Circle of Knowledge

Experts say that the percentage of knowledge that a human brain can hold is less than ONE percent of the available information in the world. We fail to realise that 99% of the available knowledge is actually the blind spot. We don’t know that we don’t know!!  We are constantly trying to narrow this gap. Only a few extremely brilliant people scale up to the two percent knowledge mark.

I read an interesting article about photons the other day. It said that a photon takes a million light years to travel from the Sun’s core to the exterior but takes mere eight minutes to reach us. It also spoke about a parallel universe existing alongside us, where time travels in the opposite direction. Imagine going through the human life sycle in reverse order death-old age-adult-teenager-child-baby-foetus; basically tomb to womb. Wouldn’t it be amazing? So the big question then is – What are we? How do we evolve best practices of reaching out to our guests?

It is a known fact that, the more knowledgeable we are, the experience of the guest will be that much better. Lets discuss a few simple ways of improving our knowledge.

Think big-Think small syndrome

Dr Abdul Kalam always advises youngsters to ‘Think Big’.  He is absolutely right. Thinking big literally opens up the mind and helps us achieve goals beyond imagination. One could easily develop that idea into something big. For example: turning a dynamic reservation system into best BAR rate portfolio like the OTAs. It may have the potential of spinning in lot of revenue and making your hotel a market leader. The key is to make that start. We hear success stories of ordinary people coming up with very successful hotel projects. They were bold enough to make that start.

Thinking small is equally important. Even a small idea can work wonders.  Something like the Japanese Sashimi. You just take one gulp and you are done. You are supremely satisfied and the taste lingers on for a long while.  Similarly a tiny droplet gradually becomes a wave. The wave is neither big nor small but is an integral part of the ocean. Our thoughts shouldn’t be limited by the size of the idea.

Internet

As we know, Internet is a treasure trove of knowledge; something like a giant communication bottomless pit. One can Google almost anything and get a result instantly. Of course one has to use it with discretion. However a search engine can just provide you with information about how to solve the problem but cannot actually solve it for you. So, Google cannot replace a smart hotelier.

A lot of people claim that they google themselves when bored. I tried it myself and was amazed at the hundreds of Venu Rao’s in the world. Luckily, my profile pops up in the top ten. All credit to SEO optimisation. So, the Internet does give you information on almost any subject but you actually need a human to use the information practically.

Travel

A thousand mile journey starts with just a single step but the amount of planning that goes into it is unimaginable. Even with all the planning, there is so much you learn on the actual trip. And, if its something like a conference, there is an information overload.

Travel plays a part of a game changer in our hotel industry. A large percentage of guests are well travelled and well informed. We actually learn so much from them.

Conversation

We have grown up listening to different people talk, be it our teachers, professors, political leaders, parents, siblings and so on…  This has an impact on our thinking either positively or negatively. Engaging in a positive conversation can be a good source of information and can be productive. For example: the quick morning meetings or briefings.

Guests are a big source of knowledge, since they come from all walks of life. Engaging with guests works like a double-edged sword. While it keeps us abreast of current trends, it makes the guests feel special as we spend more time with them.

I am reminded of my conversations with my grandfather when I was a teenager. When I would ask for pocket money, my grandfather would say, “Don’t ask for any pocket money my boy. The future is bright when the money is tight.”

Reading habit

The current generation is still growing up with books, but soon a time will come when books will be outdated. Information might soon be stored in a small chip in our body. Books have always been a tremendous source of knowledge and entertainment. Enid Blyton was one of my personal favourites as a child.  Vivid descriptions in books like Famous Five hold good even in today’s Internet world. How can one forget comics like Phantom or Mandrake?

Even religious books are a valuable source of information. It is through these books that we discovered how various civilisations survived the test of time. Whatever religious beliefs we have today came from these books.

To cut the long story short, we should constantly try to improve our knowledge.

Reading is good, doing is great

 

Venu Rao
Director Peacock Hospitality.

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