Rezidor challenges BMI students

13 May 2015

In the phase 3 course Business Model Innovation (BMI), students worked on a real life assignment for the (Carlson) Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world’s largest hotel groups. Their challenging topic was about ‘women at the top’.

At the start of the block the BMI students were briefed and inspired by Mr. Jan Spooren and Ms. Kathrine Ohm, both working in People Development at the Corporate Office. Rezidor’s top management has assigned them with a very ambitious objective: “30% female managers by the end of 2016” in the EMEA area, which would be an increase from the 16% in 2014.

The students were asked to innovate Rezidor’s business model. They were encouraged to applying a design thinking approach to come up with future oriented new combinations how to better attract ánd retain more women in (top)leadership positions. Furthermore, they needed to think through how proposed changes would impact the current business model, include the market and financial feasibility and how to implement their ideas. Even more challenging for them was the opportunity to present to Mr. Wolfgang Neumann, President and CEO of the Rezidor Hotel group (and also a member of HTH’s Board of Trustees).

The client Rezidor, students ánd faculty had a very inspiring day on Tuesday April 14th at the Amsterdam campus. At lunch all BMI students were invited to join in and talk with the industry representatives. Before and after this lunch, Mr. Neumann, Ms. Ohm and Mr. Spooren had some interesting discussions with the student teams that were invited to present. They were interested to hear what GenY is aiming for when they start their first job, how they view the hospitality industry and what they expect in their first job and while building up a career.

At the end of the day we looked back on an inspiring BMI course. Besides some smaller prizes in different categories, two main prizes were issues: one by Hotelschool and one by Rezidor. The story behind the Rezidor prize may be interesting for all of you. In brief: if you want to climb to the top, you have to hold on and go step-by-step ánd you need help from your team! Ask the team for further details after June 5th when they are invited to enjoy their prize. 

We can conclude that the hospitality industry has a great strategic challenge here and that this is an issue for both men and women to consider.


BMI team of lecturers: Anna de Visser-Amundson, Annemieke de Korte, Luuk Albers, Jeroen Bosman, Anemoon Schepel and Don Spierenburg


Mr. Neumann was kindly invited to add the last piece of the puzzle “More”.


The winning team that won the prize from the client company Rezidor with their Business Model Innovation “T.E.A.M”, in the photo together with Ms. Kathrine Ohm and Mr. Jan Spooren.


The winning team that won the main prize on behalf of Hotelschool with their BMI “House of Rez”. Ms. Kathrine Ohm and Ms. Anemoon Schepel (BMI coach) at the left and Mr. Spooren at the right.