plan involves a top-down understanding of our needs and resource requirement subject to achieving our goals within our specified budget. We enable a 'champion' who will report to corporate with the results of our plan. The champion is responsible for ensuring that all directives are met and that, at the end of the day, our guests are happy with their event and that we have exquisite photo-ops of the success of our event management efforts and of the culinary creations from our chefs and culinary staff.
I do not feel that our efforts can change the broader framework of which we operate, such as the type of organizational structure, our overall strategic mission and vision, and the core implementation of our systems management. However, adjusting these components to enable the Leadership Development Plan is the ideal of my vision.
"The authors have concluded that American companies tend to focus on those variables which they feel they can change (e.g., structure, strategy, and systems) while neglecting the other variables. These other variables (e.g., skills, style, staff, and shared values) are considered to be "soft" variables. Japanese and a few excellent American companies are reportedly successful at linking their structure, strategy, and systems with the soft variables.…