General Managers Program

School of Hotel Administration

School of Hotel Administration

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Who should attend

  • General managers overseeing full-service hotels
  • Senior hospitality professionals such as managing directors, assistant general managers, executive assistant managers, and operations directors

About the course

Running for over 30 years, the General Managers Program is the world’s premiere transformational learning experience for hotel general managers and their immediate successors.

As an experienced hospitality professional, you know that the industry is constantly evolving. To be successful, you must lead your team with purpose, embrace the industry’s evolutionary path, and seek opportunities to keep your organization at the forefront. Through GMP, you will hone strategic thinking skills, explore how to create value, and plan for action to tackle today’s most urgent business challenges and opportunities.

The program consists of two learning modalities. First, you’ll complete two live virtual courses, choosing topics that best meet your individual development goals. Topics are offered monthly and will be led by Cornell University faculty experts. Each course will include four 3-hour sessions and be limited to 35 participants to ensure high levels of engagement and networking.

Next, you will come to Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, New York to complete the program. The on-campus experience kicks off with a reception and orientation dinner, followed by five days of intensive, interactive, and engaged learning with peers from around the world. Led by senior Cornell faculty, you’ll take on strategic property-level issues with depth and precision. You’ll concentrate on hotel management issues and collaborate to expand the foundation of your knowledge, broaden your viewpoint, and produce new solutions to the challenges you face. As business transcends continental boundaries, so do we at Cornell. Through our interactive program, participants dissect theory-based ideas and learning, then relate these to current issues in the industry.

Online (2 Elective Courses)

Global Hospitality Trends and Best Practices: Profit From Change

An increasingly complex global business environment requires general managers to think strategically to make smarter business decisions. This program offers participants innovative, practical, and profitable solutions for dealing with global trends in order to improve revenue, profit, and customer loyalty. Through presentations, discussions, case studies, and real-life examples, you'll explore the latest practical and fast-paced lessons in the application of strategic thinking to challenges and opportunities facing the hospitality industry. “Best in the business” (and some worst!) case studies and examples will be drawn from businesses worldwide. At the end of this program, you can expect to take away ideas for implementation in your own business.

Program

Session 1:

The Big Picture: Explore the key trends affecting hospitality and leverage them into better business practices

Session 2:

Analysis and Application: Identify the most important trends for you and define action steps to test on your organization

Session 3:

Presentations, Discussion, and a Plan of Action (Part I): Present your action plan and discuss actionable business ideas

Session 4:

Presentations, Discussion, and a Plan of Action (Part II): Present your action plan and discuss actionable business ideas

Competitive Pricing and Revenue Management in a Low-Demand Environment

Traditional hotel pricing hinges on ensuring rooms are available for late-arriving, higher-yielding guests while building base demand with other consumer segments through the use of historic demand patterns. In today's reduced demand environment, however, revenue management needs to rely less on historic demand patterns, focusing instead on pricing by capitalizing on digital marketing opportunities to ensure hotels drive demand while avoiding rate dilution through excessive discounting actions. Using a strategic pricing simulation, you'll develop an understanding of the interplay between pricing and digital marketing in low-demand markets and refocus on profit versus revenue.

Program

Session 1:

The State of Revenue Management Today

Session 2:

Competitive Pricing

Session 3:

Digital Marketing With Google, Meta, and OTAs

Session 4:

Profit Optimization Through Integrated Marketing and Pricing

Hospitality Marketing in Uncertain Times

The hospitality industry has always been dynamic, whether it's the rise of new distribution channels in the digital economy or new lodging products in the sharing economy. But the COVID-19 economy has accelerated transformation in ways that even the most seasoned hospitality leaders could never have foreseen. The changes wrought by the pandemic have strained the hospitality industry — but also revealed opportunities for those organizations that are nimble and innovative. This mini-program looks toward a positive future for hospitality and the role marketing will play in creating and communicating value for tomorrow's hospitality consumers.

Program

Session 1:

The New Travel Consumer: Changing consumer behaviors and expectations

Session 2:

Innovation in Hospitality to Drive Demand: Explore product and service changes necessitated by COVID-19

Session 3:

Marketing to the New Travel Consumer: Examine new digital marketing approaches through conversation and virtual experiences

Session 4:

Market Planning for Uncertain Times: Develop a roadmap for hospitality marketing that's adaptable for reopening and recovery stages

Boosting Hotel Value

This program focuses on how to use the tools of finance to evaluate capital investment ideas and sell them to hotel owners and brands. We begin by identifying capital investment opportunities in your property. We then assess the attractiveness of capital investment projects using both simple and sophisticated financial approaches. Finally, we demonstrate ways to use financial analysis to appeal to owners, brands, and other stakeholders.

Program

Session 1:

Uncovering the Value in Capital Investments

Session 2:

Using Financial Acumen to Sell Your Investment Ideas

Session 3:

Optimizing Recurring Investments

Session 4:

Putting It All Together and Selling Ideas to Stakeholders

Luxury Marketing

Luxury is eternally evolving. In this program, you'll gain a thorough understanding of luxury service management and the specific challenges of marketing to today's luxury consumers. Marketing luxury services requires specific principles to enhance and preserve the image of finest quality, exclusiveness, and hedonic value. You'll sharpen your knowledge in marketing by contrasting traditional versus luxury-specific marketing principles within the service sector. You'll explore and actively participate with your peers through a mix of cases, readings, and videos.

Program

Session 1:

What Is Luxury and How Is It Changing?

Session 2:

Who Is the Luxury Customer and What Do They Want? How to Get Insights Into Their Behavior

Session 3:

How Is the Marketing Mix for Luxury Different? What Are the Anti-Rules of Luxury Marketing? Can Luxury Be Mass-Produced?

Session 4:

Elevating Your Service Experience: The Aesthetics of Luxury

Creating Sustainable Innovation

Innovation is a hot topic these days, and there is a plethora of information regarding how to transform, change, or revolutionize your hotel. But many hotel GMs find the application of technology and product innovation methodologies just do not apply to services. In this course, you'll learn what it takes to create and execute sustainable, service-based innovation programs. You'll zero in on the role of HR in innovation and examine how to integrate your entire staff into the innovation process. Through interactive case studies and active learning exercises, you'll walk away with a clear path to innovation.

Program

Session 1:

What Makes Service-Based Innovation Unique

Session 2:

The Workforce as a Key Element

Session 3:

Value Proposition Design

Session 4:

Business Model Innovation

Communication Skills for GMs

General managers face an array of complex communication challenges. This program provides both seasoned and new GMs with actionable communication strategies they can use at the property level and when communicating to ownership groups. Participants will better understand their own communication style, learn professional storytelling frameworks, polish their presentation skills, and practice giving and receiving constructive feedback. Through interactive lectures and engaging activities, you'll explore how to enhance your leadership presence and communication effectiveness.

Program

Session 1:

Improving Your Personal Effectiveness

Session 2:

Presenting Your Ideas With Clarity

Session 3:

Preparing Professional Slide Decks and Reports

Session 4:

Giving and Receiving Feedback Successfully

Global Trends and the Implications for HR in Hospitality

In this program, you'll gain insights about competitive trends and influences in the global hospitality industry, and you'll identify the priorities and operational implications for your organization. You'll examine the most current and important economic, demographic, and social challenges within the global hospitality industry and distinguish the ways in which your organization's HR function can be leveraged to address your specific needs. The sessions will involve discussion and analysis of current events along with a formal audit of your organization's key HR policies and practices as a basis for developing a customized improvement plan during the in-person session at Cornell, “Creating Customized HR Solutions.”

Program

Session 1:

Labor Markets and the Evolving Hospitality Workforce

Session 2:

The Future of Work and Implications for Functional Structure and Job Design

Session 3:

Technology and Making Your Life Easier

Session 4:

The Human Dimension: Going Beyond Engagement

Strategic Hospitality Management

Good strategy creation and execution are the key ingredients in a hotel's recipe for success. This mini-program focuses on how GMs can formulate strategies to guide their hotels in creating a sustainable competitive advantage. The goal is to develop a mastery of the analytical tools to evaluate your hotel's competencies and the factors critical to its success as compared to your competitors. We will explore how to examine trends in the competitive landscape, develop a clear and compelling strategic direction, and establish strategic priorities. Our emphasis will be on building strategic thinking, formulating strategies, stakeholder analysis, performance measurement, and developing a viable strategic implementation plan. We will rely on case analyses as well as a toolkit of analytic mechanisms to evaluate your own hotel.

Program

Session 1:

The Strategic Management Process and Strategic Thinking Tools

Session 2:

Analysis of the Industry, Key Environmental Trends, and Organizational Competencies

Session 3:

Direction Setting and the Key Elements of Formulating Business-Level Strategies, Operational Objectives, and Priority Analysis

Session 4:

Putting Strategy Into Action: Accountability and Empowering Execution, Fixing Broken Processes, and Reviewing Performance

General Managers Program Capstone

The General Managers Program Capstone is the on-campus component that results in the completion of program. It takes place at the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, NY, at the renowned School of Hotel Administration.

Over five intensive days, you will tackle hotel management issues and collaborate with a network of peers to expand the foundation of your hospitality knowledge. You’ll hone your strategic thinking skills to take on today’s most urgent business challenges and opportunities.

Day 1: Opening Reception and Orientation Dinner Statler Hotel, Cornell School of Hotel Administration

Day 2: Strategizing for Your Success: A Focus on Your Leadership

In this session, you’ll strategically plan for your success as a leader. Through experiential activities, personal assessments, and interactive feedback, you’ll enhance your understanding of your individualized leadership approach and strengthen your ability to lead, inspire, and build success with others in your hospitality organization. This includes the key role you play in shaping a high-performance culture for your team. You’ll also review ways to inspire your service-level staff through developing the leadership skills of your direct reports. Finally, you’ll explore ways to leave your mark as the leader.

Topics include

  • Truths and myths about leadership
  • The role of emotional intelligence
  • How to motivate both outstanding and challenging employees to higher levels of performance
  • How to turn work groups into inspired teams
  • The power of organizational culture
  • Creating your leadership brand

DAY 3: Creating Customized HR Solutions

This session will provide you with an opportunity to develop customized, property-specific solutions to address top HR challenges. Based on information generated from a comprehensive pre-session HR audit, you will engage in hands-on development activities that can be used to refine and/or create new HR policies, practices, and procedures that can be implemented immediately. The development process will incorporate industry best practices and thought leadership, and utilize peer-based feedback and assessment to ensure that the solutions are strategically aligned and operationally actionable.

Topics include

  • HR value creation
  • Major functional HR roles
  • HR best practices
  • Strategic and operational HR assessment

DAY 4: Co-Creating Value Through Customer-Centered Brand Marketing

Marketing — more than any other business function — creates value by driving demand to connect consumers to hospitality companies. Marketing identifies profitable target markets. Marketing crafts competitive positioning strategies and articulates the brand promise. Marketing listens to the voice of the customer to guide service experience design, value co-creation with customers, and measurement of key customer outcomes such as satisfaction, engagement, and advocacy. It is therefore critical to understand how customer-centered brand marketing integrates the activities of hospitality organizations to create value for guests — and for the business.

Topics include

  • Brand-Based Strategic Marketing
  • Identifying, understanding, and targeting profitable market segments
  • Mining marketing information from customers, competitors, and the marketing environment
  • Driving visible value through service innovation
  • Building experiential brands that align the people, processes, and physical evidence strategies of the hospitality organization
  • Communicating Brand Value Through Digital Marketing
  • Articulating brand promises through integrated marketing communications
  • Driving demand and conversions with website optimization
  • Co-creating content that builds customer engagement
  • Monitoring the return on digital marketing investments

Day 5: Financial Management for Value Creation

To be successful, general managers must maintain positive working relationships with owners and the owners’ representatives. In this session, you’ll learn how to understand the hotel and its management from the owner’s perspective. The first step in this process is to understand value creation from the standpoint of the various stakeholders in a hotel. You’ll then explore specifically how owner objectives within the framework of value creation differ from those of the brand, the guest, and the associates, among others. You’ll define and identify how to maximize the value of a hotel for the owner by understanding the interplay between the operating and real estate investment within a risk-return environment as well as how PIP and other property-level investment plans should be viewed when considering the owner’s perspective. You’ll discuss various owner/manager structural relationships and learn about the pros and cons of each from the owner’s perspective. You’ll examine conceptual and specific examples of measuring and creating value for the owner using operational benchmarking, space utilization, and the interplay of pricing and frequent-stay programs. You’ll explore how an individual hotel’s value can be impacted from the owner’s perspective and how to reallocate resources within a hotel company to maximize the property’s ability to create value.

Topics include

  • Defining value from a stakeholder perspective
  • The owner’s perspective of value creation
  • Agency conflict issues within the hotel
  • Value measurement and creation from the owner’s perspective
  • How the hotel can create value for the owner
  • Owner’s investments in a competitive capital environment
  • The owner’s view of operations and real estate returns
  • Measuring hotel performance through operational benchmarking
  • Space utilization and value creation for the owner
  • Value to owner (VTO) analysis
  • Benchmarking to improve VTO

Day 6: Leading Innovation and Strategic Change

Now more than ever, your success as a leader and the performance of your hotel requires agility in adapting quickly, introducing new ideas, and helping your team adjust to the evolving “new normal.” In this session, we’ll explore how to implement and manage change using a multi-step process and action planning. You will practice introducing transformation under several simulated circumstances as well as focus on revisions you wish to make to your property. Many companies around the world have formulated innovative new ideas or practices but fail in implementation. We will explore why as well as what it takes to successfully lead change efforts. Our session will combine simulation, case study, action planning, and facilitated discussion to ready you for the complex challenge of building an agile and effective operation while dealing with uncertainty and resource constraints.

Topics include

  • Building strategic action planning for the introduction of change
  • Understanding the psychology of change and how to manage resistance
  • Introducing innovations through a change implementation process
  • Why transformation efforts sometimes fail
  • Tips for overcoming the cultural and political barriers to change

Key course takeaways

  • Identify the key challenges and opportunities facing hospitality businesses today, including the current and future challenges created by COVID-19
  • Explore ideas for innovative hospitality products and services that can stimulate demand and address consumer expectations in the new travel normal
  • Assess the strengths that are key to your personalized approach as a leader
  • Develop context-specific solutions for HR challenges
  • Enhance guest loyalty by communicating the guest experience through digital media channels such as dynamic websites, content-fueled social media, and branded video
  • Explore the competing interests within a hotel to understand the concept of value creation from each stakeholder’s perspective
  • Devise an action plan for the successful introduction of large-scale change
  • Gain access to a global network of hospitality professionals

Experts

Chekitan Dev

Chekitan S. Dev is professor of marketing at Cornell University''s School of Hotel Administration in the SC Johnson College of Business. Since 1986, Professor Dev has taught over 15,000 students and executives both on campus and throughout the world. He is internationally recognized for his teach...

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...

Pamela Moulton

Biography Pamela Moulton is an associate professor of finance at Cornell''s School of Hotel Administration. Her teaching and research interests include financial markets and market microstructure, with a special interest in the role of investors. Her current research focuses on the impact of high...

Andrew Quagliata

Andrew Quagliata is a lecturer in management communication at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. He teaches a first-year business communication course, an upper-level persuasive communication class, and Communication for Entrepreneurs. He is the faculty sponsor of the Leland C. and Mary ...

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...

Bruce Tracey

Biography J. Bruce Tracey is a professor of management at Cornell University''s School of Hotel Administration. He has taught courses in human resources management for undergraduate, graduate, and professional audiences throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and he h...

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...

Rob Kwortnik

Rob Kwortnik, associate professor of services marketing, joined Cornell's faculty after earning his PhD in business administration from Temple University in 2003. He also earned a BA in journalism from Temple and an MBA from California State University, Northridge. Kwortnik's research focuses on ...

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...

Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson is co-founder and president of Medaca Health Group, Canada’s leading psychiatry-based early intervention service for mental health. Medaca’s treatment-focused approach helps employees in the early stages of absence to return to health and work in a timely and productive fashion. Me...

General Managers Program at School of Hotel Administration

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