CoreNet Orlando Summit

Warning:  This post is solely business related. I attended the CoreNet Summit in Orlando last week and have the following tidbits to share:

- In a session titled "Leadership 2.0: The Science Behind Great Leaders", Bill Benjamin explained that people's inability to handle and embrace change is one of the leading reasons careers derail.  If you think that applies to you, it might be time to do something about it.

- He also talked about gaining consensus and raised the concept of "what do you need? vs. what do you want?"  I saw corporate real estate executives writing this down furiously.  In a time when many companies are cutting back space, and business groups are fighting back, this phrase will be thrown around a lot.  For example, when my company raises the topic of new workplace standards, I cringe at the thought of giving up my office and moving in to a smaller space.  Do I need a big office or do I just want a big office?  I'll give you one guess.

- A major pharmaceutical company shared their long term global portfolio plan.  This plan provides for ten seats for every fourteen people across the portfolio.  Think about that; it's 1.4 people for every seat.  And no one in the room thought it was odd, revolutionary, or out of whack.  It's where the industry is headed.

- There were four separate sessions in two days on mobility, working remotely, or flexible workspaces.  In case you were wondering how the pharma company was going to hit their 1.4/1 ratio, there's a hint.

- Speaking of where we are headed, I overheard an architect say that in his view, we will need 50% of the office we need now in five years.  I am not sure how many drinks he had when he said that, and I don't think it's accurate, but it's not something anyone would have considered five years ago.

- While I was at the conference, news broke of Mack-Cali's purchase of Roseland Partners.  Mack-Cali owns more Class A and B office space in New Jersey than anyone else.  They brand themselves as "A leading provider of Class A office space".  Yet, they spent $135m to acquire a company that owns, develops and manages residential properties.  In the press release, Mack-Cali's CEO Mitch Hersh said, "multi-family residential will be a key component of our growth strategy".  When New Jersey's largest office landlord chooses to diversify, that tells you something about how they feel about the current state and future of the office market.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the points above.  Comments are always welcome.

JN