Each Sunday morning Fox News does a story segment titled “Power Player of the Week”.  This morning’s segment (November 16, 2014) was an interview with Bill Marriott, the 82 year old retired CEO of the Marriott Hotel chain that was founded by his father.  It is a must watch for anyone in the senior living industry:

  • My first reflection was to wonder if it would be possible to create a senior living community that would appeal to this 82 year old.
  • Working 40-50 hours per week suggests that increasing age and loss of engergy are perhaps not as tightly coupled as is commonly believed.
  • His current project is to continue to  reinvent, in pretty radical ways, how Marriott provides hotel services specifically in this case to millennials not so much to solve a problem but rather as a way to future proof the organization.
  • Being this old does not mean a lack of creativity.  In fact, one can’t help but wonder if his age and experience allows him to be more creative, which might be true of our residents as well.
  • It particularly struck me that he is perfectly fine with the idea that the product they deliver today is very, very different than what they were delivering 20, 40 or 80 years ago.
  • But the item that resonated most for me, and for those of us in our industry, was that 50% of his managers have been with the company more than 25 years and started as hourly employees.

Here is the video:

I may be naive, but I do believe we can and should be developing senior living communities that would appeal to creative high energy senior living communities.  I also believe we should be able to have the same kind of retention and job satisfaction numbers as Marriott.

Steve Moran