Hospitality Strategy


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  • online
  • on demand



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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 formulating business-unit and corporate strategy

About the course

To achieve sustained success and survive unpredictable economic challenges, hospitality organizations need to set themselves apart from their competitors. That differentiation requires an effective strategy.

In this certificate program, you will carefully examine the key elements in the strategic management process, which consists of two equally important parts: strategy formulation and strategy implementation. You will first investigate the fundamentals of strategy, including what makes a good strategy, how to think like a strategist, and which of your organization's resources and capabilities will lead to a sustainable competitive advantage. Next, you will explore strategy formulation, which involves planning strategies that define where and how your company will compete. More specifically, you will explore the key elements of direction setting and develop a strategic vision and mission. You’ll also study business-level and corporate-level strategies to compete and create value.

You will then examine strategy implementation, which focuses on the shorter-term actions and choices intended to carry out the strategic plan. Even if your organization has carefully formulated and articulated its strategy, your organization won’t get far without the ability to implement it, so you will determine how to put strategy into action. You will look at how to set priorities and objectives to build a strategy-supporting structure and culture. You will also analyze how to evaluate performance and control actions. Finally, you will delve into the details of action planning and master the tools and concepts needed to develop and lead strategic organizational change. You’ll come away from the program better prepared to position your hospitality brand for success in even the most competitive and volatile markets.


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.

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.

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.

Key course takeaways

  • Examine the key elements in the strategic management process
  • Examine business-level and corporate-level strategies to compete and create value
  • Create measures, control systems, and incentives to manage, monitor, and implement strategic initiatives
  • Recognize organizational change tactics and their relationship to different stages of readiness or willingness to accept change
  • Diagnose external factors that are driving change and the strategic orientation of your organization
  • Identify distinguishing differences between managing your team and leading within your organization

What you'll earn

  • Hospitality Strategy Certificate from Cornell School of Hotel Administration
  • 60 Professional Development Hours (6 CEUs)


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...

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...

Hospitality Strategy at eCornell

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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 Marketing

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