Mind the ‘COVID’ Gap

Throughout 2020, Aethos™ witnessed first-hand how industry leaders and teams have deliberately, or inadvertently, shifted their performance dynamics in response to COVID. These shifts can be considered ‘gaps’ because they often have negative or unintended effects on the business and people practices of organisations. Intriguingly, these performance gaps are easily detected in the psychometric patterns of senior executives. Aethos™ thus decided to gather empirical data and find out what new patterns might have emerged.

Read moreThomas Mielke

Corporate Governance Study: Gaming Boards

Casino Journal and Aethos Consulting Group™ have been analysing board practices in the gaming industry for over a decade. The results of our recent survey show some vast improvements; however, there are still several companies that continue to lag the marketplace when it comes to corporate governance structure. Our study examined five critical areas of corporate governance:

Read moreKeith Kefgen

Confronting the Global ‘New Normal’: A Conversation with Daniel Xiang, Hong Kong-based Junson Captial

COVID-19 has drastically altered worldwide market conditions, with many countries on the brink of recession. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the global economy to shrink by 3% this year, which would be the worst decline since the Great Depression of the 1930s10. A Gallup survey acknowledged this harsh reality by noting that 7 in 10 Americans now believe the US economy is either in a recession (40%) or a depression (30%). Additionally, workers’ have increased worries concerning being laid off and reductions in work hours, wages, and benefits — for instance, 27% of U.S. workers worry about being laid off, which is up from 15% in 201912. Moreover, remote workdays have doubled during the pandemic, which can threaten 'real life' office cultures; isolated environments can lower productivity by 17% for those who prefer the 'in-person' working dynamic.

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Gaming CEO Pay, Calm Before the Storm

The end of 2019 ushered in a banner year. Valuations where high and deals were getting done (Penn National & BarStool, Caesars & Eldorado) among them. Then the world changed overnight. Panic in the public markets ensued and valuations plummeted (Penn National went from $49 to $4 in March). The gaming compensation committees had the challenge of paying 2019 bonuses and such just as COVID was devastating their businesses. A though spot to say the least. Markets have since bounced back and casinos are slowing reopening to a new reality. How gaming companies handle executive pay issues at the end of 2020 will be a very interesting read.

Read moreKeith Kefgen

The Big Rethink Agenda: HR, Leadership and Crisis Management

Developing and implementing an ‘HR strategy2’ is a significant challenge for many organisations. Many of the HR executives have also stressed that part of this ‘big rethink agenda’ is a re-evaluation of governance. We have seen different strategies being pursued by countries across the globe – some have pursued a highly centralised strategy to fight this situation, others have decentralised decision-making power and let local governments/municipalities take the lead. The jury is still out as to whether or not there is one winning strategy, but HR executives are asking themselves: “Are there potential learnings for us from the different strategies being pursued by governments across the globe? During times of crisis or change, does a de-centralised structure trump a centralised one or vice-versa?”

Read moreThomas Mielke

Re-Shape, Re-Generate, Re-Invent: A Career Roundtable Discussion Focused on Confidence, Control and Opportunities

The Annual Hotel Conference was held October 8th – in line with the overarching theme of ‘re-shaping’, ‘re-generating, and ‘re-inventing’, delegates were able to participate in an interactive roundtable discussion focused on professional development opportunities. The conversation centred around identifying and securing one’s next career step.

Read moreThomas Mielke

What Paranormal Tourism Reveals About the Human Psyche

Space activation, reactivation, and monetization are hot-button industry topics (e.g., Collina et al., 2017; deRoos, 2011; Tamini, 2018) - especially in the context of certain forces that have disrupted retail, tourism, and hospitality markets. Specifically, Russo and Richards (2016) noted three important paradigm shifts or “turns” that have evolved the concept of consumerism in these businesses, that is, the mobilities, performative, and creative turns (pp. 3–5). A later section deals with these in greater detail, but such trends are substantiated by considerable evidence, and collectively suggest that the most successful service–hospitality concepts intentionally capitalize on “systems theory,” i.e., environment–person bidirectional or enactive influences (Goldhagen, 2017; Jelić et al., 2016; Rentfrow, 2013). Stated simply, the prevailing view is that contemporary tourism and hospitality should approach the issue of space activation as an interactionist proposition.

Read moreKeith Kefgen, Terry Donovan

Adjusting Asset Management Staffing Strategies

The role of asset manager is as important as ever now during the pandemic, so those with asset managers within their ranks should think carefully about how they manage their teams.

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Hotel CEO Pay For Performance Study

What a difference 6 months makes. 2020 began with hotel companies coming off one of the strongest years in history and feeling optimistic the good times would continue. Since then, the industry has had widespread closures, massive layoffs, and CEO’s taking significant pay cuts while grappling with a global pandemic. While we will explore the ramifications of this crisis in this article’s conclusion, much of this study is focused on 2019 compensation data.

Read moreKeith Kefgen, Terry Donovan

Evolving To Normal – How Private Members Clubs Have Adapted

As we fall into Fall, hospitality companies need to continue to think different. There is no playbook for a pandemic and what we may do one week can get turned upside down the following week due to a color scheme and algorithm that is supposed to tell us if we are “safe” to operate. Regardless of opinion and political views, one thing is certain – we need to continue to attract more customers and find new ways to activate revenue.

Read moreMatt Peterson
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