CIOs in commercial real estate shouldn’t be the only ones responsible for innovation

The word “innovation” is thrown around in every industry and is losing its meaning. If you can get past that corporate jargon, innovation essentially means “introducing something new.” Novelty is certainly part of the equation, but there’s more to the way we use innovation. means Here I get into my own corporate terminology.

According to experts, innovation is in a state. “Innovation” in the modern business sense refers to a viable strategy and generally means “to change for the better”. But that vision isn’t always translated by people in organizations trying to be innovative.Alex Goryachev, US Technical Expert at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and best-selling author Fearless Innovation, describes it perfectly in his book. Leaders are often very enthusiastic about encouraging everyone to innovate, but are vague about what that really means. ”

As such, “innovation” is often shelved as nothing more than a polysyllabic cliché in company jargon. It looks great on paper and is simply tongue-in-cheek, but innovation comes with more unknowns and therefore more risk. This may be why so many real estate companies are lagging behind in adopting technology.

The concept of innovation may have been difficult to define, but execution has become paramount. In fact, according to a survey conducted by global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group, a whopping 75% of companies surveyed last year named innovation as their top three priorities. But what’s particularly interesting about this figure is that it’s the steepest year-over-year increase since Boston Consulting began publishing this annual survey in 2005.

Businesses, even real estate firms, have finally understood that they need to innovate to avoid being sidelined, and that realization has created a whole new role in the corporate hierarchy: Chief Innovation Officer. CEO or CIO. By default, CIOs connect the business and technical departments within their organization, but each organization has different requirements for the background of the individuals holding that position. Twenty years ago, the CIO didn’t matter. More than 400,000 people currently hold that title.

As technology and digitization drive real estate companies, CIOs are being asked to play a more prominent role. Just a few years ago, a white paper from Pixces Consulting Group, a Maryland-based professional services consultancy, encouraged real estate CEOs to take CIOs a more prominent role in their businesses. The paper argued that the CIO’s responsibilities were expanded to include educating the company’s brokerage board on difficult issues and persuading them to focus on the present rather than the past. Overall, this white paper preached that the CIO should be the sole driver of innovation within the enterprise. Pixces’ white paper wasn’t the only source that companies should leave all responsibility for innovation to his CIO. Deloitte, McKinsey & Co., Harvard Business Review, and even our own Propmodo produced articles encouraging companies to hire her CIO to empower them to innovate.

CIOs have led the “digital transformation” of their organizations. A researcher and teacher at the KTH School of Architecture and Built Environment, Olli Vigren knows the driving force behind innovation in the real estate industry. Indeed, Vigren’s extensive research focuses on management and organizational issues related to sustainability and digitization in the built environment. Viglen told me when he began his Ph.D. In a paper five years ago, he wrote that the topic of his transformation into digital was “almost non-existent then. But it’s grown now, and with it, this kind of innovation has spawned his leadership role.” It’s interesting to see that there are.”

Vigren’s education has led him to work with UK-based real estate recruitment specialists Cherry Pick People and PropTech procurement marketplace Unissu to conduct global research that gathers insights from leaders in real estate innovation. rice field. The study, titled Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive, shows that reluctance to change and lack of resources in real estate organizations are preventing them from undertaking digital transformation and realizing their full innovation potential. I’m here. The purpose of this study was to determine how well the industry implemented new technologies. “Many people know that real estate has lagged behind in digitization, but when you look at hard data that shows the root cause of these kinds of problems in the industry.”

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One of the root causes identified in the report was that all survey respondents spent half their working hours on innovation and half their time on other business tasks, which Vigren said was the problem. said. “Innovation is a very difficult thing. If you want to accelerate the digital transformation in this space, the first thing you should do is get these innovation leaders to work full-time on their innovation tasks. think.”

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The report emphasizes that innovation leaders must be dedicated to innovation, and doing so requires very concrete actions that lead to organizational change. Alex Wiffen, managing director of Cherry Pick People, interviewed many of the respondents themselves and identified the main issues within their businesses and in terms of how they deal with innovation challenges. said to be cultural. “Rather than throwing buzzwords, innovation should be holistic across the organization,” he explains Wiffen. “We have found that it works better for everyone to be responsible for innovation rather than him alone. It’s really counterproductive.”

While the report focused on the digital transformation of the built environment, it emphasized the fact that limiting innovation to one role of C-suite holds back the industry as a whole. Successful innovation needs to be embedded in the culture of the organization and supported by everyone. Does it make CIOs obsolete? In fact, CIOs need support and understanding to pursue innovation full-time. But the rest of the organization should also contribute to the company’s innovation strategy. Even if we cannot share the definition of innovation, we must share responsibility for it.

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