Professor Stephenson delivering a public seminar on change management in the service sector industries.
Change management is a management technique not simply an event or a series of events, explained Professor Marcus Stephenson, Head of the School of Tourism and Hospitality (STHM) at The University of the South Pacific (USP).
He made the comment while delivering a public seminar concerning 'change management in the service sector industries', which was delivered to a diverse audience of Honiara-based public and private sector companies in Solomon Islands.
The audience comprised representation from Hotel Solomon Kitano, Heritage Park Hotel, Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, University of the South Pacific (Honiara Campus), Solomon Islands Telekom, Solomon Islands Host Program, Solomon Islands Electricity Authority, Solomon Power, and ANZ.
Professor Stephenson also discussed how the process of change can be a challenging one saying that people are fundamentally creatures of habit, some more than others, and are often secure in their comfort zones.
“Statements from employees, such as 'we always do it this way' or 'in my former institution we did it like this', are not conducive to change. Thus change has to be very specific to a given institution at a given time and place,” he remarked.
Professor Stephenson also informed his audience that "as the service industry is a dynamic entity and fundamentally about continuous productivity, people performance and good customer service, it is vital that the change management strategy embodies these principles and ensures that the change process is feasible nor simply desirable”.
Mr Francis Deve of Pure Solomon Island Tours in Honiara commended STHM for producing such seminars.
“It is a great idea to bring these innovative seminars to Honiara so we can keep ourselves on track in terms of how best to manage change and maximise productivity in our own workplaces,” he said. Mr Deve attended the STHM’s inaugural Change Management seminar in Honiara last month.
Mr Josefa Tuamoto, Chief Executive Officer of Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, stated that “change is the only constant in today’s dynamic business environment and the seminar provided us with great tools to drive change effectively and efficiently within our organisations”.
He added that this was a service platform that the University could play a leading role in and further suggested that more of these seminars be undertaken in the future.
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