Productivity is important at a macro-economic level. How much a country produces, measured by GDP, is still important.

Productivity at an organization level is also important, when measuring ‘output against inputs’, usually turnover and profitability.

But, unless an organization is a simple ‘producer’ (e.g., manufacturer of items for sale), then productivity is yesterday’s issue. This is now one of the key challenges for any non-manufacturing organization – and even many parts of the manufacturer, not directly working on the production process.

A government organization delivers output, not measurable in ‘units’. An advertising agency originates ideas, sometimes a spark of genius, or sometimes the result of a process of team brainstorming and analysis. The productivity of the work process is hard to measure – maybe impossible.

Traditional ‘productivity’ is about “stuff” made/time taken. So, time is the measure. But, non-manufacturing organizations do not work that way. How long the Creative Director takes to produce a new TV advert may become a problem if the project is running late. But, equally, the whole concept could come quickly as a flash of inspiration, as ideas bounce around a bright team of thinkers. Where does productivity come into that process?

Society (and therefore corporations delivering products to society; consumers) needs creativity. And, that creativity needs inspiration. It needs many other things also, as the process of innovation is not just about ideas. It needs knowledge, and people who are engaged in what they are doing – not just going through the motions. For more about the innovation process, read John Kao, who we heard speak at the CoreNet Global Summit San Diego in 2012 – certainly a process, but can it be measured by ‘productivity’?

Post-productive Places must inspire people to be creative. Places must also make people feel valued, and part of the organization, to be fully engaged in their work. Increasingly ‘places’ are also one element of the process to attract good people to work for an organization (or at the least, not to dissuade them from enquiring!). The result should be engaged people, working together in “places” designed (and managed) to inspire.

We need ways to measure the success of such places – but, it is not “productivity” as such – it is more about performance. Human performance, leading to team performance, leading to organizational performance.

Paul Carder (; Twitter @occupiers


Corenet Summit: Off and Running

by jimware on October 8, 2012

Theme this year is “Reimagination: RE-orient, RE-ignite, RE-invent – all about the importance of innovation and creativity.

First order of business: presenting the Global Innovator’s Award – goes to Space Florida – the Boeing Commercial Crew program.

The keynoter this morning is Bill Benjamin, on “Leadership 2.0” – stressing the importance of understanding emotional intelligence. Shifting towards human-centered workplace management that produces employee engagement. Focusing the workplace on well-being.

Stay tuned for real-time reports as the speech unfolds.


Corenet Summit 2012 in Orlando is underway

by jimware on October 7, 2012

Corenet Summit Orlando is underway! MCR classes are in full swing, the Expo is being set up, and the halls are full of veterans and newbies as we all wend our way from the hotel (Marriott World Center) down to the Conference Center (only a mile or so away!)

Corenet Orlando sign

Way, way around the corner!

I flew east from San Francisco to Orlando yesterday, coincidentally sitting next to Terry Wood, VP of CRE/FM at JDSU and President of the Northern California Chapter. We had a wonderful re-connection conversation (when we weren’t both sleeping or reading – or at work typing away in our 30,000 ft+ mobile workplace in the sky).

I’ve already seen many old friends – Rachel Permuth-Levine ( Sodexo) and I rode in together from the airport, and she and Kevin Rettle treated me to dinner with several of their Sodexo colleagues. This morning I’ve bumped into, among others, OJL regional partner Jose Luis Sanchez-Concha of 3g Office, Ellen Keable of Jacobs Engineering, Patrick Donnelly of BDHP, Kay Sargent of Teknion, and Craig Youst of Red Hat. Also Tim Venable and Kathy Godwin of Corenet Global staff – good folks who are the powers behind the scenes that make programs like this Summit look so effortless.

Everyone is excited about the Summit, which begins later today with a “block party” outside the hotel and featuring a whole bevy of food trucks (!).

The formal opening is Monday morning, with Keynote Speaker Bill Benjamin on “Leadership 2.0: The Science Behind Great Leaders.” I know it’s going to be enlightening and motivatiing.

If you can’t be here in Orlando, be sure to follow along here as I live-blog about the events as they unfold, and follow me on twitter (@jpwoccupiers and @thefutureofwork)

And don’t forget that you can also follow many of the Summit events “live” and online with Summit Connect. Sign in here:

If you are in Orlando, look for me – I’m here and eager to connect with old friends and make new ones too.

–Jim Ware


by Paul Carder @WorkAndPlace

Yes, I know, I am a little biased. We all try not to have our favourites. We all try to be impartial. But, over the years, CoreNet Summits around the world have become the place where I know that I will meet most of the people I want to meet. Many of those people are now good friends, and some even business partners in Occupiers Journal….

In fact, there were three of us at CoreNet London this year. Our Spanish, Portuguese & LatAm partner, Francisco Vazquez Medem, President of 3g-office, flew in from Madrid. And our Swiss partner, Niklaus (Nick) Arn, Managing Director of RBSgroup, flew in from Zurich. We don’t get chance to meet often, so this is another good excuse.

I did pen a few blogs last week, around the London Summit activity, as you can follow here if you wish:

Monday: Communities & Parties: if you want to read more about CoreNet Communities, see this link

Tuesday night: customer service – the small things that make a big difference; a late night rant!

Wednesday: a word in support of CoreNet and RICS working together; a great step for the industry.

Sunday eve: 100 tweeters @ CoreNet London: with link to a register of twitter names for you!

So, what more can I say? Well, as usual, quite a bit if you let me……

The paperless Summit

Remember the ‘paperless office’ – I don’t really, as I think I was still at school. Anyway, it didn’t happen, as we all know!

But, the ‘paperless summit’ arrived (almost) last week, with the Summit App. Registration only had a pocket-sized brochure/agenda for the 2.5 days. Everything else was on the App. Great! Well, great for those with iPads, iPhones and other advanced gadgets. But London isn’t #CNGSanDiego…! Some of us old Brits still have BlackBerry and other gadgets that don’t like Apps quite as much. So, it didn’t quite work straight away, but most people got there in the end.

Session evaluation forms were on the App….no more of those paper forms sitting on every chair. So were all the session details, and “peer connections” so one could ping a colleague on the App and arrange to meet. I never did get the thing to work on my old BlackBerry, which I’m waiting to exchange for an iPhone! I had to laugh at the irony of the last General Session 2: how technology is changing work, which culminated in a real-time survey of participants using the App. The vastly experienced Michael Creamer, of Cushman&Wakefield, had to think on his feet, and see the funny side as we answered different questions from those he had on his screen!

Thought Leader Series

The Thought Leader Series was a first for CoreNet London. It was described as follows:

Topics of direct relevance to you based on Corporate Real Estate 2020 research findings highlighting some of your biggest challenges: Become a better communicator/collaborator. Improve your ability to influence. Think strategically. Manage change. Get direct access to top-level experts in highly interactive breakout sessions designed with CRE in mind. Work alongside professional peers to develop soft skills needed to lead and succeed in your highly specialized field

The idea, from CRE2020 (see more below), is that we tend to focus on the technical/professional challenges and knowledge needed for CRE, FM, & Workplace. But, of course, as managers, we need a range of leadership and ‘soft’ skills. This programme starts to address this.

Summit Connect

This is an excellent feature for people who cannot attend in person, but want to watch some of the highlights online. The General Sessions were screened live, and a few other bits over the two days. It is now online at the link

Follow the twitter discussion at #CNGLondon


There is a list of all the twitter names that appeared in this stream on my Dropbox here. Some highlights from some regular tweeters are below.

General Session 1: Leadership 2.0: The Science Behind Great Leaders ; Studies show that emotional intelligence is two times more important in contributing to excellence than intellect and expertise alone. Bill Benjamin talked about increasing your Emotional Quotient (EQ) to lead CRE through a time of unprecedented change.

@markcatchlove – Leadership skills depend heavily on emotional intelligence – why not analyse your own good and bad bosses and see #CNGLondon

@CoreNetMktg – Increased IQ doesn’t translate into better performance. Increased EQ does. #CNGLondon

@paulcarder – #IHHP – “If you have a 150 I.Q., sell 30 points to someone else” Warren Buffet – you don’t need to be a genius!! #CNGLondon @CNGSummits

@CNGSummits – “We FEEL before we THINK” – #CNGLondon. Good for avoiding attacking tigers, not so good for handing interpersonal conflicts!

@iainfranklin – We know CRE is about relationships, now we know why- emotional intelligence 2x as important as IQ and tech skills combined #CNGLondon

@markcatchlove – When you want to react emotionally – 1.Stop 2.Oxygenate 3.Strengthen appreciation 4. Seek information #CNGLondon

@preOccupiedblog – #CRE leaders using service providers to solve technical gaps, and training in-house team to solve soft skills #preoccupiedblog #CNGLondon

‘Soft skills’, leadership and general management continued throughout…..

@preOccupiedblog – 70% say relationship building is important for #CRE leaders. #CNGLondon #preoccupiedblog

@preOccupiedblog – #CRE leaders using service providers to solve technical gaps, and training in-house team to solve soft skills #preoccupiedblog #CNGLondon

@Philip_Tidd – @preOccupiedBlog #CNGLondon indeed; the C-suite give intangibles short shrift. Challenge is to make them tangible – robust data is key.

@preOccupiedblog – We don’t have many technical property spclsts in-house. We teach tech skills to non-tech people –Giradeau/HSBC #preoccupiedblog #CNGLondon


Alex Andel, a senior director with CBRE, presented on this subject, and tweeted as @preOccupiedblog, “Join #preoccupiedblog in the #CNGLondon learning quarters at 230 for the (hopefully) least boring talk on #benchmarking ever Nerds rejoice!” Not at all Alex, it was very well received, as I found from discussions at coffee afterwards.

@SteveHenigan – CBRE global benchmarking – global average of 192 sqft per employee #CNGLondon;  global median of 8000 dollars per workstation;

Exclusive Property Trends Analysis (a top line-up!)

@DTZGlobal – At #CNGLondon? Drop in to the ‘Exclusive Property Trends Analysis’ break out session at 16:00 today – DTZ’s James Maddock will be moderating…. James Maddock was indeed moderating, and a great job he did of keeping us presenters on track. And with some humour too, which always helps!

The brochure described the session as follows:

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and CoreNet Global present new findings from exclusive reports. Take part in an interactive presentation of the Corporate Real Estate 2020 research report to learn how sustainability initiatives and partnering with other key support functions will impact corporate real estate strategies. Also, be one of the first to get access to RICS’ new report which takes a hard look at the current state of the practice of facilities management by drawing on a survey completed by almost 400 FM professionals on six continents.

o Describe how the FM function is measured and managed.
o Develop a deeper understanding of the issues and challenges faced by facility managers.
o Describe new models for organizational collaboration and integration.
o Discuss how the nature of business and work will change by the year 2020

We did achieve those ‘takeaways’, but the discussion was more around the strategic fit of facilities management (FM) alongside other functions of real estate, HR, IT, ‘Brand’, and perhaps procurement.

In this session, Barry Varcoe (Zurich) and Eckhard von Münchow (NokiaSiemensNetworks) presented parts of the CRE2020 research, which was a difficult challenge in 25mins (between the two of them!). The research is now published and available at the link above, from the CNG website. Barry and Eckhard gave a useful summary, particularly of the structural relationships between the functions mentioned above.

Ian Dunning, Global Facilities Director at Unilever PLC, and myself, presented some of the findings from Occupiers Journal current research with RICS, due for publication on 1st November, available via RICS Research.

Can I summarize the session? That would be difficult. However, both CRE2020 and our study with RICS, have been drawn into the question of how CRE & FM is structured. In fact, more to the point, how the whole support structure of an organisation is structured.

The intelligent client

The presentations and debate above were fed by earlier discussions, like Barry’s article on ‘the unintelligent client’ and my blog in response a few weeks ago.

This is an area to watch, as in my opinion it will ultimately drive the structure (and capabilities) of the service provider market. What happens when RE, FM and IT (for example) actually do form one unit, work out their strengths and weaknesses, and then go to market for one service provider?

No answers here….yet….just, we all need to think about this. Professional service management firms will adapt. Will we see huge IT outsource companies buying (or partnering with) CRE/FM service companies?

Again, Alex Andel summarized: “@PreOccupiedblog: Ability 2 understand problems in an integrated way results in solutions developed in an integrated way. Varcoe/Zurich #CNGLondon”


After the parties, going on well into the morning (I was at CBRE‘s party – thanks again guys) I’m sure that the morning was a little subdued for many. I had a meeting at the RICS, so I missed most of the morning.

Some others were up and bright: @JeremyCDay: “Day 2 of Corenet Global Summit here in London, after excellent reception at the British Film Museum last night. #cnglondon”

Having witnessed his dancing skills at 1am, @BenMunn was fresh enough to tweet: #cbre’s Patrick Marsh on the global integrator model at #cnglondon 11am in the Plaza Suites – a challenging and rewarding evolution #cre

Not to be outdone, @JLLNews tweeted: Mike Evans of @JLLNews presenting on “Ghost Towns: What’s the Solution” at 11am in Plaza Suites

HSBC Case Study

But just to prove they are all actually friends (at least, off the ‘pitch’ – pun intended), CBRE and JLL worked together with HSBC on their slot “CRE Transformation – the HSBC Case Study”. @JLLNews tweeting: #JLL’s @ShelleyFrost73 presenting on “CRE Transformation-the HSBC Model” …Set to be an engaging session!

@preOccupiedblog (Alex Andel) tweeted: HSBC #CRE transformation aligned to guiding principles of corporate strategy: capital, cost, growth…. HSBC #cre transformation Vision: 1) redesign org, 2) rationalize supply chain, 3) implement global standards…. HSBC says global integration brings innovation, risk mgmt, consistency and lots more….. “Whatever we do, we have to have great MI and data”-Giraudeau/HSBC …….”Significant benefit! New MI platform helps us have strategic discussions with the business.” Giraudeau/HSBC …..”New data platform helps us do things in a couple weeks that used to take several months.” …..

@JoeyVlasto added “Excellent breakout session on CRE Transformation with HSBC at #CNGLondon Great case study of partnership and working together.”

When Does Workplace Go Global?

I was actually at this session, rather than the HSBC case study – difficult choice – I wish all the sessions were filmed!

CoreNet described the session as follows:

With the world becoming smaller, how can you advance your workplace to reflect brand and local culture? The CoreNet Global UK Workplace Committee will facilitate lively roundtable discussions on this challenging question and how different approaches such as global standards, process delivery and mapping facilities, workplace, real estate to business aspiration, can assist in creating a competitive advantage.

• Identify the subtleties and nuances of what works and what does not across the global workplace
• Evaluate and challenge your own approach to workplace through discussion and examples of best practices
• Apply latest thinking to your organisation through quality engagement with workplace professionals

Melanie Woolcott, Workplace Director at Orbit Architects did the hosting and chairing of the session. Melanie has a lot of experience in this role, also being the Council Member (Events) for the Workplace Consulting Organisation (WCO).

This was a very useful session, with experienced practitioners Robert McLean of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Billy Davidson of Vodafone.

Billy has a great Glaswegian turn of phrase, and what you really need to remember from this session was tweeted by @nicholaspwinterVodafone CRE going global – common DNA but not “dolly the sheep” !

Both PwC and Vodafone have developed methodologies and tools to analyse workplace needs, and certain features are generally included in global programmes. But, not “Dolly the sheep” – the genetic facsimile of her relative. It was recognized by both speakers that there is a need to promote the ‘brand’ whilst reflecting local culture and business practices.

General Session 2: Techno Shifts – How Technology is Changing Work (by @GinaSchreck)

This was the rousing (and interesting) last session before drinks and departures…. Gina was at #CNGSanDiego also, earlier this year, and ran several technology sessions throughout the London summit to help people get the best from their iPad, social media, and much more. She is a self confessed “Technology Freak”, loves shoes and caffiene….she had certainly had a few ‘extra shots’ before her last session!!

You can watch her session on Summit Connect at this link ….but shift to 2m:40s as for some reason there is nothing at the start! In fact the sound is not great, and it doesn’t reflect the session particularly well. But it will give you an idea of the session.

@occupiers (me, this time) tweeted a few of Gina’s fascinating facts – “If you were born in the 60’s, you have probably consumed 50,000 hours of TV…!!” …….”people are now consuming that 50,000 hours on different media, and creating it; sharing”….. “be interesting…be helpful…or BE QUIET!” Remember the point of #socialmedia don’t junk it up!”

@richardbyatt retweeted – “Social media advice at #CNGLondon “Be interesting, be helpful or be quiet” Well that rules out 50% of SM postings”…. probably way more than 50% Richard! But hey, this blog is also ‘social media’, as is Linkedin, and many other useful forms that we all use regularly.

I’ll leave you with one of Gina’s observations – “you can just be a Twacher“!! What does that mean? Simply a Twitter watcher….you don’t need to “tweet”, but you can gain by following a group of leading thinkers. Maybe they have more time to get to events that you don’t, or read articles that you haven’t seen – they will leave links, and comments on their twitter feed. You can just follow them…..simple. But, effective.

Thanks again to all the people at CoreNet Global, and the many volunteers (and their organisations) that give their time and expertise to make CoreNet Summits the success that they are. We’ll see you in Orlando!

Paul Carder @occupiers , @paulcarder , @WorkAndPlace

Work & Place issue#1 now at this link


100 tweeters @CoreNetGlobal #CNGLondon last week

by Paul Carder on September 23, 2012

There is sometimes a criticism of lack of twitter feeds coming from events – not only from CoreNet, but other large gatherings too.

I thought that I would have a look through this evening, and see if this is in fact true. The answer seems to be that it could be improved, BUT frankly I was surprised that I found 100 individual tweeters for #CNGLondon, CoreNet and London last week.

Here is a link to my list, and recognition I hope for those who do keep the twitter feeds live:

So, very soon it will be the CoreNet Global Orlando Summit where we should see more ‘tweeting’. Our own Dr. Jim Ware will be there, tweeting as @thefutureofwork and @jpwoccupiers

regards, Paul Carder

@occupiers ; @WorkAndPlace ; @paulcarder

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Corenet Summit – Workplace Community

by jimware on May 1, 2012

Live blogging the Corenet Workplace Community: What’s the Future?

Come back for updates over the next 90 minutes

Kate North opening up,  welcoming people, explaining the concept of WPC

Brady Mick – introducing panel

Jan Johnson, Steve Hargis, John Hampton, Georgia Collins, Julie Seitz, Melissa Marsh, David Barban, Roy Lopinski

Intention to have quick conversations on topics, poll the audience, reveal results immediately

[Read more…]


Day Two of the Corenet Global Summit

by jimware on May 1, 2012

I am sitting in the front row of the General Session – speaker having trouble with her teleprompter – now she is on a roll, describing CRE2020, the major research initiative. Panel discussion being led by Mark Gorman.

Also being streamed live via Corenet Summit Connect. I will update as the program unfolds.

Mark: This is a Big Picture session – many big ideas

Update: 8 work streams

(missed the first few – will correct later)

  1. Partnering with Key Support Functions
  2. Portfolo Optimization
  3. Service Delivery
  4. Sustainabililty
  5. Workplace

Panelists: Sarah Abrams; Pay Wu; Sanjiv Awasthi; Tony Wong

Update: Discussion: where will CRE report in 2020? Will it exist?

[Read more…]


John Kao at Corenet Summit

by jimware on April 30, 2012

Listening to John Kao right now kicking off Corenet Summit with insights about innovation. Will add notes as it goes along.

Masterful blending of his knowledge of business organizations and music. Jass is a powerful blending of structure and freedom (within that structure). Creative tension between rules and creativity/adjusting. But no fixed rules about when to go beyond the rules.

Innovation means trying new things – learning means risking failure – but it’s the only way to move forward.

The 5 D’s of innovation:

  1. Definition
  2. Disruption
  3. Doing It
  4. Dissemination – whole world is becoming a jazz club; little companies can be “big” in the innovation game; size no longer matters
  5. Digital – world is becoming like a Brain. See 1930’s book by H.G. Wells “The World Brain” – foretold Google, whole concept of Internet, etc. Collective intelligence is becoming a reality


On my way to Corenet in San Diego

by jimware on April 29, 2012

I’m at Oakland airport, on my way the Corenet Summit in San Diego. This is my trip in over 20 years without my trusty laptop – am going “commando” with only my iPad and iPhone. Mildly nervous about it, but looking forward to living the mobile life.

It should be a great meeting too – kicking off with John Kao Monday morning, then many sessions devoted to unveiling CRE2020, the new Corenet vision of the future of our profession.

I will be tweeting and blogging frequently throughout the Summit – check back here, but also @jpwoccupiers and @thefutureofwork.

Thanks to Richard Kadzis of Corenet for helping me get a press pass and for all his support of Paul Carder (@occupiers) and me.

Jim Ware (


John Kao to open Corenet Summit in San Diego

by jimware on April 22, 2012

The opening keynote speaker at the Corenet Summit in San Diego will be John Kao. He is an expert on innovation and creativity – used to teach at Harvard Business School. I’m really looking forward to hearing him speak – after all, creating workplaces that not only enable but actually encourage and enhance creativity has to be one of the primary objectives of any CRE or FM professional.