Delta Downtown Vancouver Suites
Problem: In 2016, the Delta Downtown Vancouver Suites began a substantial renovation, shortly after the Delta brand was acquired by Marriott. In the course of the renovation, the hotel leadership planned to transition its target market, shifting from the older, more family oriented customers who had stayed in the old hotel to a younger, hipper, more technology aware clientele.
With the renovation nearly finished, the team’s strategic team — including the GM and Director of Sales & Marketing — needed to develop an internal narrative that would help staff understand the transition and change culture to match the new clientele.
Approach: I began with three in-depth Story Discovery sessions with the Director of Sales & Marketing, designed to flush out the strategic vision. We planned a facilitated Storytelling session which included the heads of all internal departments. In preparing for that session, I called each department leader and conducted a short interview, to better understand diverse perspectives and include everyone in the process.
During the session, we combined a short Storytelling conversation with design thinking exercises that enabled the team to envision a successful shared future in their own language. Leadership was pleasantly surprised — and relieved — to discover a widespread sense of alignment and optimism about the future. People were excited. Next, leadership performed an empathy mapping exercise designed to better understand the pain points of their team members, as they were undergoing the transition around the renovation.
After the session, I summarized the insights from the session to design a Powerpoint deck that represented the new organizational story. Each department relied on this narrative and associated exercises to integrate the new story into the way that they work.