How investing outside your organization can pay dividends

About a month back, I expressed my thoughts on Dennis Donovan’s theory of location velocity, in which he expresses the need to analyze current conditions and future trends in order to select the best site for a headquarters or major operations facility.  Curiously, almost in a rebuttal to Donovan’s theories, Elizabeth King Forstneger, Director of Grubb & Ellis Consulting, wrote an article about a corporate stewardship to protect the value of your long-term investment – Getting It Right: Achieving Long-Term Value from Your Real Estate Investment.

I am very intrigued with this approach.  Rather than looking from a traditional real estate and facilities (RE&F) perspective of “how can we manage expenses” or “how can we derive more value from our facilities”, the prescribed approach is to look at how giving to the community can pay tremendous dividends.  Forstneger identifies three key areas in which a RE&F department, or a business as a whole, can invest in their new area:
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Federal government embraces green building and energy efficiency, gives itself pat on back

David Winstead, commissioner of the US General Service Administration (GSA) Public Buildings Service (PBS), contributed an article in the latest issue of CoreNet’s The Leader magazine.  Entitled Sustainability and Energy Efficiency: The Government’s Landlord Leads by Example, Winstead writes about the myriad accomplishments of the GSA in sustainable design, construction and operations across its massive portfolio of 350 million square feet of space.  For those of you who don’t know, the General Services Administration serves as an effective landlord for many bodies and agencies of the federal government.  The article provides a fair share of “horn-tooting”, but with good reason, as the GSA operates its buildings using less energy than comparable buildings in the private sector and has to represent the best interests of its constituents, like you and me.
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Five office trends to keep you at the front of the curve

I always enjoy when a writer has good organizational skills, especially when they are writing about the organization of your organization.  Ted Heisler, Principal of Interior Architecture and Design at Ware Malcomb, contributed a well-planned essay for The Leader entitled Innovating the Workplace through Design: Implementing Trends that Transcend.  Heisler divided the article into two halves – one is devoted to five key office trends that they have identified and the other analyzes the trends through a case study featuring Ericsson.
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Latest issue of CoreNet Global’s The Leader is posted

The Leader, CoreNet Global’s magazine dedicated to corporate real estate strategy, has gone live with the November/December issue.  This bimonthly magazine is once again chock full of case studies, performance analyses and other goodies for the corporate real estate director or consultant.  Over the course of the next week, I will be perusing the articles and reviewing/commenting on those that are particularly worth review.  In the mean time, you can check out the full issue of The Leader, hosted by

A quality journal for the sophisticated corporate real estate director – and it doesn’t cost a penny!

The managing director of my office shared with me what I now consider – at least until the next shiny intellectual trinket comes along – the best* source of sophisticated real estate guidance and analysis designed specifically for corporate real estate directors.  CoreNet’s industry journal, entitled The Leader, is aptly named and chock full of useful articles dealing with topics ranging from the mobile worker (p. 18) to “location velocity” (p. 24).  The article that really drew me in is called Today’s Technology: The Tools Are Ready, Are You? (p. 48).  Because of my background in software technology, this hit a sweet spot for me.  Ever since I got into commercial real estate, I became an advocate for increasing the use of technology to improve productivity and results; I even went so far as to write an article on the subject of technology in real estateToday’s Technology was a well-written article by three individuals from Deloitte Consulting and really drives into the key issues that the IT department has probably been hounding you about for the last several years, as IT spends have gone up to match interdepartmental demand.  They summarized it in the final section of the article as 4 straightforward steps for managing your approach to technology.

  1. Review your current processes.
  2. Evaluate your current systems and tools.
  3. Understand where your most critical data comes from.
  4. Work more effectively by partnering with your IT department.

Of course, this is only a summary.  The full article has even more good advice and examples of different software tools and systems to address the specific gaps you find in your organization’s systems.  Plus, the magazine has a great interface powered by

*I’m told that I come in a close second, but moms have to say stuff like that 🙂