Ask Joe Rohde, executive designer and vice president of creative for Walt Disney Imagineering, and he’ll tell you that story is important; sense of place is important.
It’s not just the Olympics and its organizers focusing on sustainable initiatives. MICE sectors worldwide are engaging in community initiatives, charity work and, of course, environmental practices. But these experts have conducted little (if any) research into whether their delegates are aware—or even care—that they are traveling on a bio-fuel bus or consuming foods from a local delicatessen. If they don’t, why bother with it anyway?
Now that the flooding situation in Thailand has stabilized, the country’s tourism authority is accelerating efforts to tell travelers and tour operators that the travel sector is open for business. The recovery campaign is called “Beautiful Thailand.”
Although the flood mainly affected provinces in the Central Region, it had minor impacts on attractions throughout Thailand. Popular destinations in the north such as Chiang Mai and Sukothai, in the south such as Phuket and Krabi and even some in the central region such as Hua Hin and Pattaya were not affected.
Central Bangkok also remained dry, as did the Suvarnabhumi Airport. The World Heritage Site in Ayutthaya, the most notable tourist attraction to be flooded, is undergoing restoration but is fully accessible. It has already seen an increase in the number of foreign visitors.
Since the middle of November, tourism authority execs have met with the bulk of foreign media stationed in Thailand and broadcast media visiting from China, the Ukraine, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam and Israel and have appeared on regional cable channels. The authority is also planning a mega fam-trip during December that will bring more than 300 travel media from overseas to see that most of Thailand’s attractions and infrastructure remain intact.
The authority’s 25 overseas offices are working directly with tlocal markets to develop campaigns and promotions to restore confidence and support travel arrivals. These initiatives include special promotions with airlines and tour operators, TV and movie producers and celebrity marketing.
Every day it’s looking more and more like you won’t need to carry a paper guide with you at a conference. You can already get session descriptions and speaker bios via event apps, and now Google is bringing their excellent map-making skills indoors. It’s only a matter of time before it’s available at conference centers around the world. Everywhere, trees are rejoicing.
Humble Leaders More Well Liked & Effective
Here’s some news that shouldn’t surprise you: Humble leaders are more well liked.
"Leaders of all ranks view admitting mistakes, spotlighting follower strengths and modeling teachability as being at the core of humble leadership," said Bradley Owens, assistant professor of organization and human resources at the University at Buffalo School of Management. "And they view these three behaviors as being powerful predictors of their own as well as the organization’s growth."
Owens and co-author David Hekman, assistant professor of management at the Lubar School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, spoke to 16 CEOs, 20 mid-level leaders and 19 front-line leaders about how humble leaders operate on the job and the differences between a humble leader and a non-humble leader. They all said true humble leaders create good professional growth models.
"Growing and learning often involves failure and can be embarrassing," Owens said. "But leaders who can overcome their fears and broadcast their feelings as they work through the messy internal growth process will be viewed more favorably by their followers. They also will legitimize their followers’ own growth journeys and will have higher-performing organizations."
Owens and Hekman also found that humble leaders show how to be human instead of superhuman. Still, some humble leaders are more effective than others.
Humble leaders who were young, nonwhite or female were reported as having to constantly prove their competence to followers, making their humble behaviors both more expected and less valued. However, humble leaders who were experienced white males were reported as reaping large benefits from humbly admitting mistakes, praising followers and trying to learn.
In contrast, female leaders often feel they are expected to show more humility than their male counterparts, but then they have their competence called into question when they do show humility.
"Our results suggest that female leaders often experience a ‘double bind,’" Owens said. "They are expected to be strong leaders and humble females at the same time."
Owens and Hekman offer straightforward advice to leaders. You can’t fake humility. You either genuinely want to grow and develop, or you don’t, and followers pick up on this.
Leaders who want to grow signal to followers that learning, growth, mistakes, uncertainty and false starts are normal and expected in the workplace, and this produces followers and entire organizations that constantly keep growing and improving.
A follow-up study that is forthcoming in Organization Science using data from more than 700 employees and 218 leaders confirmed that leader humility is associated with more learning-oriented teams, more engaged employees and lower voluntary employee turnover.