24 June 2010

H20 in Toronto

No - that's not a typo, and it's not about water. The H20 Summit & Top 100 Awards Breakfast is the Hospitality 20, which I attended this past Tuesday with members of the Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts management team. It was an interesting look into the industry, and featured a round table discussion on wide-ranging issues related to the economic recovery, talent management, greening the industry and innovation. The topic of innovation was an interesting discussion as it focused on aspects of improving productivity, but also on meeting current and future demands of consumers in the hotel and food service industries. The applied research of our chefs and food scientists fits into this very well.

When the panel was asked what we can do to better prepare our graduates, one comment was that we should continue to have an open dialog with industry partners. There was acknowledgement that CHCA does an exemplary job of working with industry to prepare highly qualified and skilled graduates, and that our role in preparing our graduates for work in these industries requires us to encourage innovation and productivity in addition to the job-ready skills we are well known for instilling in our graduates. Our preparation of graduates with innovation literacy and exposure to innovation and downstream productivity issues is reminiscent of the points I raised in my last post regarding Stephen Murgatroyd's 10 challenges for colleges, particularly to embed creativity, change management and adaptability in our curricula.

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