Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

November 13th, 2017

Credit: iStock

Credit: iStock

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles and the submissions of others (with credit to you if I post them). I wish you a terrific week!

Preview of the First Mass Timber High-Rise in the United States
“Images of the Framework building, the first high-rise building in the U.S. constructed out of mass timber materials, provided by Lever Architecture and KPFF Consulting Engineers.” www.nreionline.com

Great Storytelling Connects Employees to Their Work
“Connection happens when you see past the details of a task to its human consequences. When you feel connected to the moral purpose of your work, you behave differently. Now “moral purpose” might sound lofty but it needn’t mean saving a puppy or curing cancer; it can involve any kind of human service. And at the end of the day, all business is about service.” www.hbr.com

Ten Things Never, Ever To Say About Yourself
“We have been taught to brag about ourselves in our professional branding, but that’s terrible advice.

The more illustrious a person is, the less likely they are to praise themselves. When someone is truly a guru, other people say “That person is a guru!” but the guru doesn’t say it about themselves. It would be beneath them to boast. They don’t have to, and they don’t want to.

The people who brag about their credentials on LinkedIn or anywhere else are afraid that if they don’t trumpet their accomplishments, no one will respect them.” www.forbes.com

Is Your Agile Workspace Legible?
“In this age of ubiquitous wi-fi and long commute times, a lot of space planning focuses on providing that choice. In question would be where, when or how a person works. For sake of this discussion, we could consider this the ‘degree of agility’. There are several reasons to consider agility. Among them are employee satisfaction, real estate efficiency, granting people choice, and providing employees with a sense of control.” www.linkedin.com

Where Self-Driving Cars Go to Learn
“We are in the Wild West phase of autonomous vehicles, where companies are looking for the state with the least amount of sheriffing going on,” said Henry Jasny, senior vice president at Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a nonprofit based in Washington.

The payoff for Arizona has been a tech boom, with dozens of autonomous vehicle companies flocking here to set up operations. Every day, Waymo, the driverless car business owned by Google’s corporate parent Alphabet, as well as Uber, Lyft, General Motors and Intel now deploy hundreds of cars that drive themselves on the streets of Phoenix, a sprawling metropolis of 1.4 million people.” www.nytimes.com

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Ken

 

Blurred Lines

Robots and artificial intelligence in the workplace. GenX wants and needs. CoWorking. What impact will self driving cars have on office buildings? Is my industrial conversion office space “authentic” and true to my company’s brand? Oh, and I want privacy on demand.

Largest number of attendees in history – over 3,000.

Learning pavilions spread thought out the convention floor with short 15-20 minute sessions. Think TED Talks for CRE.

Those are just some of the topics discussed at the annual confab of all things corporate real estate which is hosted by the trade organization CoreNet Global. The meeting was held in Seattle, Washington which is fitting given that we were collectively at the feet of the mighty Amazon. As the entire world knows, AMZN is in the market with one of the largest space needs in modern corporate real estate history known as #hq2. I was looking around for Alexa everywhere….

Real estate executives said the “lines” created by office walls and geographic boundaries are starting to come down – or become blurred lines. With the softening comes even more challenges to CRE’s (corporate real estate executives): information and security risk, highly empowered workers with big demands and the need for space to adapt very quickly. The modern workplace must be flexible as to location and then inside the physical space flexible as to different types of work.

Here are the things I heard on some of the very hottest topics:

Robots and AI

  • Robots and facility automation will continue to rapidly evolve and relieve humans of low payback activities
  • Estimates are $90,000 per year to operate a robot who can operate 24/7 and replace a human security guard.
  • We will continue to see the evolution of the building as much more than sticks and bricks. Will seen the emergence of the space as a service provider. In fact, the building itself becomes a machine – automatically changing around furniture, lighting, provide comfort and productivity of every kind and deal with weather.

    The famous Pike Market on a chilly Seattle day.

  • Artificial intelligence (AI), which is really code to support machines will become smarter and smarter and specific to corporate real estate. Think of a corporate version of Alexa or Siri.
  • High tech drives the need for high touch as people. Rise of the robots means people need to spend more time together
  • Robots in the future will be digital “sherpas” so that we don’t have to carry digital tools like laptops
  • Digital twins in 5 years that are far smarter that Siri will talk to other digital twins for meeting coordination and low level task production
  • Some wondered with all this automation, and the simultaneous happening of the gig economy how does corporate America inculcate culture and values?

Gen Z: Influencing the Real Estate Footprint

Some observations from a panel of Gen X’ers:
  • Industrial spaces converted to office is a solution, but what you are really talking about is an input into the process. Its less about the generation and more about where people are in their life’s journey. Millenials are just younger baby boomers. As people get older, there are consistencies with what they want. For example, young children are a great equalizer in terms of what people want.
  • More face to face interaction helps Gen X with knowledge transfer.

    Yes, I did catch the fish. Yes, I did wash my hands. No I didn’t eat sushi after that point.

  • What do people DO when they are at work? That tells me as a Gen Z a lot about the company?As a Gen X, culture is a lot more important to me than the physical layout.
  • Culture is driven by the people in the space, not the design of the space
  • People are most happy when they go to work (as in a place) every day if they have a friend at work.
  • What has not worked? – You can try too hard. If being hip and cool is not consistent with your corporate culture then it won’t ring true. When someone comes into our offices do they get a sense of how they work from the people and the space? If so, that is
  • Watch cutting vs. bleeding edge. Make sure your risk tolerance  is consistent with technological risk.
  • Brand is more than paint on the wall, carpet and color – its the actually embodiment of the mission. Failure: “I saw this really cool thing somewhere else, but didn’t stress test in their own organization” before we installed in our office.
  • How are you signaling to your people that (1) the work you do is important and (2) we care about you.

    Fruit at the Pike Street Market

  • We are talking less about efficiencies now and more about experience. More expensive to have brain drain than savings from densification. Leading a move discussion about efficiencies only is likely to fail. I don’t care if my company is saving a dollar on my back. I want to work someplace warm and front. Space needs to serve people through the entire arc of the day.
  • We are catering way to much to then new generation (GenZ). We (as corporate America) should be planning for people that are already there. Keep hearing that Gen Z wants what baby boomers want…pengilum will swing. Most important thing is to be in the workplace listen to senior folks on the phone. If I could sit there for 2 hours a day and listen it would be great.

Automation in Cars

  • Using fleet car services will fundamentally change the arrival and departure experience in office building. Currently, 90% of arrivals enter through a garage. The new experience feels much more like a hotel motor court.
  • Will the Roof become the new lobby with flying cars?
  • We heard that developers are starting to plan building with higher garage clear heights so they can be adaptively reused when personal cars are no longer a “thing.”

 CoWorking

  • Why do we in corporate America care if employees like coworking? War for talent – 73% of organizational leaders are concerned about the availability of skilled labor
  • Coworker is not just the struggling entrepreneur – average age is 38
  • Cushman & Wakefield client party at the Museum of Pop Culture. It’s an amazing space.

    First place is the office, second place is the home, third place is Starbucks, place 3.5 is the car in the Starbucks parking lot for conference calls, and fourth place is coworking.

  • Targets by coworking providers are no longer as much individuals – chasing corporate America
  • New term: a “Jelly” – organic group or people who glom on to each other and hang out – like in a Starbucks or other quick service restaurants.
  • Todays employees want choice, community and flexibility
  • 77% of facilities are in an urban location and 62% looking to expand and move to larger locations.
  • Several years ago, question was is this a fad? with 62% of centers looking to expand, this is not a fad. Will disrupt the industry
  • Average number of member is 75 members
  • Seeing the emergence of the “big box” retailer – A solution that is focused on targeting corporations to provide space.
  • WeWork is the largest tenant in New York City and one of the largest consumers or real estate in the world.

Privacy and Productivity

  • One of the biggest complaints in open workplaces is privacy and the ability to have quiet and private phone calls.

    Tower of Guitars at the Museum of Pop Culture

  • Young people stated the need for “real time privacy.”
  • Ripping out all private spaces and forcing collaborations totally ignores introverts. Millennials complain amongst themselves about being in a open environment.
  • Open Plan, Friend or Foe? An open plan can be really bad. So can an office. All not created equal. Like saying all automobiles are the same.
  • A new trend is “activity based” planning. Developing new ways to connect in open plan design based on what you are doing. Design is in a progression and is progressing.
  • Wellness is fundamental to productivity. A sick workforce is no workforce.

In sum, the energy is high and the feeling is optimistic. Most directors of corporate real estate have a pep in their step, but are drowning in emails and assignments to expand.

I surmise from the conference that most everyone is growing quickly and thinking about how to keep the workforce engaged, happy and healthy. Improving the quality of work-life balance and overall work experience are what sought after employees are seeking in companies – current and future.

All is well with the CRE world in 2017. The good times will continue in 2018 as well and beyond.

Whistle while you work – wherever that might be. And step right over those blurry lines!

 

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

 November 6th, 2017

Credit: iStock

Credit: iStock

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles and the submissions of others (with credit to you if I post them). I wish you a terrific week!

Are You Suited for a Start-Up?
“Start-ups have no clear hierarchies or paths to advancement. But from their embryonic stages through more-mature ones, they need good managers to create and effectively run departments such as marketing, product development, and sales. And one can accrue numerous personal and professional rewards working for these young organizations. In nearly every interview I’ve conducted with start-up joiners, they have emphasized how much they value the autonomy, creativity, and growth they experience in their jobs—all elements critical to fulfillment.” www.hbr.org

The Top Reasons Startups Fail
Oh Snap! | “More often than not, however, startups tend to fail brutally. According to CB Insights, 70 percent of upstart tech companies fail, usually about 20 months after first raising financing. The failure rate is even worse for consumer hardware startups with 97 percent of seed crowdfunded companies failing or turning into “zombies.” www.forbes.com

Six Myths About Choosing a College Major
“Students get plenty of advice about picking a major. It turns out, though, that most of it is from family and friends, according to a September Gallup survey. Only 11 percent had sought guidance from a high school counselor, and 28 percent from a college adviser. And most didn’t think that the advice was especially helpful. Maybe it’s because much of the conventional thinking about majors is wrong.” www.nytimes.com

We’re in the Worst Talent Shortage Since 2007. Employers Are Using This Strategy to Stand Out
“Organizations are facing one of the largest talent shortages since 2007. In fact, a ManpowerGroup report indicated that 40 percent of the more than 42,000 employers surveyed indicated they were having a difficult time filling positions.

When Manpower dug a little deeper, it found the top reasons driving the frustration included:

  • A lack of available applicants
  • A lack of experience
  • A lack of hard skills
  • Seeking more pay than is offered
  • A lack of soft skills  www.inc.com

Ten Things Never, Ever To Wear To Work
“There is no dress code policy — or any other policy, for that matter — that will eliminate the need for conversation.

One of the signs of a healthy workplace is that people are always discussing and debating questions like “What’s okay to wear to work around here?”

It is pointless to try and write HR policies in such a way that no conversation is needed. That’s an impossible standard to reach and in any case, conversation is essential! It’s through conversation that relationships are built. It’s how trust is established.” www.forbes.com

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Ken

 

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

October 30th, 2017

Credit: iStock

Credit: iStock

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles and the submissions of others (with credit to you if I post them). I wish you a terrific week!

As Amazon Moves In, Demand for Warehouse Space Climbs
“For the modest warehouse, this is a golden age.

Boxy, unadorned and often overlooked, these properties are suddenly in hot demand in many parts of the country, thanks in part to a rise in e-commerce as consumer shopping habits move online. Retailers like Amazon and Walmart are snapping up space once reserved for makers of office furniture and home flooring.

For years now, consumers have been purchasing more products online. In the second quarter, e-commerce sales topped more than $111 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis, or 8.9 percent of all retail sales, according to the Census Bureau. Industry forecasters expect e-commerce sales to continue growing.

Warehouses often reveal little about what goes on within their walls, but the buildings make possible the rapid delivery that consumers now expect from online retailers. They serve as storage and distribution points for products ranging from auto parts to pharmaceuticals. And warehouse jobs have grown rapidly since 2010, forming a critical part of the employment base in communities across the country.

As developers try to catch up, they are considering some unusual solutions, like constructing multistory warehouses and demolishing struggling malls to make way for sprawling industrial properties..” www.nytimes.com

All Management Is Change Management
“Leaders should view change not as an occasional disruptor but as the very essence of the management job. Setting tough goals, establishing processes to reach them, carrying out those processes and carefully learning from them — these steps should characterize the unending daily life of the organization at every level. More companies need to describe their work in terms of where they are trying to go in the next month or next quarter or next year.” www.hbr.org

Retail Apocalypse? The Sky Isn’t Falling — The Sector Is Just Evolving
“The reality is that stores close – it’s a part of this business. Consumer’s tastes have always fluctuated, but with the rise of the internet and social media, the rate of change has been expedited. As a result, brands and categories fall-out of favor much faster, which initiates the open/closure cycle more rapidly. There is no doubt that e-commerce penetration, especially in certain categories, has also contributed to this exacerbated pace of change – it’s just not the great “disruptor” that many would have you believe.” www.forbes.com

How Retailers Use Personalized Prices to Test What You’re Willing to Pay
“Whether personalized pricing catches on with web retailers is now up to consumers. Will shoppers be comfortable knowing that the prices they are offered may be higher than those presented to others? Will buyers relish “electronically bargaining” to outwit sellers? Retailers first “negotiate” with each customer by personalizing prices based on their profile. In response, savvy shoppers will “bargain” by checking prices on different devices, clearing caches, using the app, conducting multiple searches, asking friends in different cities to see what price they’re quoted, and so on. Or will they become fed up and steer clear of web retailers that price profile? Amazon is on the record as stating that all of its customers see the same prices — will other retailers be so clear-cut?

As the fate of electronic price profiling shakes out, one issue is clear: It is truly a caveat emptor environment for shoppers who use the web.” www.hbr.org

Why You Can Focus in a Coffee Shop but Not in Your Open Office
“So why do so many of us hate our open offices? The quiet chatter of colleagues and the gentle thrum of the HVAC should help us focus. The problem may be that, in our offices, we can’t stop ourselves from getting drawn into others’ conversations or from being interrupted while we’re trying to focus. Indeed, the EEG researchers found that face-to-face interactions, conversations, and other disruptions negatively affect the creative process. By contrast, a coworking space or a coffee shop provides a certain level of ambient noise while also providing freedom from interruptions.

Taken together, the lesson here is that the ideal space for focused work is not about freedom from noise, but about freedom from interruption. Finding a space you can hide away in, regardless of how noisy it is, may be the best strategy for making sure you get the important work done.” www.hbr.org

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Ken

 

8 Days Without Email

“Is email still a thing?”

That’s what a friendly and oh so innocent Millennial asked me recently. “Dude, you have no idea how much a thing it still is,” I said. “It’s the lifeblood of corporate America.” You can Tweet, Snap and Post your heart out, but until your boss retires and you take over the world, you’ll need to send her an email for most communication needs. “Bummer,” he muttered as he ambled off.

In 1971, Ray Tomlinson sent the first email as a test in his Cambridge, Mass lab. My, how things have changed in the 46 years since. According to a Radicati Group study, executives can expect an average of 126 messages sent and received per business user per day by the end of 2019, with a total of over 2.9 billion people on planet earth using the email tool to communicate and set meetings.

I conducted an informal poll over lunch the past 6 months or so and found that most executives report receiving over 200 messages per day. So if we ditch the weekends, which no one does, then my friends are getting 50,000 messages a year over 50 working weeks. If it takes us an average of 1 minute per message, then we are spending 833 hours a year, or almost 40% of our working hours managing this beast.

It’s getting a little ridiculous out there. Despite barrels of digital ink being spilled on how to manage, keep up with and prune email, the stuff just keeps growing like electronic Kudzu.

Just Make It Stop!

A fishing village in the Cinque Terre portion of the Italy coast. The village is 1,000 years old. A few years before email was invented….

So, I did make it stop, for a brief respite anyway.

You see, Karen and I planned a 25th wedding anniversary trip to Italy, so I began to dream about unplugging from email. The last time I stopped the digital river of information was in 2012 when I took a backpacking trip in New Mexico with my son. I wrote about it in one of my most popular blogs called West Bound and Down | 12 Days without an iPhone. Given the clicks, I wasn’t the only person thinking about this issue.

But here’s the thing: if you know you are coming back to a huge backlog of messages, how do you relax? And maybe you will be tempted to peek early in the morning. I’ve heard stories of people getting up in the middle of the night on vacation or slipping off to the bathroom to have an illicit session of checking email. Ugh.

The Duomo in Florence taken from top of the bell tower

So I made a tough call. I was not going to ever read a single email sent to me while I was traveling on my vacation. All of them were going to hit the trash can with a punch of a few keys in a mass delete action. Bam!

I’m Really Out of the Office And On Vacation. For Real.

I penned my out of office with a guilty grin. Here it is:

“Thanks for your email. I am currently out of the country on vacation. Karen and I are in Italy celebrating 25 years of marriage, 4 kids and 1 very lazy dog. The kids and the dog are at home. We wish them luck.

I return to the office and real life on <date>. My plan is to mass delete all emails while I’m away, so kindly email me again after my return and I will return your message with a big smile on my face. I appreciate your  understanding and patience during this much needed downtime. So does Karen.

Pisa needed construction management!

If you need help now, then contact my teammate <name> who can get you taken care of.”

That’s it. And you know what, it worked!

Hey Karen, watch out for the wave behind you!

We spent 8 glorious days refreshing our relationship and exploring the big world out there. I got around 1,800 messages during my time away and I gleefully hit delete. There were about 4 issues that needed my immediate attention when I got back, but I missed all the emails on all the meetings, issues and problems that I couldn’t attend or attend to.

I clearly remember the relief of allowing myself to be present on our vacation AND not having to worry about digging out when I returned.

Vinyards near the ancient village of San Gimignano

Do I have a great team to back stop me and allow for this break to occur? Absolutely! Do I have understanding and cool clients? You bet! Am I so important that I need to be continuously connected and available at all times? Nope, not at all.

And unless you are in charge of national security for the United States or some other ridiculously high stress gig, you aren’t either. Heck, even firefighters and cops have days off from emergencies.

I Dare You

Today I attended the  funeral of a good friend, Scott Selig. Scott passed away at age 47 from an aggressive form of cancer. The loss of my friend has given me needed perspective and even more resolve on the email issue. As Scott himself said in a moving speech before he died, “put down the phone and enjoy life”.

I dare you to put up appropriate boundaries around your personal time.

Another view of the Cinque Terre. This village was founded by pirates 997 years ago. Ahoy matey!

I dare you to talk to your clients, colleagues and friends and explain that you need downtime too.

I dare you to confront your own addiction to this world of hyper responsiveness and over communication in which we live.

Be bold on this issue and your spouse, your family and ultimately your circle of friends and business colleagues will thank you. They will notice your new found focus and crisp response to issues because you have allowed yourself permission to rest.

Ray Tomlinson passed away a few years ago, but if he were still with us today, I bet you he’d give 2 thumbs up to email breaks. As Steven Covey said, even the best lumberjack has to sharpen his saw to be effective.

Time away is what intelligent executives use to freshen up, relax and reflect. In the times when you are getting away, email is toxic and will defeat the purpose. Be courageous and self confident in stopping the digital intrusion.

Do it. You won’t regret the digital break, I promise.

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles to Help You This Week

October 23rd, 2017

Credit: iStock

Credit: iStock

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles and the submissions of others (with credit to you if I post them). I wish you a terrific week!

 

College Advice I Wish I’d Taken
“A’S ARE COOL AND COME WITH PERKS As a student, I saw myself as anti-establishment, and I hated tests; I barely maintained a B average. I thought only nerds spent weekends in the library studying. Recently I learned that my niece Dara, a sophomore at New York University with a 3.7 G.P.A. (and a boyfriend), was offered a week of travel in Buenos Aires as part of her honors seminar. I was retroactively envious to learn that a 3.5 G.P.A. or higher at many schools qualifies you for free trips, scholarships, grants, awards, private parties and top internships. At 20, I was too busy freaking out when said boyfriend disappeared (after sleeping with one of said friends). Students certainly don’t need to strive obsessively for perfection, but I should have prioritized grades, not guys.” www.nytimes.com

How Office Politics Corrupt the Search for High-Potential Employees
“Few topics have captivated talent management discussions more intensely than potential. The obsession with predicting who may be a future star or the next top leader has influenced academic research and human resources practices alike. But how good are we at evaluating human potential? The answer is, it’s mixed. On the one hand, science has given us robust tools and powerful theories to quantify the key indicators of future career success, job performance, and leadership effectiveness. On the other hand, in the real world of work, organizational practices lag behind, with 40% of designated “HiPos” — high-potential employees — not doing well in the future and at least one in two leaders disappointing, derailing, or failing to drive high levels of engagement and team performance.

The main reason underlying this bleak state of affairs is that HiPo nominations are contaminated by organizational politics. To be more precise, there are six dynamics that prevent organizations from identifying, promoting, and developing the right people for leadership roles…” www.hbr.org

For Electric Car Owners, ‘Range Anxiety’ Gives Way to ‘Charging Time Trauma’
“…there is another obstacle: charging time trauma. Compared with a five-minute pit stop at your local gas station, charging an electric vehicle is a glacially slow experience. Modern electric cars still often need an entire night to recharge at home, and even at a commercial fast charging station, a fill-up can take an hour or more.” www.nytimes.com

The Surprising Power of Online Experiments
“At a time when the web is vital to almost all businesses, rigorous online experiments should be standard operating procedure. If a company develops the software infrastructure and organizational skills to conduct them, it will be able to assess not only ideas for websites but also potential business models, strategies, products, services, and marketing campaigns—all relatively inexpensively. Controlled experiments can transform decision making into a scientific, evidence-driven process—rather than an intuitive reaction. Without them, many breakthroughs might never happen, and many bad ideas would be implemented, only to fail, wasting resources.” www.hbr.org

5 Mall Redevelopments Adapting To The Changing Retail Climate
“Between one-fifth and one-fourth of American shopping malls will close in the next five years, according to Credit Suisse. As more and more mall-based retailers struggle to stay relevant, many developers are thinking outside of big-box retailers to reinvent centers. Here are a few shopping malls that will be completely redeveloped.” www.forbes.com

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Ken

 

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles to Help You This Week

October 16th, 2017

Credit: iStock

Credit: iStock

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles and the submissions of others (with credit to you if I post them). I wish you a terrific week!

 

A Survey of How 1,000 CEOs Spend Their Day Reveals What Makes Leaders Successful
“On average, about one-quarter of CEOs’ days are spent alone, including sending emails. Another 10% is spent on personal matters, and 8% is spent traveling. The remainder (56%) is spent with at least one other person, which mostly involves meetings, most of which are planned ahead of time. About one-third of the time CEOs spend with others is one-on-one; two-thirds is with more than one other person. (This data includes a CEO’s entire workday, not just time in the office.)

The most common departments for CEOs to meet with are production (35% of time spent with others), marketing (22%), and finance (17%). The most common meetings with outside functions are clients (10%) and suppliers (7%).” www.hbr.org

The Coming Software Apocalypse
“It’s been said that software is “eating the world.” More and more, critical systems that were once controlled mechanically, or by people, are coming to depend on code. This was perhaps never clearer than in the summer of 2015, when on a single day, United Airlines grounded its fleet because of a problem with its departure-management system; trading was suspended on the New York Stock Exchange after an upgrade; the front page of The Wall Street Journal’s website crashed; and Seattle’s 911 system went down again, this time because a different router failed. The simultaneous failure of so many software systems smelled at first of a coordinated cyberattack. Almost more frightening was the realization, late in the day, that it was just a coincidence.” www.theatlantic.com

Ken Burns Talks About Leadership, Productivity and Achieving Immortality Through Storytelling
“Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns is responsible for such genre-defining and genre- defying documentary series as The Civil War, Baseball, and Jazz, to name a few. As he and collaborator Lynn Novick prepare to debut their new 10-part documentary film series The Vietnam War on September 17 on PBS stations nationwide, we spoke with the tireless documentarian about leadership, productivity, managing gigantic projects and how to achieve immortality through storytelling.” www.entrepreneur.com

The Surprising Power of Online Experiments
“At a time when the web is vital to almost all businesses, rigorous online experiments should be standard operating procedure. If a company develops the software infrastructure and organizational skills to conduct them, it will be able to assess not only ideas for websites but also potential business models, strategies, products, services, and marketing campaigns—all relatively inexpensively. Controlled experiments can transform decision making into a scientific, evidence-driven process—rather than an intuitive reaction. Without them, many breakthroughs might never happen, and many bad ideas would be implemented, only to fail, wasting resources.” www.hbr.org

This Is What Happens When You Reply to Spam Email
Suspicious emails: unclaimed insurance bonds, diamond-encrusted safe deposit boxes, close friends marooned in a foreign country. They pop up in our inboxes, and standard procedure is to delete on sight. But what happens when you reply? Follow along as writer and comedian James Veitch narrates a hilarious, weeks-long exchange with a spammer who offered to cut him in on a hot deal. www.ted.com

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Ken

 

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles to Help You This Week

October 2nd, 2017

Credit: iStock

Credit: iStock

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles and the submissions of others (with credit to you if I post them). I wish you a terrific week!

The Cozy, Overcrowded, Keg-Filled Future of Work
The United Nations projects that, by the year 2030, roughly 1 billion more people will be living in cities than do now. As of last year there were 31 cities with more than 10 million residents, and in about a decade, there will be 41.

These demographic trends are a source of fascination for urban planners and theorists around the world. Those who study what these shifts will mean view the coming era of urban mega-density with both excitement and fear. Others, however, see a clear business opportunity. Adam Neumann, the CEO of WeWork, a firm that rents out office space and apartments, puts it this way: “We don’t have enough room.”” www.theatlantic.com

Here’s How WeWork Pinpoints the Perfect Locations for Its Co-Working Spaces in Neighborhoods
“Workspace provider WeWork has skyrocketed to become the leader of its industry in a matter of just seven years. The company, which rents office and desk space to teams and individuals, has 218 office locations in 53 cities worldwide, and it’s not planning to slow down anytime soon. After a $4.4 billion investment from SoftBank’s Vision Fund earlier this year, WeWork reportedly is one of the top five most valuable startups, worth $20 billion.

To keep up with demand and ensure it continues along its growth trajectory, the company is quietly building a trove of data about how its members work in order to better serve them. But to attract those members, it first has to be strategic about where its offices are. Decisions come down to more than lease length and building aesthetic, because what lies directly outside a WeWork’s motivational-poster-adorned walls is just as important as the walls themselves. WeWork members inherently value flexibility and options — after all, they choose to rent space tailored to their needs rather than commit to a lease of their own. They want certain types of amenities in close proximity — from coffee shops where they can take clients for meetings to fitness studios where they can blow off steam during their lunch break.” www.entrepreneur.com

Work and the Loneliness Epidemic
“There is good reason to be concerned about social connection in our current world. Loneliness is a growing health epidemic. We live in the most technologically connected age in the history of civilization, yet rates of loneliness have doubled since the 1980s. Today, over 40% of adults in America report feeling lonely, and research suggests that the real number may well be higher. Additionally, the number of people who report having a close confidante in their lives has been declining over the past few decades. In the workplace, many employees — and half of CEOs — report feeling lonely in their roles.” www.hbr.org

How Grunt Work Can Benefit Millennials In The Long Run
“If you have aspirations to lead a team, be responsible for other employees or grow into a C suite position, then it pays to develop the ability to relate to people in order to effectively manage them. One of the best ways to relate to people is to have empathy. And that comes from knowing the context of the hurdles they face and having first hand knowledge of what they are working on. This provides insight into their pain points and the techniques needed to solve them.

In fact, some of the most innovative leaders and best technical managers are the ones that still carve time out of their day to tinker. And while is it true that they may not have the time to engage in in a full coding set or build something complex from scratch, they still understand the language enough to know what they are looking for when they critique others’ work.” www.forbes.com

What You’re Truly Saying With Your Out-of-Office Reply
Even better: If you want to truly unplug, own it and don’t apologize. And you should unplug! Studies have shown unplugging can improve your job performance and overall life satisfaction.

Mallory Ortberg, former editor of the beloved but now defunct website The Toast and current Dear Prudence columnist, went this route:

“I am currently on vacation and not accepting any emails about anything,” Ms. Ortberg wrote in one out-of-office autoreply, as Ms. Gould reported in her story. “I’m not planning on reading any old emails when I get back, either, because that feels antithetical to the vacation experience.”

What do you usually write in your out-of-office messages? Tell me at tim@nytimes.com or on Twitter at @timherrera.

Have a great week (or vacation)!”  www.nytimes.com

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Ken

 

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles to Help You This Week

September 5th, 2017

Credit: iStock

Credit: iStock

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles and the submissions of others (with credit to you if I post them). I wish you a terrific week!

On the Day I Die
Just read this. It will keep everything in perspective, I promise. Love those around you.  www.johnpavlovitz.com

Robocalls Flooding Your Cellphone? Here’s How to Stop Them
On a lighter note: “And then there is the Jolly Roger Telephone Company, which turns the tables on telemarketers. This program allows a customer to put the phone on mute and patch telemarketing calls to a robot, which understands speech patterns and inflections and works to keep the caller engaged.

Subscribers can choose robot personalities, such as Whiskey Jack, who is frequently distracted by a game he is watching on television, or Salty Sally, a frazzled mother.

The robots string the callers along with vocal fillers like “Uh-huh” and “O.K., O.K.” After several minutes, some will ask the callers to repeat their sales pitch from the beginning, prompting the telemarketers to have angry meltdowns, according to sample recordings posted on the company’s website.” www.nytimes.com

The Amazing Life of Uber’s New CEO Dara Khosrowshahi — From Refugee to Tech Superstar
“Uber’s board offered the top job at the company to Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Expedia.

The job, should he accept it, represents just another milestone for the 48-year old Khosrowshahi, who has lived an extraordinary life of both hardship and influence.” www.businessinsider.com

What You’re Truly Saying With Your Out-of-Office Reply
“Even better: If you want to truly unplug, own it and don’t apologize. And you should unplug! Studies have shown unplugging can improve your job performance and overall life satisfaction.

Mallory Ortberg, former editor of the beloved but now defunct website The Toast and current Dear Prudence columnist, went this route:

“I am currently on vacation and not accepting any emails about anything,” Ms. Ortberg wrote in one out-of-office autoreply, as Ms. Gould reported in her story. “I’m not planning on reading any old emails when I get back, either, because that feels antithetical to the vacation experience.”

What do you usually write in your out-of-office messages? Tell me at tim@nytimes.com or on Twitter at @timherrera.

Have a great week (or vacation)!”  www.nytimes.com

Workers Are Already Pushing Back Against The Office Of The Future
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“We are constantly told that real estate and technology will interact and fundamentally change the way people work. Big data, smart technology and artificial intelligence are all regularly predicted to have a huge impact on the way offices operate. Co-working and shared workspace are increasingly being touted as the next evolution in the way companies take space. But the path to the office of the future will not run smoothly, as companies are starting to find out. People are pushing back against innovation as quickly as they are embracing it. Last week Bloomberg reported that management at U.K. banking giant Barclays had faced a flurry of questions when staff discovered tracking devices had been put on their desks to measure occupancy levels.”www.bisnow.com

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Ken

 

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles to Help You This Week

August 28th, 2017

Credit: iStock

Credit: iStock

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles and the submissions of others (with credit to you if I post them). I wish you a terrific week!

Aging Parents With Lots of Stuff, and Children Who Don’t Want It
“As baby boomers grow older, the volume of unwanted keepsakes and family heirlooms is poised to grow — along with the number of delicate conversations about what to do with them. According to a 2014 United States census report, more than 20 percent of America’s population will be 65 or older by 2030. As these waves of older adults start moving to smaller dwellings, assisted living facilities or retirement homes, they and their kin will have to part with household possessions that the heirs simply don’t want.” www.nytimes.com

Applebee’s is Ditching Millennials After They Forced Hundreds of Restaurant Closures
“Over the past few years, the brand’s set out to reposition or reinvent Applebee’s as a modern bar and grill in overt pursuit of a more youthful and affluent demographic with a more independent or even sophisticated dining mindset, including a clear pendulum swing towards millennials,” John Cywinski, Applebee’s brand president, said in a recent call with investors.

He continued: “In my perspective, this pursuit led to decisions that created confusion among core guests, as Applebee’s intentionally drifted from what I’ll call its ‘Middle America’ roots and its abundant value position. While we certainly hope to extend our reach, we can’t alienate Boomers or Gen-Xers in the process.” www.businessinsider.com

How Big Can Google Get? Its Aggressive Push For Office Space in the Bay Area
For the past six years Google has been expanding bit by bit beyond its Mountain View headquarters. But this year, the tech titan’s plan for a massive new push into San Jose coupled with big land buys in Sunnyvale show just how big Google’s footprint may get.

If everything the tech titan has in the works comes to pass, Google could double its footprint in Silicon Valley, potentially making room for roughly another 31,000 or more employees. www.commercialrealestate.com

Inside GE’s Transformation
“A CEO has different tasks in different cycles. Some CEOs are founders and builders. Others have the luxury of managing momentum through a stable economy or a period when business models aren’t being disrupted. My task was different: remaking a historic and iconic company during an extremely volatile time.

I led a team of 300,000 people for 6,000 days. I led through recessions, bubbles, and geopolitical risk. I saw at least three “black swan” events. New competitors emerged, business models changed, and we ushered in an entirely new way to invest. But we didn’t just persevere; we transformed the company. GE is well positioned to win in the future.

The changes that took in the world from 2001, when I assumed the company’s leadership, to 2017 are too numerous to mention. The task of the CEO has never been as difficult as it is today. In that vein, my story is one of progress versus perfection. The outcomes of my decisions will play out over decades, but we never feared taking big steps to create long-term value.”  www.harvardbiz.com

Why Millennials Have A Complicated Relationship With Travel
“Millennials seem to have found themselves in a tricky spot. The more they follow the axiomatic advice to “stop and smell the roses,” the more frequently they’re accused of malaise. The more they discuss practical solutions to enduring problems, the more they’re labeled as “entitled.”

So it’s not going to help their predicament any to learn that millennials seem to value travel more than previous generations. Cue the accusations of being “discontent” with their work and home lives.

The truth is, both science and common sense drive home the importance of broadening our horizons, which sure makes it seem like millennials know something their elders may not. So let’s dive into the surprisingly nuanced conversation emerging about millennials’ relationship with travel.” www.forbes.com

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Ken