Fear No Change: Organizational Strategies Help Real Estate Companies Capitalize on Change and Innovation

By Schwenker, Larry | Journal of Property Management, May-June 2008 | Go to article overview

Fear No Change: Organizational Strategies Help Real Estate Companies Capitalize on Change and Innovation


Schwenker, Larry, Journal of Property Management


for real estate companies, the rapid pace of technological innovation has created a business environment that is seemingly in a state of perpetual change.

At the same time, property and real estate managers and those who lead real estate management organizations realize the need for consistency and stability in the way they manage their properties.

In order for any significant change to be introduced successfully to an organization, many factors such as training, communication, change is in work processes and the financial impact, must be taken into consideration.

Change is Certain

Technological innovation and the corresponding changes to the way companies conduct their businesses is inevitable. Companies must determine how they plan to manage the changes within their organization.

The decision a company must make is really not whether or not to innovate--rather, the decision involves choosing the appropriate pace of innovation. Regardless of how an organization decides to approach innovation, the industry will eventually adopt certain technologies that become generally accepted business practices.

Consequently, every company decides what approach it will take regarding innovation--to lead, follow or to fall somewhere in between. Even the de facto decision not to formally address the issue establishes a company's position in relation to competitors in the market.

Because of the potential impact that effective change management can have on the overall success of a real estate company, leaders should carefully consider what strategy to employ regarding their overall approach to innovation.

Author and management consultant Peter Drucker said throughout his work that change is certainly viewed more as an obstacle than an opportunity. Much has been said about our inherent resistance to change as a result of the uncertainties involved. In the void of a long-term strategic vision, leaders are forced to deal with change "as it comes."

Alternatively, property management organizations that realize changeis inevitable and choose to embrace it as a part of their business strategy stand to benefit greatly.

At first glance, the goal of consistency and change may seem mutually exclusive. However, by examining the two goals from a different perspective, it is possible to see they can be achieved simultaneously. By using an operating structure that facilitates systematic change, organizations can not only adapt to change, but even leverage it in a way that can differentiate their services.

Mindset Modification

Undoubtedly, creating an organization that can consistently leverage innovation to establish a competitiveadvantage is not a short-term proposition. There are many factors that play into the success or failure of such a strategy.

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The essential starting point is at the top of the organization. Company leaders must be willing to embrace and implement a business model that acknowledges innovation as a foundational component of the business operating strategy. Instead of simply allocating a portion of the company resources to improvement, organizations should possess a built-in mechanism for continual innovation.

[GRAPHIC OMITTED]

The Balanced Scorecard approach to strategic management, developed by Dr. Robert Kaplan and Dr. David Norton, is one business model that can effectively illustrate the components of a continuously innovative company.

This model is not intended to be a road map for the creation of an innovation strategy. Rather, it is intendedto illustrate the strategic mindset of a company that is structured for continual innovation versus a company that maintains a static operating platform.

The Balanced Scorecard model views organizational strategy and objectives from four perspectives: financial, client, internal, and learning and growth. …

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