Intelligent Design is Key to Our Success Says Four Seasons Hotel President at Rotman Business Design(TM) Conference

TORONTO, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ — “Our ability to provide the world’s finest guest experiences is fueled by the design of our business,” Kathleen Taylor, President, Worldwide Business Operations, Four Seasons Hotels Inc., told participants today at the 15th annual MBA Business Conference held by the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management in Toronto.

“Four Seasons is run on four strategic design decisions,” added Taylor. “The first is an intense focus on the needs of the frequent business traveler. Second is highly-personalized, anticipatory service. Third is our credo, ‘treat others the way you would like to be treated.’ And last but not least is our decision to focus all of our energy and expertise on hotel management rather than ownership.”

Four Seasons employees — from top managers to the front line — undergo a rigorous recruitment process. “We often look at thousands of resumes for a single position. Then, candidates undergo four or five interviews before being selected.” The process is very expensive, says Taylor, but worth it. “We hire for attitude, not experience. Our people need to live and breathe our values.”

“We live on the power of example,” says Taylor, “often pairing ‘culture carriers’ — experienced employees — with new employees to set the standards. When you set out to be recognized for the experience you provide to guests, as we have, your people are the catalyst. In just one hotel, there may be 4,000 points of service contact in a single day.” This philosophy has allowed Four Seasons to emerge from the toughest time in the industry’s history (2001-2004) as the recognized leader in luxury hospitality.

Business Design(TM): The New Competitive Weapon is the topic of this year’s Rotman MBA Business Conference. The conference examines the importance of design in the business world and its relevance to present and future generations of business leaders. Other speakers include Tim Brown, President and CEO, IDEO Inc. and Meg Whitman, President and CEO, eBay Inc.

The University of Toronto’s Joseph L. Rotman School of Management is on a mission to become one of the world’s top tier business schools by taking an innovative approach to management education, built around Integrative Thinking(TM) and Business Design(TM).

Integrative Thinking and Business Design are registered trademarks of the Rotman School of Management.

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