AriaIdeaExchange copy

Over 700 ideas were generated by 50 people in less than 45 minutes.



Last month I had the privilege to work with an exceptional organization to assist them to achieve their goals, overcome challenges, and solve problems. ARIA Resort and Casino brought together sales, marketing, catering, and operations to discuss how to continue their success in a competitive marketplace. We created an idea exchange in which all of the participants offered suggestions to the various challenges for their departments.

That’s because these demanding times require leaders who can respond quickly and imaginatively to change. In these do-more-with-less downsized times, the need for every employee to contribute creative ideas and original solutions has never been greater.

Learning to think creatively is the best business survival tool there is.  Research has shown that regardless of age or education, everyone has the capacity to become more creative. A recent survey of top executives from Fortune 500 companies throughout the United States ranked creativity more important than intelligence for success in business today.

ARIA has some of the brightest and most creative minds in the hospitality industry. They constantly push themselves and their success is proof that it works. Several days we dedicated to learning how to approach problems from ‘inside the box’ to gain a new perspective? We talked about how other industries have applied the principle of inward thinking to discover solutions using existing resources. ARIA took some of the ‘best case’ solutions from other industries and reformatted them to utilize for their organization.

The hospitality business is all about memories. Think of them as scrapbooks for the mind. ARIA wants to create what I call Meaningful Memories.

A “Meaningful Memories Provider” mindset requires that your company change its focus from a task-based perspective to a process-based perspective.

A task-based perspective treats each Client as a one-time event and emphasizes the immediate conclusion of the Clients’ immediate need. This perspective is outdated and will no longer serve to increase your competitive lead.

 The process-based perspective is an integrated perspective that takes into account the contributions of all departments and the innovations each may be able to contribute, as well as the current and future markets that exist outside the organization. ARIA gets it.

The entire group was ‘open’ to new ideas, new ways to thinking, and learning about new tools to help create innovative solutions and suggestions. The results we created can be applied to many other organizations.  Prior to the meeting as well as during the meeting I asked lots of questions. They helped to create a foundation upon which we developed our ‘idea exchange.’ The results were extraordinary…same as ARIA.

Invst. Inovt Intate

A dozen questions for your own organization may help reveal answers that will help to increase sales and profits, develop and market new ideas, plan meetings and events, manage projects and teams, and brainstorm better ideas.


to improve your world and your life.

  1. How many un-sold or under-serviced prospective clients are in your target market?
  2. How large do you “dream” your business could become in the next 5 years? 10 years?
  3. What important “shifts” are developing in your market? How are these “shifts” impacting your business?
  4. Who is your competition?  What is your competitive advantage? Are you a better choice for your prospective clients?
  5. How important are ‘Meaningful Memories’ to your Clients, and how do you plan to deliver it?
  6. Is your business “scalable?” Could you grow your business by 70%, without your expenses growing by the same ratio?
  7. What are the most critical factors for your business’ success? How would you rate your organization in each factor?
  8. What portions of your business have accepted, replicated, scalable systems? Are there procedures that cover the critical success areas?
  9. How stable is your capital funding? Does your funding include technology that keeps you connected?
  10. Is your market growing or shrinking? What is your current market share? Are YOU the Competition or follower?
  11. How do you transform challenges into successful outcomes?
  12. How do you stretch your mind and create new opportunities using existing resources?


If you want to create a successful organization, like ARIA perhaps this will help.

According to Jim

  • Specifically. we must all think differently.
  • We must all reorder our priorities. 
  • We must face reality and do what works best.  
  • Forward-looking leaders must focus their energies on the entire process, looking beyond the immediate outcome to all potential future scenarios.
  • Each transaction builds on the previous one.
  • Each success makes choices easier by building relationships over time.
  • Remember it is your “relationship capital” that earns interest.

Meaningful Memories is all about exceeding expectations not just meeting them.