Who are you and what is your current job role?
I am Roddy Watt (middle name Buell!), and I have been knocking around the Hospitality industry for more years that I care to remember! I am currently CEO of the newly formed Buell Consulting Group.
How did you get to this position…what was the pathway and what did you do before?
My early background post a degree in Hotel and Catering Administration from the University of Surrey was hotel sector. I worked in F&B Management for Hyatt and Sheraton Corporation amongst others. Then in 1984, I founded Berkeley Scott which subsequently became a market leader in management recruitment within the Hospitality sector. Having floated this business on AIM in 2004, I exited the business in 2007, and for the last 4 years have been working with various businesses in an advisory capacity including Barrett Clark. I also started a number of other businesses including Hospitality & Leisure Recruitment and Ultimate Recruitment. The last 4 years has been fun, but I miss the cut and thrust of entrepreneurial life and hence the recent formation of my own consulting platform, Buell.
What are the challenges in this job?
The key challenge is that it is new! I love creating business out of fresh air, and I guess this is one of the things I am good at. The challenge is therefore around creating awareness, building a brand that has value attached to it and is well recognised, and keeping a lot of high powered successful people focused on the target!.
Who has influenced you the most in your career and why?
This is an interesting question and one I find hard to answer. I am not someone who has had a guru that has shaped my existence, and I have worked for myself since I was in my late 20s. I suppose therefore the honest answer is my business partner of 20 years, Gary Katzler who taught me a lot about how to be successful in business – and the importance of detail!.
What do you do to switch off?
Well I have a huge range of interests outside of work. On the sport front, I ride horses (we keep horses at home), I ski and I fish – if that can be described as sport. I am also a bit of a music man and have ‘interesting’ Celtic tastes! I play piano and piano accordion and am actually in the process of trying to form a fairly eclectic ‘festival band’!
Any Pearls of Wisdom or strategies for success that you would like to share?
Something I read a long time ago which was the mantra of the 3M corporation – ‘try a lot and keep what works’. The most successful ideas tend to be one of a lot of things that people have tried. My other favourite is Einstein’s definition of insanity – ‘to continue doing what we do but expect to get a different end result’ – something most of us do most of our lives – and which can cause immense frustration, not to mention poor results.
What do you consider to be the current trends within the Hotel Industry? Not being actively involved as an operator, I am more of an onlooker, but I see a great move towards localization of product and produce, and businesses really starting to embrace the sustainability and environmental agendas. Both of these have to be very positive steps in the longer term. More focus on the people involved in delivery is also a positive – and a real ‘must’ moving forward.