Advanced Hospitality Strategy

School of Hotel Administration

How long?

  • blended
  • on demand

School of Hotel Administration


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In order to keep the company that you are managing or your own business competitive, you need to have a clear plan of action, in other words, you must...


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Who should attend

  • Senior leadership at hotel properties
  • General managers
  • Executive committee personnel
  • Managers hoping to move into a senior leadership position
  • Hotel owners
  • Corporate-level managers interested in the formulation of business-unit and corporate strateg

About the course

Strategic leadership is not an innate trait with which only some are born; it is a skill that requires daily practice and discipline. Today’s dynamic hospitality industry requires that leaders and managers have the ability to not only lead their teams effectively, but also provide a strategic framework that will guide the organization as a whole.

As a leader in your company, do you know who or what the drivers of change are within and outside of your organization? Do you know the key elements necessary to an effective strategic management process or how to create systems within your organization that will enable you to implement strategic initiatives? Do you know how to determine whether an investment made in your property is providing value to the owner? This blended certificate program, which begins with a series of online courses and culminates with a four-day capstone experience at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, New York, provides you with the answers to these questions as well as strategies to execute upon these key concepts in your own property or organization.

After completing the online courses, you will travel to the Cornell campus to work with faculty experts and hospitality professionals from around the world to further explore hospitality strategy via hands-on activities, interactive case studies, and team assignments. You’ll first focus on innovation and how it can be leveraged to transform, change, or revolutionize your company. Next you’ll explore the gap between business strategy and operational performance. You’ll then focus on value creation from the perspective of the hotel operator, with the expectation that getting the most value out of the individual business units will, over time, aid in the company’s goal of value maximization. You’ll walk away with new skills and best practices, a powerful network of international colleagues and affiliate membership in the Cornell Hotel Society.


Fundamentals of Hospitality Strategy

Why are some companies successful, while so many other businesses fail? Some organizations may just be lucky, but success based solely on luck probably will not last. For an organization to have sustained success, it must stay competitive in the market; it simply cannot survive without effectively differentiating itself from its competitors. What sets your organization apart from your adversaries? A winning strategy will enable you to take on the market, maximize performance, and boost profitability.

In this course, you will work through key activities in the strategy formulation process. First, you will investigate what a good strategy is, how to think like a strategist, and how to identify the foundations of your firm's strategies. You will then analyze the broad and operating environments. A broad environmental analysis forms the context in which the firm and its operating environment exist, as stakeholders also have the potential to exert influence over strategy formulation. Crafting a successful strategy includes the consideration of your organization's internal environment to determine what resources, capabilities, and strengths can be leveraged or developed to form future strategies. Organizations work to create advantage through the development of resources and capabilities. Toward the end of your learning experience, you'll have an opportunity to identify patterns that exist between your internal and external factors, and you will devise possible strategies.

Formulating Hospitality Strategy

Formulating an effective strategy requires that an organization ask the right questions and then answer them thoughtfully and thoroughly. This course raises and helps you answer some of the most critical interrelated questions, such as: How does my company choose the right strategies to define where and how we will compete? What is my firm's vision and mission? How does my firm create value?

You will begin by exploring the importance of direction setting in the strategy formulation process. You will then examine general business-level strategies focused on creating value, such as cost advantage and differentiation, by answering how your firm competes at the level of the hotel or business unit. In addition, you will examine corporate strategies like diversification, concentration, and vertical integration, which help organizations answer the question of where to compete in related and unrelated industries.

Given that no two strategies are alike, you will classify both business and corporate strategies into common strategic characteristics to help you better identify your own organization's competitive positioning, as well as those of the competitors. What's more, you will explore the structure of an industry as the definition of industries and the competitive playing field continue to evolve and change.

It is recommended to only take this course if you have completed “Fundamentals of Hospitality Strategy” or have equivalent experience.

Implementing Hospitality Strategy

You've worked tirelessly to create an effective strategy that takes into account your organization's mission and vision and any related risk factors, as well as the competitive landscape in which you operate. Now what? Implementation is the crucial next step in this process, but there can be many pitfalls along the way.

This course will provide you with the tools to recognize why strategic implementation can fail; how you can create an organizational structure and culture that will support and fit with your overarching strategic goals; and how to establish systems, measures, and incentives to effectively implement your strategy.

You will complete this course with an action plan in hand that will enable you to confidently lead the implementation of your strategy in your organization.

It is recommended to only take this course if you have completed “Fundamentals of Hospitality Strategy” and “Formulating Hospitality Strategy,” or have equivalent experience.

Leading Strategic Change Initiatives

If you’re in charge of developing and leading strategic organizational change, there are certain tools and concepts you must be familiar with. In this course, the emphasis is on cultivating your ability to assess the need for change. By determining why your organization or team needs change, you’ll be able to better answer questions like: What should you change and how should the change be handled? You will explore the political and complex process of introducing change, which includes motivating others, dealing with resistance and the emotional elements of change, and finally, extending change over time and sustaining it. The course is designed to give you practice so you can initiate and carry out a change effort.

Becoming a Strategic Leader

Advancing to a more senior leadership role requires a specific set of skills. Senior leaders must shift away from tactical oversight into a more strategic and visionary role. This transition does not occur naturally and is often not a part of standard professional training, development, or onboarding. The ability to adapt to this mindset is crucial and can lead to the success or failure of an individual and/or their team.

In this course, current and potential leaders will be guided through this transition by Kate Walsh, Professor and Dean of the School of Hotel Administration, as she shares her professional expertise and research. Learners will create a personal leadership strategy and build a professional network within their organization to prepare and further their roles in the organization.

On-Campus: Ithaca Campus

Advanced Hospitality Strategy Capstone

The Advanced Hospitality Strategy Capstone, part of the Cornell Professional Development Program, is the on-campus component that results in the completion of your advanced certificate. It takes place at the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, NY, at the renowned School of Hotel Administration.

Over four intensive days, you will tackle strategic management challenges and collaborate with a network of peers to expand the foundation of your hospitality knowledge.

Days 1 and 2: Creating Sustainable Innovation

Innovation: It's a hot topic these days, and there is a plethora of information regarding how to transform, change, or revolutionize your company. Many in the hospitality industry find the application of technology and product innovation methodologies just won't work for service-based companies. In this two-day intensive, you will learn what it takes to create and execute sustainable service-based innovation programs. This is a hands-on, workshop-based session that will give you a clear path to innovation.

Days 3 and 4: Using Financial Tools for Strategic Value Creation

Over these two days, you will explore how to bridge the gap between business strategy and operational performance. You will focus on value creation from the perspective of the hotel operator, with the expectation that getting the most value out of the individual business units will, over time, aid in the company's goal of value maximization. Considerable time will also be spent understanding and managing issues arising between the owner and the operator regarding their expectations and goals for the hotel.

Key course takeaways

  • Explore the key elements in the strategic management process
  • Examine business-level and corporate-level strategies and how firms compete to create value
  • Create measures, control systems, and incentives to manage, monitor, and implement strategic initiatives
  • Recognize organizational change tactics and their relationships to different stages of readiness or willingness to accept change
  • Diagnose the external factors that are driving change and the strategic orientation of your firm
  • Distinguish differences between managing your team and leading within your organization
  • Identify when and how to incorporate entrepreneurial behavior and thinking into the innovation process
  • Improve financial performance by maximizing the use of working capital and long-term assets in a competitive hotel market


Cathy Enz

Cathy A. Enz is the Lewis G. Schaeneman Jr. Professor of Innovation and Dynamic Management and a professor in strategy. She currently serves as the associate dean for academic affairs in the School of Hotel Administration. Her prior administrative roles included serving as associate dean for indu...

Neil Tarallo

Neil Tarallo is a senior lecturer of entrepreneurship at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. He currently serves as the director of the Cornell University Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Disabled Veterans (EBV), which offers entrepreneurship education to post 9/11 veterans and as the direct...

Kate Walsh

Dr. Kate Walsh is the Dean of the School of Hotel Administration, and is an E. M. Statler Professor. She received her Ph.D. from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and her M.P.S. degree from the School of Hotel Administration. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting f...

Steven Carvell

Dr. Steven Carvell, a professor of finance at the School of Hotel Administration, has 30+ years of extensive service at the School and University including: Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Academic Director of the Pillsbury Institute of Entrepreneurship, and the Cornell University Internation...

Advanced Hospitality Strategy at School of Hotel Administration

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Strategy

Strategy courses contain a large amount of practice. You will be able to analyze the company's performance and make a strategic development plan. All practices are based on real cases that each of you may encounter. The courses will also introduce yo...

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