Mergers & Acquisitions have been a hallmark of business for centuries, but in particular the last forty years. In our industry M&A activity has picked up most notably with the 2016 acquisition of Starwood by Marriott and moving into full force with the recent acquisition of HotelTonight by Airbnb and just a few weeks ago the announcement that Interstate and Aimbridge would be merging to create the largest third-party management company in the world by far.
It’s easy to look at these and other deals and become afraid of how you can compete or continue to operate in a world where behemoths appear to be reigning supreme. But the key as always is adaptability. Ignoring the realities of what is going on around you is a recipe for disaster and so is continuing with “business as usual.” The most successful companies, both in our industry and not, are those that can adapt with the times. Amazon started as an online bookstore and is now an online marketplace, Google was a search engine that became a software company, and Marriott started with a restaurant concept before adapting to become the hotel leader it is today.
Adaptability in business is what allows us to succeed on a daily basis. We live in changing times. Think of the things that we see in hotels today that we couldn’t have imagined even a decade ago. Unlocking room keys with your smart phone, having robots bring towels to your room, and streaming your Netflix content in your guestroom are just a few of the technology changes that have been implemented. And this doesn’t even touch on the vast amounts of data that we have at our fingertips and we can utilize for smarter and more efficient business practices.
At the end of the day we need to be smart with our business practices but also open to adaptability. If we get stuck in our ways and ignore the constantly changing world around us, then we’ll go the way of the dinosaurs. Or Lehman Brothers. Or Woolworths.