Magazine article Management Today

MT Letters

Magazine article Management Today

MT Letters

Article excerpt

STAY IN FASHION

My father always used to ask, 'Which is the best hotel in town?' When going somewhere unfamiliar ('Where are You Staying?', MT October). Today there is probably no such thing as a best hotel in town. In major cities the variety and choice is abundant.

Until recently, I had not been involved with a trendy hotel. Until my involvement with my new Hotel de Russie in Rome, for which Hollywood film stars, opera singers and the fashion world have made a bee-line. Trendiness is dangerous, because fashions change. Hotels are not short-term investments.

As a luxury hotelier you must capture your customer. You do this by looking after him so well that he wants to come back. Trendiness is skin-deep, and a hotel has to have more than a veneer. In the luxury world, rooms must be big, bathrooms sumptuous and everything must work. Service delivery must be immaculate. You will then survive on initial fame, and also endure.

Traditionally, luxury hotels have been quite stuffy - those with money tended to be old. Today, there is still the older generation but also a growing young super-rich population. They want an hotel with a fun atmosphere. That is the way I'm going,

Sir Rocco Forte

RE Hotels

DON'T BE CYNICAL

One should admire David Walker s wit but take his cynicism with a pinch of salt ('Ways to win in Whitehall', MT October). He ignores the fact that many senior civil servants are specialists, but reinforces the First Division's argument that being a successful civil servant is a professional specialism in itself. This is why almost all businessmen who enter government as either civil servant or minister fail.

He hints at another problem. Bluntly, Labour will not succeed in modernising government if it refuses to modernise politics. Most UK organisations now devote considerable resources to training at all levels, But somehow ministers and other politicians regard themselves as exempt. Why don't all ministers have annual personal development programmes? If so, the role of courtier might not be as arduous as it sometimes is.

So don't be too cynical about the civil service. It is moving forward, though changes in management always take time. And for many it is stimulating and rewarding work. Most civil servants - and most politicians - are motivated by public service, and that's not a had reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Jonathan Baume

General secretary, Association of First Division Civil Servants

KEEP STRESS AT BAY

With reference to 'How Do You Stay Fresh?' (MT October), those who make it to the top are usually well-equipped to deal with workplace stress, The most stressed group of workers are middle managers - often caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. However, some themes emerged which I believe apply to anyone.

First, take your holidays. Taking breaks away from work is critical to being able to function properly. Second be organised so that you can manage some sort of balance between home life and work life. Third, develop interests outside work to help you relax. Fourth, if you can, do a job in an area that interests you.

Nick Isles

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

VIRTUOUS CIRCLE

Helen Wilkinson's column 'working@life' (MT October) examines the meaning of work in the context of our lives. I certainly agree that work can fuel a sense of being useful. I also come across numerous people who are work-addicted, whose identity and self-esteem are fled up with their work role. For many, personal values about family relationships or their engagement with the world outside work are so deeply buried that they have distorted or destroyed other people's lives as well as their own.

But at last work-life balance issues are being treated as legitimate and we are realising that what goes on in one part of our lives affects other parts. …

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