We were lucky enough to recently attend CoreNet’s 1 Big Day, a highlight of the CRE Calendar. This year’s conference focused on ‘managing change in an ever changing world’.
As ever, the event drew a high caliber and enthusiastic crowd, a real mix of international corporates: AIG, Duetsche Bank, Pfizer, Shell, to name but a few; some CRE heavy weights (JLL, CBRE) and smaller fish, such as ourselves. It was a great consummation of perspectives and experiences, from the conference speakers to other delegates; it was a thoroughly enjoyable day. Here is a short video clip that nicely encapsulates the highlights.
My favourite sessions
So often industry specific conferences can be a little dry; service providers desperately try to swoop in on potential pray, sorry ‘clients’, and the content can be repetitive. On this occasion, none of these were present. The atmosphere was truly collaborative and almost all sessions took consideration for the broader landscape of the business environment.
For me, the most alluring seminar was the first, which focused on managing change. In this session, delegates formed teams to share ideas on their ‘vision’ for CRE Managers of the future, and then reported back to the wider audience. The premise was that all ideas had to consider how managers could widen the breadth of what they do (i.e. outside of the regular CRE arena) and how they can positively impact other departments. Few conference seminars force you to put your brain into action and step outside of your comfort zone like this. Engaging with other delegates in this way could be likened to a speed networking experience; by the end of the session I knew my teammate’s names, job titles, a little about their experience and drivers, and I’d formed a ‘teammate’ bond with them. With the latter point in mind, this was better than speed networking.
The day finished with a brilliant and hilarious session hosted by Guy Browning. Guy is business writer (The Guardian), he owns a business consultancy (Smokehouse) advising companies on how to be more innovative, and he is a very funny speaker. The aspect of his talk that struck me most was his ability to unlock and add humour to behavioral traits and management processes. For example, Guy explains why people don’t try new things in business in terms of: ‘alcoholism’; people don’t have a clear vision of what they’re trying to achieve; and a ‘marriage breakdown’; if the right relationships aren’t in place it’s very difficult to progress. If you’re interested in Guy’s nuggets of business wisdom you can find out more here.
There’s lots to look forward to in the coming months, firstly, and as always, I will be getting excited about one of the best black tie events in the property calendar; CoreNet’s Summer Party. This years event will be hosted at The National History Museum. Then, I’ll be preparing myself for bratwurst and beer for an exciting trip to one of my favourite European cities, Berlin, for the EMEA conference. Also on the radar is potentially a CoreNet ‘app’. Watch this space….