Event round-up: CoreNetGlobal’s #CNGLondon Summit 17-19th Sept’12

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

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