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JIM KNIGHT  Hard Rock Trainer, Hotel & Restaurant Business Expert, Corporate Culture Expert

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Jim Knight – Hard Rock International Sr. Director of Training and Development. As head of the School of Hard Rocks, Jim has put his experience and creativity to work, which has consistently developed cutting-edge training concepts.

Jim is a long-time member of CHART (The Council of Hotel & Restaurant Trainers), previously sat on the Certification Governing Board of the National Restaurant Association and started a local networking group with over 100 active members in Central Florida, to share best practices and discuss common issues with other industry professionals. Networking is a big part of his success.

Jim Knight speaks on a variety interactive topics, including sessions around Hard Rock history, company culture, world-class service, employee branding, performance management, philanthropy, facilitation training, music appreciation and his approach to corporate universities.

Although a part of a small training group, which supports all cafe, hotel and casino properties, in his current role, Jim is involved in many facets of organizational training. This includes creating and managing all staff and management training materials and programs, facilitating its corporate university, overseeing MIT training stores, producing training DVD’s, directing company e-Learning initiatives, facilitating leadership transitions and traveling to property locations to deliver on-site classes and to measure standards.

Jim has a music degree in Vocal Performance & Education and taught in the Florida public school system for 6 years, before catching the “hospitality bug”. He has been in the restaurant industry for 25 years (20 of those with Hard Rock), starting out a staff-level employee.

The Training & Development department won coveted Telly Awards in 2000 for Hard Rock’s guest service video and again took top honors in 2007 for their menu roll-out video. His team also garnered Training Directors Forum’s 1998 prize for “Re-engineering Training.” Additionally, he was recognized by Training Magazine as representing one of the Top 125 training companies in the world out of all industries & businesses.

Jim Knight’s Speaking Topics:

History that Rocks  A 1-hour, low-commitment journey through one of the greatest stories in the history of stories. This visual and auditory class on Hard Rock’s infamous beginnings and successes is usually requested over lunch or as an intro to a deeper-dive discussion around a company’s larger conference.

Service that Rocks  This 2-hour session is Jim’s most requested session, as it pertains to any company involved in providing a product or service. Since each of these companies have competitors, the focus of the interactive and visual session is how to differentiate yourself from the rest to become the business and employer-of-choice.

Culture that Rocks  This 2-hour session focuses on those individuals, departments or companies who are charged with creating, maintaining or returning to a strong organizational culture. Regardless of the company’s cultural history or status, using the Hard Rock culture as a backdrop will inspire those to take up the challenge of enhancing those organizational mores.

Performance that Rocks  A little more technical in its delivery for the practical businesses, this 3-hour session is focused on employee and management performance management. During this holistic class, Jim will share both philosophical approaches to managing and measuring performance, but also share specific Hard Rock tools that have delivered proven and effective results.

Employee Branding that Rocks  This 2- hour session is effectively designed to highlight best practices to create and maintain a strong internal employee culture. Knowing that Generation Y and the Millenials are the talent pool, with which our industry is made, there are some key strategies that can be used to tap into and develop that workforce. The visceral backdrop of Hard Rock International is used as a platform to discuss ways to create, maintain or revive a desired employee environment.

Conferences that Rock  This 2-hour session is devoted to those industry professionals assigned to creating or enhancing their Corporate University. This session will cover everything from providing an effective single seminar or event to a multi-conference and electronic corporate university structure.

Training that Rocks  This 2-hour session gives you unprecedented access to all of Hard Rock’s industry recognized training concepts. Although irreverent in many of its practices, ideas will be shared in almost every training area, including new hire orientations, print materials, video production, management programs, trainer certification, new store openings, corporate universities and philanthropy. This session incorporates videos and sample materials.

New Team Transition  This 3-hour session takes a new or struggling existing team through the 4 identified stages of team development. Initially power point driven and discussion based, the majority of the time is spent on a Hopes and Fears exercise, designed to create a single vision among the team. Also included, if time permits, is an additional 1.5 hours to view a documentary, which showcases the obstacles overcome by rock icons, Metallica. This has been received with great fanfare by tying in a rock-inspired theme and a relevant message to any struggling team or company.

New Leader Transition  This 3-hour session assists an established team with understanding their new leader. Very “old school” in its delivery, through flip-charts and questions, posed specifically to the new leader via anonymous questions from the group. This time tested session has also been used with much success by the U.S. Army and Walt Disney World. This session is designed to get to know the leader’s style and reduce the risk of low productivity, instead of the team struggling to “figure out” the new leader.

Philanthropy that Rocks  This 1.5-hour session focuses on the charitable side of the business. Jim shows ways to become a better employer and business partner by giving back to the local and global community. Jim will also share Hard Rocks approach to ensuring this stays apart of a company’s DNA. This session is flooded with best practices. As much of an eye opener, the time spent here will be a real “feel good” session.

The Power of the Brand  This 2-hour session focuses on the brand re-invention of Hard Rock and incorporates elements of several of the items listed in the History, Culture and Service sessions. It focuses more on brand identity and how to re-invent yourself to become relevant in an ever-changing environment.

Facilitation that Rocks  This is an intense and eye-opening session, geared toward developing those needing or wanting to enhance their platform-speaking skills. It is a big 2-day commitment, but is a skill-set that requires this amount of time for it to be effective. This session is chock-a-block full of best practices learned over the years through facilitating Hard Rock’s corporate university, public seminars, CHART (Council of Hotel & Restaurant Trainers) conferences and Jim’s 6-year tenure through the Florida public school system as a Middle School teacher.

Travels from:  Orlando, Florida

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