Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Journey through the 21st Century

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Journey through the 21st Century

Article excerpt

[Note: In a business climate that is characterized by enormous technological advancements, greater operational efficiencies, and increased customer demands, the real estate and asset management industry is being changed, enhanced and turned inside o\ut. To help today's asset management professional keep competitive and current, the Institute of Real Estate Management sponsors an annual Asset Management Symposium. The Institute's 18th symposium, "The Changing Face of Asset Management," held this year in Miami, FL, provided attendees with a wealth of expert predictions, trends and information. In this special editorial section, JPM provides some highlights of IREM's 2001 Asset Management Symposium.]

Twenty percent of what we know right now will be totally obsolete in one year.

Knowledge management and an organization's ability to reinvent itself to perform in the future is what will separate survivors from failures in the business world. In his presentation, "Journey Through the 21st Century," Edward D. Barlow, Jr., President of Creating the Future, Inc., told a group of real estate professionals attending IREM's Asset Management Symposium in Miami, FL that businesses need to start creating their future by "looking at the future first, then the past, and then the present."

"The future is not in the rear view mirror," Barlow stressed. "By 2004, those businesses which have not built the capacity to reinvent themselves every 12-18 months will not survive."

Barlow suggested that today's real estate firms need to grow their intellectual capacity by 20 percent a year in order to remain competitive and keep current. "Every one of us better create a mental desktop," he said. "You'll need to look outside your industry to do so because 80 percent of what you'll need to know to make your organization successful is outside your field of expertise."

A significant way this knowledge base will be obtained in the future is through strategic alliances. Barlow noted that by 2005, it is estimated that 50 percent of revenues generated by Fortune 500 companies will be directly attributed to alliances.

The futurist also stressed the need to think outside the box, particularly when it comes to technology. Businesses, he said, will be increasing their investments in technology every year and using technology applications to conduct business in new and mote efficient ways.

For example, as more retail centers close than open in coming years, it is expected that by 2010, 55 percent of all U.S. retail trade will be conducted on the Internet.

"It would be a mistake to judge the Internet based on current companies and software," Barlow cautioned. "The U.S. economy is a replacement economy and the Internet will reflect that. In fact, by 2007, the most used language on the Internet will be Mandarin Chinese."

John McMahan, Executive Director of San Francisco-based Center-prise, agreed that the Internet, and in particular, e-commerce, will transform the way business is conducted. With B2B commerce up 120 percent in 2000 and wireless Internet users up 87 percent, the U.S. is well on its way to becoming a B2B economy. In fact, it is estimated that by 2006, the B2B industry will employ 50 percent of all U.S. workers.

"The New Economy is an assault on tradition," McMahan explained. "It is redefining what is important in business culture."

As a result, the Centerprise executive said, companies are having to adopt a new approach to leadership. …

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