I'm hopeful that the headline brings a smile to your face as you think of the cute (to some of us) kids' tune or the fun (to some of us) ride at Disneyworld where that cute tune is played … over and over and over again.
The world we work in can at times seem very big. But at other times, it really is a small world. And that's why I'm focusing here on one of the major themes in our new IAMC 2020 strategic framework and roadmap to the future: globalization.
Among IAMC's active member companies are many Fortune and Global 500 international manufacturers with growing sales and employment. A recent survey revealed that 90 percent of our active members work for global companies. More than 50 percent have international real estate responsibilities and regularly deal with international real estate issues. In January 2011, the board formed an International Task Force to explore what IAMC should be doing to address the globalization-driven needs of our members.
An initial exploratory event was held in Singapore this past November, hosted by IAMC Secretary, International Task Force Chair Kevin Dollhopf, V.P. Worldwide Real Estate for Hanesbrands, Inc. A total of 18 attended this inaugural event with a very clear takeaway: There is a real need in Asia for a professional real estate association that is 1) focused on industrial assets and the unique challenges for industrial asset managers, and 2) based on relationship building, networking and a commitment to open dialogue and information sharing.
The IAMC board received a thorough update from the International Task Force at its January 2012 meeting. There are now plans for similar events in Europe in London and Brussels. To learn more about and register to attend these events, go to www.IAMC.org.
Now let me be clear: These efforts to date are exploratory in nature and we know there are many issues to tackle as we proceed with this critical initiative.We will move slowly and deliberately, ensuring we're taking the myriad of financial, governance, legal and other considerations into account. Our board and staff are working closely together to ensure we proceed carefully. However, to think forward and deliver on both the needs of our existing members and opportunities to reach new members, we are proceeding.
While the world can sometimes seem small, its range of economic, social and political turmoil will provide an ever-challenging landscape for global industrial asset managers to navigate. We think IAMC can be the association to help provide navigational skills and continue to deliver great value to our members for the years ahead.I need to wrap up this column now so that I can join a conference call with my Johnson & Johnson colleagues in India — just more evidence that it is indeed a small world after all. Mert Lvingstone