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A Report from the Lisbon Workplace Conference

by jimware on February 21, 2013

The Lisbon Workplace Conference 2013 took place on February 19th in the new Headquarters of Microsoft in Lisbon, which was designed by 3G-Office (President of 3GOffice, which explain the context of the Conference and introduce the New Ways of Working Concepts according to the new economy “We must do something with the Corporate Spaces, they are not aligned with the mobility, work-life balance and collaboration at work” ” Companies are spending huge amount of money in RE&FM and the real occupancy is less than 70%” said Francisco Vazquez. Then Marie Puybaraud, research from JCI, look to the New WorkplaceTrends up 2040 in what she has been working for the last ten years “Rethinking the world of work: nomadic, digital,engaged, focus on experience, green,..” Marie said. Fernando Carneros,Iberian Head of RE&FM of Microsoft, explained the project of the New HQ of Microsoft in Lisbon together with Maria Rosa Abeijon, General Manager of 3Goffice in Portugal “Attention to human factors is part of the workplace focus” said Fernando. Catherine Gall, Research Director of Steelcase, “dealing with local & global tensions in workplace: getting the right mixed in the hotel of globalisation””east and west divided cultures at work”. Finally Marie introduced to the more than 100 delegates into the Digital Natives needs and ways of working. After the Conference there was a tour visiting the New Microsoft Head Quarters.”>www.3g-office.com).

The Conference began with Francisco Vazquez, President of 3GOffice, who explained the context of the Conference and introduced the New Ways of Working Concepts according to the new economy:

We must do something with the Corporate Spaces, they are not aligned with mobility, work-life balance and collaboration at work. Companies are spending huge amounts of money in RE&FM and the real occupancy is less than 70%.

Then Marie Puybaraud, a senior researcher from Johnson Controls, discussed  the New Workplace Trends up 2040, which is what she has been working on for the last ten years:

Rethinking the world of work: nomadic, digital,engaged, focused on experience, green…

Next Fernando Carneros, Iberian Head of RE&FM at Microsoft, together with Maria Rosa Abeijon, General Manager of 3Goffice in Portugal, explained the recent project of the New HQ of Microsoft in Lisbon:

Attention to human factors is part of the workplace focus.

Catherine Gall, Research Director at Steelcase, spoke about “dealing with local and global tensions in the workplace:  getting the right mix in the hotel of globalisation, east and west – divided cultures at work.”

Finally Marie Puybaraud introduced  the more than 100 delegates at the conference to her research on the Digital Natives’ needs and ways of working.

Following the Conference the delegates were able to tour the New Microsoft headquarters in Lisbon.

– Reported by Francisco Vazquez, President of 3G-Office and OJL Regional Partner

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Here, finally are some further learnings and questions that arose for me out this year’s Corenet Summit in Orlando.

Monday, October 8.

The opening keynote presentation came from Bill Benjamin, founder of The Institute for Health and Human Potential. His focus: the importance of emotions in driving behavior, and the need to understand why and how people respond when they are under stress (and who isn’t these days?).

Bill’s message was obvious in hindsight, but it’s one we forget all too often: most leadership programs (and books) focus on technical skills and IQ as key to leadership success – yet when we recall outstanding leaders (including some of our own past bosses), we invariably identify people who touched us emotionally – people who have a high “EQ” or Emotional Quotient.”

He pointed out that people who fail as leaders typically are incapable of forming and managing relationships. They don’t manage change well.

But the most interesting part of the presentation was Benjamin’s focus on the amygdala – that basic part of the brain that drives feelings. We feel (the amygdala) before we think (the cortex). And when we are stressed, our ability to think rationally is reduced. Under stress we tend to tell people what we think they want to hear; we focus on compliance, which is a far cry from commitment. And as “followers” that’s what we do too – we fall into yes/no responses, and we comply with the first request we hear, rather than thinking through our options.

Benjamin then reminded us that Peter Drucker often talked about the importance of learning to manage yourself (you can never go wrong by quoting Peter Drucker!). And he wound up by offering a relatively simple formula for exercising control (over ourselves and others) in stressful situations: “SOS”

  • Stop (do something different, take some time out, disconnect)
  • Oxygenate (take a deep breath; carbonize your blood, minimize the impact of that amygdala)
  • Strengthen Appreciation (of the situation, of others – that releases dopamine, which is a source of positive emotion and well-being)

Remember, in stressful situations, when you and others are undergoing (or fighting) change, emotions are far more powerful, and important, than all the data and logic in the world.

So – that was the opening of the Summit. Heady stuff. With that new perspective on leadership and our own “uncontrollable” emotions, we all headed off to the breakouts, the expo, and the all-important hallway conversations that make up the most meaningful part of most conferences.

And I’ll pick up some more reflections in my next post. Look for it in another day or two as I squeeze time out my all-too-busy days for these important – and highly satisfying – moments of reflecting, absorbing, and learning from the Summit.

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This is the first of several notes about the just-completed Corenet Summit in Orlando, where I was able to connect with many old friends, make several new ones, and sit in on some remarkable learning sessions.

Here’s the way my first two days in Orlando unfolded:

Saturday

I arrived late afternoon after a long flight from San Francisco. I had not thought about it in advance, but I think the plane was about half full of Summit attendees. I found myself sitting next to Terry Wood, Vice President of Workplace Solutions of JDSU and chair of the Northern California Corenet Chapter. We had a good time reconnecting and chatting about OJL’s “Raising the Bar’ study (to be published later this month by RICS).

Then, halfway through the flight I discovered that my long-time friend and all-around good guy John Igoe of Google was sitting in the window seat right across the aisle from me. And as I got off the plane I bumped into another good friend, Joan Price of Gensler. We were all headed to the same place – and it wasn’t the Magic Kingdom (though the Summit sometimes felt like magic).

From the time I arrived on Saturday afternoon until my departure on Tuesday evening, I never left the grounds of the Marriott World Center (but it’s a big place and I did get out very morning for long, brisk walks, so there are no regrets on that front).

Saturday night included a wonderful small group dinner with some more good friends, Kevin Rettle and Rachel Permuth-Levine of Sodexo (and several of their colleagues).

Sunday

Sunday was quiet for me until mid-afternoon, though I kept bumping into other good friends and long-time Corenet stalwarts like Ellen Keable of Jacobs Engineering (a co-author with me on the award-winning IFMA Foundation book Work on the Move) and Brady Mick of BDHP Architects in Cincinnati (Brady and I managed not to talk about the then-active National League Division series between the SF Giants and the Cincinnati Reds; can’t let something like that get in the way of professional colleagues; but I sure liked the way that series turned out later in the week).

Ellen and Brady were both teaching in the MCR.w (for workplace) class that was winding up on Sunday. That was first “outing” for the new class, and I understand it went very well. Which certainly made Mark Gorman and Patrick Donnelly feel good.

The Workplace Community

Things then got much more interesting when Brady dragged me into the “business” meeting of the Workplace Community, which was of course also loaded with many folks I’ve known and worked with for years, like Kate North and Bryant Rice.

But that’s where things finally got serious. The Workplace Community, which is now about six years old, is struggling just a bit – not because of its focus or purpose, or obvious relevance, but because all of us well-meaning folks who care deeply about workplace also have “day jobs,” are always on the go, and can’t give the community the care and attention it deserves.

This particular Sunday afternoon we wrestled with that reality, and brainstormed how we could meet our primary goal of developing, codifying, and sharing important knowledge about workplace strategy, workplace innovation, and the impact of workplace design on people and performance.

Look for more news about this vibrant community filled with really smart and caring people on the Corenet website, and in newsletters and other communiqués.

The “Block” Party

The Summit then got officially underway with its opening reception, held in the foyer of the conference center, and spilling out into the surrounding outdoors, where we were treated to tasty concoctions from several first-class food trucks and some upbeat tempo from a loud (at least to this old coot) rock band. It was an unusual but welcome change of pace from the “normal” indoor reception where it’s usually too loud to hear yourself think, let alone network with friends and colleagues. The evening was warm and pleasant, and though rain threatened it stayed away.

And look for my next post, where I’ll reflect on the first “real” day of the Summit, which was filled with energizing and insightful speakers, and way too many difficult choices. There is unfortunately only one of me, so my perspectives on the whole Big Show reflect the ideas and topics that I’m personally interested in. But isn’t having those kinds of choices what the whole Summit was all about?


 

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BOMA’s Annual Conference

by jimware on June 28, 2012

This week, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) took part in the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) annual conference, which was this year held in Seattle, Washington. This three-day event attracted over 3,000 attendees, including 400 trade stands, and covered a broad range of topics including measurement and international standards.

Global Commercial Director Johnny Dunford presented at the meeting on the role of RICS and the RICS vision for International standards. BOMA floor measurement standards are currently used extensively in the US real estate markets and to a lesser extent outside the US. BOMA employees and members recognise the fragmented nature of the US real estate market and believe that RICS is well-placed to deliver global standards, which has the potential to improve the way the market operates.

Following Johnny’s presentation, the BOMA Board of Directors agreed to establish a three-man task force to work with RICS on International Measurement standards. Johnny says, ‘The 2012 BOMA conference in Seattle marked the 100th anniversary of BOMA in the city. This was the first conference attended by the RICS and it was fitting to find BOMA employees and members to be enthusiastic supporters of RICS standards, membership and vision. The future for joint working between RICS and BOMA looks promising.’

Posted by Guest Johnny Dunford of RICS

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