“This is probably the third time I have joined an IFT Executive Development Programme,” says Mr. Simon Chow, Director of Sales at the Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre. He was one of the 21 industry executives participating in an October edition of the IFT Executive Development Programme on Strategic Thinking.
The Institute’s Executive Development Programme scheme continues to grow in reputation. The 2-day short courses for industry executives are offered in partnership with some of the world’s leading tourism schools and cover the latest trends in hospitality management.
“The first benefit from these courses is to get updates on the industry’s development,” Mr. Chow says. “The second benefit is that I can use the knowledge learned on these courses in my job,” he adds.
Ms. Gloria Ma, Director of Human Resources at Mandarin Oriental, Macau, agrees. She also participated in the strategic thinking programme. “I find the IFT Executive Development Programmes a very good learning opportunity. Seldom in Macao do we have courses like these, delivered by experts from overseas universities,” she says.
“I previously attended another IFT Executive Development Programme by a European university. I learn a lot in these courses and I find them very beneficial for my work. I am a satisfied, returning customer,” Ms. Ma states.
Mr. Rutger Verschuren is General Manager at the Grand Lapa hotel. He was one of 18 industry participants joining in August an IFT Executive Development Programme on Strategic Resilience: it was his first time enrolling on such an IFT course. Mr. Verschuren says the knowledge he got from attending the programme will “definitely” be useful in his job.
Catalyst for change
IFT’s Executive Development Programme scheme also receives praise from course leaders. “Participants were terrific: they brought a world of experience with them,” says Dr. Michael Oshins, Associate Professor of the Practice at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration. He was course leader for the programme on strategic thinking.
The scheme can be a catalyst for positive change in Macao’s hospitality sector, says Mr. André Mack. He is a Director at Lausanne Hospitality Consulting, a company jointly established by Switzerland’s Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and the Swiss Hotel Association. Mr. Mack was the course leader in August’s Executive Development Programme on Strategic Resilience.
“By essence, the job of a hotelier is that the next challenge is next week, next month. We are thinking super short-term,” he says.
Mr Mack adds: “We are reactive. The solution to get out of this is to fundamentally change the mindset. How to do this? You need people like the participants in these courses, who are coming from the top and who are convinced that strategic change is one way out.”