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Home > Trend: Switching from cutting back, to focusing on growth

Trend: Switching from cutting back, to focusing on growth

In a whirlwind of activity over the last ten days, I’ve been the keynote speaker for conferences that probably represents the vast majority of global Fortune 1000 organizations, speaking to the trends that will impact the future of ‘corporate facilities.’

These have included keynotes for the  Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association annual conference in Orlando; the CoreNet Global Summit in New Orleans, and the International Asset Management Council Spring Summit in Colorado Springs. With these groups, we’ve got the folks who manage facilities for a good chunk of the world’s biggest retailers (including Apple, the Gap, Costco and others); commercial real estate executives for Fortune 1000 and government; and the senior executives who manage the same for large industrial and manufacturing organizations (Alcoa, Caterpillar, Whirlpool).

What are they thinking about? Adjusting to an economy that is more and more turning to growth. And to do that, I covered a wide variety of trends:

  • they need to actively shift their role from tactical (managing costs in a downtown) to strategic (‘how do I help my organization to scale and support growth strategies?’
  • ensure that the organization has the flexibility in terms of facilities and workforce to adjust to more rapid market and product innovation, faster competition, and more rapid change in consumer demand and choice
  • take advantage of emerging opportunities with intelligent building management infrastructure
  • be willing to challenge process and assumptions as to operations. I consistently used my story of broken business models, vs. business models built on rapid change – my Honda vs. Chrysler story
  • adapt to a reality in which skills flexibility and innovation will be a key success factor. These folks need to access a lot of unique skills that are in short supply (i.e. green engineers), and so increasingly their success will come from their ability to access the right skills at the right time for the right purpose

Are people really thinking about growth? Here are the live results from a text message poll that I ran from the stage at the IAMC conference in Colorado Springs yesterday:

  • Innovation and the concept of ‘chameleon revenue’
  • Riding fast paced trends in the consumer / retail sector 
  • Finding growth with knowledge exponentiation (construction trends)  

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