Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, a hot springs hotel in Kyoto, Japan, is the world’s oldest hotel and also the world’s oldest continuously-operating business, as verified by Guinness World Records. The hotel is now 1313 years old and has been operated by 52 generations of descendants of the same family.
We picked some very simple but vital lessons from this legendary hotel brand that businesses around the world should pay attention to if transgenerational growth is a concern.
Lesson One: Brand Values. Careful thought was given to the lasting principles that will govern the operation of the business and each successor had a duty to preserve and transfer these values to their own successor.
Lesson Two: Socio-cultural values matter. The prevalent culture of society has an influence on how businesses run and perform. This is why Mapemond organizes Outclass Employability and Entrepreneurship Training, to breed a different generation of young Nigerians with the right work discipline, work ethics, and work culture.
Lesson Three: Think legacy and succession. What is the point in building a business that ends with you? We should think in terms of being able to transfer what we build to the next generation. Whatever you can do to give your business a chance to survive beyond you, please make the attempt.
Lesson Four: Maintenance culture matters. Successive generations have ensured that this legendary hotel is well maintained over the centuries. How well do you pay attention to good maintenance in your business?
Lesson Five: Innovate. While the essential selling points of the hotel – the view, hot springs, and location – have been maintained, the hotel has gone through a lot of adaptation to modern designs and concepts. As old as it is, it competes favorably with other hotels and tourist destinations across the world.
Building profitable and reputable BRANDS is what we love doing.