When to Let Go of Great Ideas


When to Let Go of Great Ideas


What happens when a great concept just doesn’t work? Speaking with Jeff Haden from Inc., our CEO discussed startup mistakes and the lessons learned from them, so this week we’re taking that topic to the guest experience.

Sometimes, even the best ideas fall flat on implementation. Whether they are not a fit for your particular guests or for your company culture, there comes a time when you just have to give up on a really great idea.

Our CEO’s first point was to not make it about you. Sometimes a brilliant idea won’t be accepted well simply because the guest doesn’t see what’s in it for him. For instance, consider those annoying Facebook posts: “Comment for yes, Share for no!” and so on. This is a transparent grab for attention, with no benefit to the person doing the liking and sharing. However, Cape Town Tourism ran a campaign that took Facebook users on sort of a virtual vacation, complete with photos they could share with friends. That’s how you make it about the guest.

Marcus also spoke about making assumptions. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but the biggest key to great guest service is listening. Service agents often assume they know what a guest wants or needs without really listening to what they are saying. I had this happen to me last week, the woman I was speaking with cut me off to address what she thought the problem was, but she was wrong. Assumptions, especially when they are wrong, aren’t doing anybody any favors.

Internal culture plays big role in the guest experience. Happy staff means happy guests most of the time. So when a great idea has a negative impact on your culture, it’s time to rethink. Over time, even if it works in the short term, if it’s draining the energy from your staff it’s probably best to scrap the project or gain further insight from your employees on how to make it work better.

Sometimes, even the best ideas just don’t work. If it’s not their time, put them on hold for later. For those that don’t mesh with your culture ask your staff for input. And finally, if your guests have different ideas on how things should go, make it work for them. Have you ever had to let a great idea go? For a recap of our own lessons, you can see Marcus’ interview with Jeff Haden from Inc. here.