by Alex Palmer | September 13, 2018
The most effective leaders are those who are willing to take apart their organizations. That was one of the themes struck by Dennis Brouwer, a leadership coach, business executive and former Naval flight officer, who offered the keynote address on Sept. 13 for Northstar Meetings Group's Destination Caribbean hosted-buyer event, held at SLS Baha Mar
"We tend to think of innovation as something that arises from genius or crisis," said Brouwer, who spoke, courtesy of Goodman Speakers, to the more than 100 attendees of the event. "But none of us work for Einstein and most of us don't work in burning buildings, so we have to find a way to make innovation a routine part of what we're doing."

This is what he calls a "deconstruction process" in which a leader open to new ideas and willing to challenge assumptions will make his or her organization more effective and better able to change and develop for the long run. Brouwer summed this up as a series of steps: Declare, Dissect, Discover, Deliver and Digest. To illustrate it, he used an interactive game, a discussion of childhood art, and his own experience renovating and restoring an 18th century log cabin in which he and his wife live.

"The challenge between old and new plays out in organizations every day," he said. "New technology is coming in, threatening to upend the way we do business, and there's generational conflict between Gen Z and Baby Boomers and everybody in between. As I work with leaders, we have to get back to behaviors that we have to change to keep up with the pace of change. We can either focus on the conflict between old and new, or find ways for continuous improvement."

The keynote message kicked off a day of networking, education and island fun as the hosted meeting and incentive planners met with representatives from properties, CVBs and service providers from across the Caribbean. These interactions ranged from a series of scheduled one-on-one appointments to a welcome reception around the SLS Baha Mar's Privilege Pool, surrounded by performers clad in mirror suits and stilted flamingo costumes. 

The event gave visitors the opportunity to experience the recently completed Baha Mar resort, a project many years and $4.5 billion in the making. In addition to the 300-room SLS Baha Mar, visitors also had the opportunity to enjoy meals and take site tours of the resort's other properties -- the 1,800-room Grand Hyatt Baha Mar and 237-room Rosewood Baha Mar -- while one-on-one appointments were held in the resort's 200,000-square-foot Baha Mar Convention, Arts & Entertainment Center

"As you see when you walk around, there has really been nothing like it," said Graeme Davis, president of Baha Mar, during his comments prior to the keynote. "A project of this magnitude with this many experiences under one roof."