There’s nothing worse than finding yourself on the wrong side of a tech trend. The commercial real estate industry has seen itself in that position more than a time or two, but I believe we’ve finally turned a corner where we’re actively focusing on new and emerging tech trends to keep the industry moving forward.
Crack open the beers and call your mom to celebrate —you’ve been promoted to a managerial role. Congrats! But, if there’s a little voice in the back of your head saying “what in the world do I do next” … you’re not alone.
Who are some of the inspirational and innovative people you follow on social media? Or, who has been a great inspiration to you that DOESN’T have social media? Share your “top list”...
This guest article originally appeared on VTS's blog.
Data is playing a much larger role in business these days, especially in day-to-day business operations. With the Internet of Things, companies can measure every aspect of their business at a truly amazing and granular level. CRE is no stranger to this data-everywhere approach to business. In fact, as a leader, not being fluent in data is quickly becoming a liability in today’s business environment.
With the tools available to us, we finally have a chance to actually know way more about our companies than we used to — even compared with just a few years ago. With this information, we can solve the questions and distractions we put on ourselves (and our team members). It's liberating!
Having said this, I recently read an article from the Kellogg School of Management from which my takeaway was that many business leaders are just overwhelmed by all the data and metrics they need to keep up with. I know I am. So, what are we going to do about it? How can we stay relevant and understand the data, as well as use it to make strategic and valuable business decisions?
Here are a few thoughts from me, the CRE guy, turned data freak:
#1. Don’t over tech it
The same Kellogg School article suggests that leaders should not “over tech” it — the author calls this a “working knowledge” of data science; being able to separate good data from bad, and knowing where analytics can add value to your business. I think “make it simple, stupid” applies here. If someone has to train you to use it, run for the hills!
Having a working knowledge of analytics and the data presented to you can have a major impact on your ability to make decisions. It’s allowed me to sleep better at night. For so long we have had to do a lot of hoping and praying that everything was what we thought — but not anymore.
#2. Do data with purpose
One of the biggest mistakes people make with data collection is gathering data just because they can. It’s easy to go overboard. Do data with purpose — collect specific data with a specific purpose in mind so you can prevent yourself from burnout and actually succeed.
If you want to know how productive a certain program or campaign is, collect data strictly for that purpose. Analyze it. Make decisions. Move on.
The key is finding the platform that allows your organization to change with ease. Once you have the data, you can attack different parts of the operation to create what you want to see — and get the answers in real time. What a novel idea! CREtech has been waiting for this for a long time. Thankfully, it’s sitting right in front of us.
#3. Give Your team power
I’ve talked at length about my belief that when you give your team members ownership over their roles, you create a happier work environment where your team members can thrive and actually enjoy their work.
Gamification, collaboration, company-wide hackathons — these are the ways to energize your team, gather the data you need, gain valuable insights from your on-the-ground team members, and more.
#4. Don’t expect data to reveal the future
Remember, data is a collection of metrics on past and current events — not events of the future. Your intuition as a leader, combined with an understanding of information in real time will help you predict the future. But, it’s not set in stone.
Be fluid. Be agile. Be ready to pivot as you learn more about what you’re seeing.
Making Data Work for You
Leaders have a lot of plates to juggle. While understanding and mastering the data around you is certainly one “plate,” when done right, it can help you juggle the rest. And who doesn’t want that?
Want more on this topic? You might also enjoy: 5 Ways Senior Leaders Can Use Data to Inspire
I read an article recently that said consumer-goods giant Unilever has been hiring entry-level team members using brain games and artificial intelligence. Wait a minute … hear me out.
It wasn’t too long ago that this CRE guy gave his thoughts on Amazon Go and everything that goes with that. But, as quickly as Amazon moves … it’s time to update that blog with, you guessed it, more thoughts.
Online retailers like Amazon have completely transformed the way we go shopping. We now have access to a 24-hour selection of everything we could possibly want, and the expansion of warehouses and logistical hubs mean that our biggest retailers can ship our items to us quicker than ever. If you've fully embraced the online marketplace, you're not alone. Millions of people are ditching brick-and-mortar stores for internet shopping, and big box companies are feeling it.
Did you ever read those “choose your own adventure” books when you were a child? I always loved the fact that I was able to exercise some control over the fate of my favorite character just by turning to a certain page. Well, if you did love those kinds of books then I have some good news for you: Netflix is taking that concept and bringing it to the television.
Remember back in the old days when job positions were more specialized? Managers and data entry clerks rarely performed the same daily tasks at work – before cross-training became the biggest buzzword in HR, that is.
More often than not, when we talk about creating a positive and healthy workspace, we go straight to the needs and expectations of millennials without looking at the psychological factors of the job. Yes, things like flexible hours and even more flexible vacation...
Big data, a profession once referred to as “sexy” by the Harvard Business Review, is believed to be the next big thing to disrupt commercial real estate. While some may argue that real estate has taken a more conservative approach to the data-driven model than other industries, things are starting to pick up in the field.
About a month ago, my LinkedIn profile was accidentally suspended. Shamefully, for the good part of an entire afternoon, I found myself constantly checking my phone to see if the issue had been resolved —to see if I was re-connected with the world. FOMO entered my brain, and I felt completely hijacked.
We’ve all (at one time or another) been in a meeting that could have easily been avoided with an email, and we’ve likely all had that one meeting-happy boss who calls meeting after meeting with no specified agenda. Unfortunately, I sometimes put myself in that category. I feel like this meeting culture is growing more and more, and I often see it at companies of all ages and sizes —no matter what the industry.
Phil Kanfer is National Director of Business Development for WiredScore, the company behind Wired Certification, the world’s only rating system for digital connectivity in commercial buildings. Learn more about how Wired Certification helps businesses identify office buildings with best-in-class connectivity at wiredscore.com
The Internet is a big place —a place where content creators of all types can share their knowledge, expertise and life lessons with the world. From commercial real estate to all around great blogs, these are some of my must-follow favorites.
Almost a year ago, I wrote my most read blog to-date … Out with Millennials: You Can Thank Me Later. In it, I argued that we needed to stop using the “M” word because the negative connotation wasn’t doing us any good. And, that —since this generation is well on its way to dominating the workforce— we should make an effort to get to know them better. We decided to focus on their fresh perspective and unique gifts, ditch the “M” word, and to get back to work.
With progress in technology and data accelerating, the commercial real estate industry is changing quickly. But smart commercial real estate professionals aren’t looking for new jobs...they’re adapting. In order to stay relevant, CRE professionals need to think beyond the “this is the way we do things” mindset and get creative in their approach to marketing, leasing and managing assets.
Will a robot take your job? It might sound like a question out of a sci-fi movie (it probably does because it is) but, it’s quickly becoming reality. While I’m a futurist at my core, in my heart I feel that robots should only take jobs we CAN’T do. I believe they should support us to be better … not to be gone!
A recent McKinsey article suggests that over the past twenty years, academic insight and real-world experience have demonstrated that when companies channel their competitive and collaborative instincts, embrace diversity, and recognize the needs and emotions of their team members, they can reap dividends in performance.
According to the Harvard Business Review, change management has been a recognized discipline for over half a century. Yet, despite the unbelievable investment companies have made in tools and training, most studies show that 60-70% of organizational change projects fail —and this failure rate has gone unchanged for decades. The saying failure is not an option as you can see is not working here.