The Objective of Innovation

By Dorothy Creamer, Editor | June 12, 2017

I am often perplexed by organizations that seem to refuse to update their systems. I was recently called for jury duty. I received the notice via snail mail, and while I was able to fill out some requisite forms via an online portal, I was required to bring the paper summons with me to the courthouse.

On the day I had to appear, I was halfway to the county seat when I realized I had forgotten the summons. Rather than turning around, I called my husband and asked him to text me a picture of it, hoping that this would appease the judicial powers-that-be. The clerk seemed dubious, but she took my phone and held the picture of my juror barcode up to her scanner. Eureeka! It worked. Just like checking in at the airport.

Now I realize I’m not a “customer” of the county court system, so I’m sure they couldn’t care less about my “experience,” but from an operational perspective, offering the paperless option could save time and money. I can’t imagine I’m the first person to forget a paper summons and removing as much friction from the dreaded jury duty process could help keep a happy jury pool.

Innovation is only as good as its purpose or the problem it solves. This month we profile the 2017 Hotel Visionary Award winners. Each of this year’s winners made innovations that ultimately result in improved experiences. La Quinta Inns & Suites, was honored for its Redeem Away! loyalty program that enables frictionless reward redemption. Watermark Luxe Waterfront Cottages was recognized for implementing technology to allow an unstaffed property to operate seamlessly with remote management. NH Hotel Group created a Digital Core Platform to streamline operations which impacts guests’ experiences and Hyatt’s Colleague Advantage integrates tools and tasks helping to create a “heads up” staff experience, turning a transaction into an interaction.

Each of this year’s honorees prove that innovation must be purposeful and the importance of not deploying technology just for technology’s sake. Rather, when technology addresses a specific need, want, or solves a problem, everyone wins.

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