Understanding the role of the Ability Advisor
Entrepreneurship is the capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit.
The most obvious example of entrepreneurship is the starting of new businesses but it can also be the development of innovative activities on the part of established firms, in addition to similar activities on the part of new businesses.
Entrepreneurial spirit is characterized by innovation and risk-taking, and is an essential part of a nation’s ability to succeed in an ever changing and increasingly competitive global marketplace.
Entrepreneurship is the process by which either an individual or a team identifies a business opportunity and acquires and deploys the necessary resources required for its exploitation.
Many authors consider leadership, management ability and team-building to be essential qualities of an entrepreneur.
Most successful entrepreneurs share certain competences:
The first competence that all successful entrepreneurs must possess is self-discipline. Self-discipline is the single most important quality for success in life and business. If you can discipline yourself to do what you should do, whether you feel like it or not, your success is virtually guaranteed. Self-discipline requires self-mastery, self-control, self-responsibility, and self-direction.
The second competence that all successful entrepreneurs must possess is integrity.
Perhaps the most valued and respected competence you can develop is a reputation for absolute integrity. Be perfectly honest in everything you do and in every transaction and activity. Never compromise your integrity. Remember that your word is your bond and your honour is everything when it comes to your business. All successful business is based on trust.
The third competence that all successful entrepreneurs must possess is persistence. Persistence is the iron quality of character. As Napoleon Hill once said “Persistence is to the character of man as carbon is to steel”. It is an indispensable quality that goes hand in hand with all great success in life.
Here is one of the great secrets to persistence and success: programme your subconscious mind for persistence well in advance of the setbacks and disappointments that you are going to have on your upward quest toward success.
Resolve in advance that you will never give up, no matter what happens. The courage to persist in the face of adversity and disappointment is the one quality that, more than anything, will guarantee your success.
- A Clear Sense Of Direction
The fourth competence that all successful entrepreneurs must possess is a clear sense of direction.
Because of the turbulence and rapid change in today’s marketplace, most business owners have been reduced to operating day-by-day, almost like fire-fighters.
They are totally preoccupied with short-term problems and the need to get short-term sales and profits. They intend to spend more time thinking and planning for the future, but they don’t ever seem to get around to it.
This is not for successful business owners. You need to set clear targets for yourself and for every part of your business. In fact, perhaps your most important responsibility for a business owner is to give its employees a clear sense of direction in their work.
- Decisive And Action Oriented
The final competence that all successful entrepreneurs must possess is being decisive and action-oriented. They must think and make decisions quickly. They discipline themselves to take action and to carry out the decisions they have made. They move fast and they get quick feedback from their actions. If they find they have made a mistake, they quickly self-correct and try something else.
For inspiration you can read here (https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7275-entrepreneurship-defined.html) what 20 company founders and business leaders told Business News Daily about what they think makes a truly successful entrepreneur.
A consultant is a professional who provides expert advice in a particular area (in this case Accessible and Inclusive Tourism).
A consultant (or advisor) is usually an expert (because he/she studied this theme in great depth) or an experienced professional in this specific field and has a wide knowledge of the subject matter.
The role of consultant can fall under one of two general categories:
- Internal consultant: someone who operates within an organization but is available to be consulted on areas of their specialization by other departments or individuals (acting as clients);
- External consultant: someone who is employed externally to the client (either by a consulting firm, a tourism organization or a local institution) whose expertise is provided on a temporary basis, usually for a fee. Consulting firms range in size from sole proprietorships consisting of a single consultant (freelancer), small businesses consisting of a small number of consultants to large consulting firms.
One of the most important skills a consultant needs is the ability to work well with others. You have to be able to get along with, listen to, speak to, and handle other people in order to consult. If you do not enjoy long hours of collaboration then this line of work is not for you. Your communication skills must be very well developed in order to be successful.
Besides being good at relating to other people, another equally important quality needed to consult is having a service-oriented personality. You have to be motivated by meeting all of your client’s needs. You could be excellent at whatever you consult on, but if you can’t fulfil what the client wants then you have wasted their time as well as your own.
Even though you are constantly working with other people as a consultant, leadership skills and the ability to come up with ideas on your own and use logical reasoning are a must. You are in charge of fixing or improving an aspect of a company or business.
The owners and managers are looking to you to tell them what to do to make their business better. You should come into every job with a fountain of ideas that are reasonable and useful and be ready to take charge and get started. There is no sitting back and letting someone else pick up the slack when it comes to consulting. You are the only one with the ability to make yourself and your work a success.
Can you problem-solve? Hopefully you can because the answer to a quandary for a consultant may be easy but the execution is not always as simple. In dealing with different types of businesses with different rules and policies, depending on one answer to a problem to be the only answer is not only silly but downright wrong. You will need to be able to think of many solutions to the same problem to be successful in your work.
You can reflect about this proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.
The Accessibility Champion is an essential role in a tourism entity as he/she creates the business case for accessibility, pointing out why the business needs accessibility (identifying the risks and benefits), and why it can’t be delayed.
An Accessibility Champion is passionate about the topic, is keen to learn, is collaborative and an enabler, is a change agent, proactive and pragmatic. He or she is not necessarily the team member who knows most about accessibility but someone who can lead and inspire others to engage with the issues concerning access for all.
An Accessibility Champion is someone who is responsible for embedding accessibility throughout the business by assessing access provision and promoting equality and diversity.
He/she inspires everyone within his/her business and builds accessibility into the business plan and has the drive to implement best practice and encourage other team members to participate and understand.
They are the driver behind developing access for all and should ensure that everyone works positively to provide inclusive customer experiences.
The key qualities of an Accessibility Champion are:
- To be inspired by inclusive tourism and the value and potential this has for the business;
- To be passionate about making improvements to current services and facilities in order to offer an inclusive experience for all your customers;
- Wants to drive change and inspire colleagues;
- Wants to make a real difference for disabled customers;
- Acts as a role model by communicating, sharing, leading and inspiring both management and staff;
- Drives best practice by increasing understanding of the wants and needs of disabled customers and how these might be met;
- Recognises, advocates and supports equality within the workplace;
- Keeps up to date with developments in inclusivity and implements them where appropriate.
Ability Advisor role, responsibilities, challenges and opportunities
The Ability Advisor key responsibilities can be divided in 3 groups:
- Awareness Raising about Accessible and Inclusive Tourism among tourism stakeholders (business owners, managers, workers, clients, etc) facilitating communication between supply (tourism businesses) and demand (tourists with specific access requirements);
- Application of diagnostic instruments to collect reliable information about the accessibility and inclusive service conditions of a tourism entity;
- Development of action plans to introduce improvements to current accessibility and inclusive service conditions providing advice and recommendations to business owners/managers.
An Ability Advisor must be ready to work in different contexts (e.g. HORECA, Culture/Museum, Transport, Tour Agency, Tourism Activity, etc) in order to contribute to the improvement of accessibility and inclusive service conditions in different parts of the tourism value chain.
The main challenge the Ability Advisor must face is the “inertia” and lack of interest from tourism professionals in Accessible and Inclusive tourism.
In general, this lack of interest stems from both personal and cultural attitudes that are very unfavourable to the adoption of accessible and inclusive tourism practices.
A first critical point is the idea that accessible and inclusive tourism does not seem to be an interesting business issue; it is often taken to mean tourism for people in wheelchairs; that it is mainly a question of offering “adapted rooms” and investing heavily in the removal of architectural barriers; and that it will be, at most, a small, very demanding and not very rewarding market niche.
A second critical point is the idea that accessible and inclusive tourism is tourism for “the disabled” (“disabled” is wrongly understood as people with different, strange, more or less unpleasant behaviours and who may even cause some discomfort to other common clients/tourists).
This is obviously a wrong idea, but it is unconsciously and inadvertently deeply rooted in ancient culture, related to our ancestral difficulties in understanding and accepting disabilities, limitations, weaknesses, defects, either in others or in ourselves, leading to attitudes of strangeness, indifference, or rejection of certain situations, without us knowing exactly why.
A third critical aspect relates to the idea that accessible and inclusive tourism is something new that falls outside one’s respective “comfort zone”, outside of their usual relationships of trust or outside one’s areas of knowledge. People may also be uncomfortable if they find it difficult to share, to work together, to cooperate with other people, companies and entities).
The big opportunity that the Ability Advisor must take advantage of is that the tourism industry is beginning to be aware about the relevance and importance of this emerging market segment of tourists with a broad range of specific access requirements.
It is not only a question of taking advantage of a short and medium term business opportunity but also a natural and normal evolution of tourism that always followed the trends of the populations (demand) and adjusted the tourism services (offer) to their new needs.