Ideas
Explore the world's #1 largest database of ideas and innovations, with over 500,000 inspiring examples.
Trend Reports
Discover why 900 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Newsletter
Join 287,102 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
Consumer Insights
Uncover major shifts and emerging opportunities with our exclusive PRO research.
Trend Reports
Discover why 900 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Newsletter
Join over 250,000 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
Dashboard
Get special access to premium content, topic tracking and customizable tools through our AI-powered Dashboard.
AI + Human Methodology
Learn how Trend Hunter harnesses the power of artificial intelligence.
Assessment
Enhance your innovation potential with a deeper understanding of your unique innovation archetype and how your organization benchmarks.
eLearning (NEW)
Prepare for the year's ahead with 100+ lessons, tactics, tools and frameworks with our full learning database.
Advisory & Services
Accelerate innovation and ignite disruptive thinking with our award-winning programs and research.
Trend Reports
Get fast, customized trend reports, presentations and deep dives 20x faster than traditional research.
Plans
Get started today with a free consultation, our self-serve tools, or a dedicated program.
Jeremy Gutsche
Ignite your event or virtual event with our CEO, a NY Times Bestselling Author and one of the top innovation keynote speakers.
Our Team of Speakers & Virtual Presenters
Inspire your group with our most popular speakers on innovation, trends, change and futurism.
Custom Training & Events
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team or co-hosted custom event.
Contact
Get in touch to learn more, ask a question or submit a tip.
About Us
Learn more about Trend Hunter and how we accelerate innovation.
FAQ
Get answers to common questions about Trend Hunter.
Community
Stay on the cutting-edge with the help of the Trend Hunter community.
Team
Meet the team trusted by hundreds of leading businesses worldwide.
Jobs
Find opportunities to accelerate your career with the #1 Trend Firm.
News
Catch up on noteworthy Trend Hunter news and media mentions.
Join
Build a portfolio and put your trend-spotting abilities to the test.
Advertising
Supercharge your marketing by partnering with Trend Hunter.
Portfolio
Visit your public portfolio and browse your past articles.
Add a Trend
Write up an article and showcase your trend-spotting skills.
My Trends
Edit your articles and see how they stack up on the leaderboards.
Settings
Edit your profile, connect your social media accounts, and more.
Add a trend, customize your dashboard, or track topics.
Future Festival
Innovation Events
Join the world's top innovators at our FREE Virtual events.
Free Webinars
During COVID-19, learn to innovate through chaos, navigate the new normal and maintain work culture from home.
Custom Training & Events
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team or co-hosted custom event.
Search our database of 389,264 cutting edge ideas.

Fostering a Culture with Conviction

Richard Millard, CEO of Trust Hospitality
Gil Haddi
March 17th, 2014
A man with a keen sense of humor and an even keener sense for business, Richard Millard has done, as he puts it, "every job you can imagine" within the hotel industry as he worked his way up the ranks to his current position - the CEO of Trust Hospitality. Amidst our conversation about interestingly niche boutique hotels and the new take on the hyper-connected millennial demographic, Richard emphasized that the most important thing to him and his company is its culture. Richard explained, "At Trust Hospitality, our team is made up of relatively young people and we're all very interested in culture. We created the 'Red Book' which essentially defines who we are and what we do because, no matter what, as time changes and our practices change, the culture should always stay the same." In such a people-intensive business, it's reassuring to see that the CEO is a huge fan of the people he works with. "You can teach people most things," he continued, "but you can't teach them attitude, and to work for us, you have to have the right attitude," which is why, when you speak with a staff member at Trust, you won't get a scripted "Hello, how can I help you," you get a real and sincere conversation from someone who actually cares.

Three questions with Richard Millard:

1. How do you motivate your team to generate good ideas?

The secret of life is all about what you surround yourself with. The folks I'm working with are relatively young, incredibly creative, full of energy, enthusiastic, well-educated and interested in everything around them - with such a great team, we really never lack for new ideas. This generation is full of very savvy and well-educated consumers and my team is really in-tune with that; they're very self-motivated and often their enthusiasm motivates me more than I motivate them.

When it comes to finding trends in the travel industry, we all travel a lot and someone will go somewhere and see something or find a need for something, or we'll see something cool on the internet that could work for us. We're just like our customers in that when we travel, we have certain needs and expectations that need to be met. For example, we don't want to be reaching under the bed to plug in our iPhones or tripping in the dark if we get up to go to the bathroom at night. We don't have a problem coming up with ideas, the inspiration is all around us, what it really comes down to is the execution of those ideas.

2. What are some of the challenges you face when staying ahead of the competition?

It's not really about always trying to be one step of the competition. From an innovation standpoint, you don't always want to be a guinea pig; we want to be more strategic and make sure an idea is proven and satisfies what our customers want and need before we execute it. Then we want to be able to do it with style at a great price value, because making something people want doesn't always have to be so edgy.

The biggest challenge we face is execution. Often times, there will be a whole group of people that are really enthusiastic about a certain niche, but they are not always a big enough group to cater to. Sometimes there isn't enough time to tell the story behind an idea and people might not understand what it is that you're trying to do. Being relevant is different than being trendy in that, we want to stick around and be at the top of people's minds, but we can't be spending lots of capital on projects that will be irrelevant the next year. While you can train your staff to adapt to the fast-paced world of changing technology, you can't necessarily train customers. As an example, there is no longer any need for phones in hotel rooms because you can dial customer service and emergency services via the television. However, many people still don't know this or are not used to it so we keep the phones around to give guests that option. You don't even need to dial 9 anymore for local calls, but we've kept that feature because people are so used to it.

3. How will Trust Hospitality continue on its successful path as a leader in hospitality?

We will keep up our steady success by being strategic and not jumping on every trend out there. Instead of trying to keep coming up with game-changers, we watch what works with other companies and then we try to put our own spin on it and make it better. A company of our size doesn't necessarily have the resources to invent new technologies and innovations, so we put our focus on the staff we employ and the customer experience they provide. Our team is made up of people who love their jobs and excel at what they do and that truly comes across to the customers. We take what we do very seriously, but we don't take ourselves too seriously because life is too short to be closed off to new ideas and new ventures.
References: trusthospitality