Cornell Service Innovation Roundtable Focuses on Industry Innovation

Jun 21, 2011

Contact:  Glenn Withiam, 607.255.3025, 

Cornell Service Innovation Roundtable Focuses on Industry Innovation

Strategic approaches and tenacious effort can promote innovative guest-service ideas

Ithaca, NY, June 21, 2011 – Two dozen top hospitality industry innovators gathered for the 2011 Service Innovation Roundtable, produced by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). Proceedings for the roundtable, held in May 2011, are detailed in “Improving the Guest Experience through Service Innovation: Ideas and Principles for the Hospitality Industry,” by Cathy A. Enz, professor of strategy and the Louis G. Schaeneman, Jr. Professor of Innovation and Dynamic Management at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, who chaired the roundtable.

Participants shared details of their current innovation efforts, many of which involved improving the guest experience, often in conjunction with employee assistance and training. Numerous lodging and hospitality firms are focusing intentionally on innovation as a way to improve guest satisfaction and, as a result, boost revenues and profits.

“We found that these innovative people had many issues in common, even though they operated in various hospitality industry segments,” said Enz. “They have been successful due to an intense focus on innovation, supported by research and data. Many of them used a methodical, strategic approach to innovations that allowed them to involve customers early in the innovation process.”

The participants concluded that throughout any innovation, change agents will confront different types of support and resistance, and must have a strategy for addressing the concerns of each type of objection. In the end, innovation must be as data-driven as possible, whether that means asking guests and employees for innovative ideas or finding ways to measure service changes as they are initiated.

To view the full program and photos of the event, please visit:

Detailed roundtable proceedings are now available from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research, which produces the roundtable series. As with all CHR reports, the roundtable proceedings are available at no charge, at

About CHR Roundtables
CHR roundtables are a meeting place for invited senior-level hospitality industry executives and Cornell faculty members. Each roundtable lasts one day and is divided into four or five sessions. Sessions begin with a short research presentation (by a Cornell faculty member, faculty from another institution, or an industry leader) that lasts five to ten minutes. Immediately following, one or two industry discussants either support or contest the researcher’s hypothesis or conclusion. The conversation is then opened up to the entire roundtable for discussion. For more information on roundtables, please visit:

Thanks to the support of the CHR partners listed below, all publications posted on the center's website are available free of charge, at
About The Center for Hospitality Research
A unit of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) sponsors research designed to improve practices in the hospitality industry. Under the lead of the center's 82 corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial and operating practices. The center also publishes the award-winning hospitality journal, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. To learn more about the center and its projects, visit

Center Senior Partners: ASAE Foundation, Hilton Worldwide, McDonald's USA, Philips Hospitality, SAS, STR, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, and TIG Global

Center Partners: Davis & Gilbert LLP, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, Denihan Hospitality Group, eCornell & Executive Education, Expedia, Inc., Forbes Travel Guide, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fox Rothschild LLP, French Quarter Holdings, Inc., HVS, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah Group, LRP Publications, Maritz, Marriott International, Inc., Marsh's Hospitality Practice,, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Proskauer, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Schneider Electric, Thayer Lodging Group, Thompson Hotels, Travelport, and WATG

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