Magenta goes stateside

Last month, MD Jo Sutherland jet-setted her way across the Atlantic to catch up with Magenta’s stateside FM and property pals at IFMA World Workplace (Phoenix) and the CoreNet Global Summit (Orange Country).

That Magenta bag gets everywhere. (The canvas, not Jo!)

Key themes at IFMA World Workplace:

  • Humans come first
  • Tech (as a tool to aid not replace human performance)
  • Ethics and fairness
  • Health and wellbeing
  • “Good” jobs / “good” business (conscious capitalism)
  • Climate change (environmental sustainability)

Key themes at CoreNet Global:

  • Engagement through experience (immersive, meaningful, human, access, intuitive, personalised)
  • CRE value proposition = smart human experience. “Don’t dial down cost, dial up experience.”
  • Human-to-machine world: AI’s role in the workplace / leveraging tech to improve efficiency
  • Industry 4.0 (business transformation, workforce transformation and workplace transformation)
  • War for talent (how CRE can lure in the best brains, manage an increasingly migratory workforce)
  • Wellness (how the physical environment can help prevent stress and burnout)
  • Co-working and shifting employer-to-employee dynamics

IFMA / CoreNet life and leadership lessons:

Mix it up

IFMA World Workplace keynote Robyn Benincasa, reflecting on her career as an adventure racer, offered lessons for leadership teams. One of the things that stood out as being particularly relevant for FM was her comment about diversity: “It’s the diversity of experience and backgrounds that makes a real positive difference to the performance of a team.” She also highlighted the importance of team work, arguing the real ‘win’ is when we work together to achieve a common goal.

Understand what it takes to win

During the IFMA Workplace Evolutionaries session at the Phoenix conference, sports scientist Ken van Someren suggested leadership teams should take a sports approach to human performance. Sports understands what it takes to win – you have to go faster and further than the person who did it before. It’s about marginal gains – the small things you can do to make a big difference. There’s a strong focus on the individual – a tailored plan as opposed to a ‘one for all’ approach.

Remember, [wo]man made machine

There are 86 billion neurons in an individual brain. “The brain is a learning machine that exists to keep us safe, it is an amazing biological computer,” said AWA’s Andrew Mawson during the IFMA conference. Human have more dynamic skills than computers. Humans can empathise. Humans can connect. Tech can help. Tech’s only bias is in favour of efficiency, said Proxyclick’s Emily Thrasher in a separate session later that same day. Allowing tech to help you automate and design for the future will help you move onto the next big, more exciting thing.

Grab a guilt free beer

At CoreNet Global, JLL’s David Barnett offered delegates a crash course in engagement through experience by turning to the craft beer industry for inspiration. The experiential retail sector is at war for consumers, while corporate occupiers are in the battleground for talent. Outside of hops and barley, the ingredients for a perfect brew (experience-wise) are fivefold: immersive, meaningful, human, access, intuitive, personalised. We can apply this to real estate strategies in order to boost engagement.

Be more Disney

In his CoreNet keynote, Duncan Wardle, creativity consultant and former head of innovation and creativity at Disney, implored the 1000+ crowd to unleash their playful, curious and childlike sides. The best ideas happen when we’re relaxed and when we have time to think. The biggest barriers to innovation our ourselves, and the river of thinking we get trapped in. Let’s ask “why” more, think “what if?” more, be more curious, brave and – perhaps most importantly – give ourselves more time to think, he said.

Don’t believe everything you read

In a session designed to unravel the truth (and lies) of news headlines, we were warned to read beyond them, a testament shared by Leesman in this Workplace Insight article, and to question the credibility of the source, the sample, the methodology and the bias. Getting the workplace recipe right doesn’t always involve following the herd, especially when the herd is lead by those that postulate meddlesome myths relating to the likes of open plan, millennials and biophilic design.

Jo Sutherland