Cre – facing extinction?

Today the CoreNet Global summit kicked off in Singapore, it is great to see Singapore and Corporate Real Estate here on the global stage. I choose to live here because of Singapore’s amazingly forward thinking approach as a country, but also because of the can-do mentality that I have found here. All problems can be solved and we can play a part in solving them is really the spirit I have found in Singapore. When I worked with HTX (Home Team Science & Technology Agency) I was amazed at how the leadership team were pulled from diverse backgrounds to anticipate and solve future problems. I don’t know anywhere else where government is so proactive in considering the possibilities of the future.

 I also recently attended a talk by Lawrence Wong where he discussed the many problems that Singapore and the world are currently facing. He mentioned the need for Singaporeans to go abroad and study and work overseas as the knowledge gained from the diversity of experience will benefit the country in the future. I couldn’t agree more.

The world of #corporaterealestate is also facing existential problems right now, as some question whether organisations will even need corporate real estate in the future. The answer is we simply don’t know. We don’t know what the future of work will be, and we certainly don’t know what the future workspace could or should be. However, there is one thing I am certain of, we will not solve the problems we are facing by looking at them from the same perspective or by sitting in silos and not engaging with those beyond. Most often in life #solutions come from the most unlikely sources and interactions.

CoreNet Global summit could be an amazing opportunity to engage people in the corporate real estate world with those from beyond it, introduce a new perspective hear from completely unlikely sources who’s experiences in other disciplines may open our eyes to a new way of seeing things. Yet when I look at the speaker list for the event I see that almost 25% of speakers are from the big 5 Real estate companies Cushman & WakefieldCBREColliersJLL and Knight Frank whereas only approximately 5% of speakers are from backgrounds or industries unrelated to corporate real estate. While I am sure that many of the speakers are fantastic and their topics will be interesting and thought provoking. I think the event showcases just how siloed the world of corporate real estate is.

 #Extinction happens through both irrelevance and inability to adapt. While I am sure this will be a great event for networking and back slapping, I do question the relevance of Corporate Real Estate for anyone outside the world of CRE in the future or even now. While CoreNet Global was once a great way to lean from each other, on how to drive efficiency and productivity in workplaces and across real estate portfolios. This was in the days when everyone needed corporate real estate, things have changed. The world or Corporate Real Estate needs to adapt. Maybe what we really need to talk about now and going forward is #Work, how we support it in a changing world where creativity is more prized than productivity. We should embrace that this will be about more than just physical space.

 The CRE industry and Corenet are not alone I frequently attend HR events and Tech events to broaden my perspective, these are equally siloed. For the world to move forward, for us to solve problems about the best way to work including how and where, we need to come out of our silos, start to think differently, consider how we engage and communicate around the subject of #thefutureofwork. In the future the physical space in which we work may become less relevant to how we perform, maybe corporate real estate needs to become a very different animal or face extinction. 

Corenet Global Summit In Singapore
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