Site Selection magazine
twitter linkedIn facebook email email email
From Site Selection magazine, January 2013

Engaging You in the New Year

George Manos
George Manos
IAMC Chair

Good tidings and Happy New Year everyone! As we enter 2013 and take stock in our how we spend our time, energy and resources, it is a good time to assess your engagement in IAMC. What do you want to get out of your membership? What can we, as members, gain through further engagement with other members in the organization?

We are a better organization for the quality of our members and our member services. Through our Forums members are able to create professional, and sometimes, lasting personal relationships. Let me explain how, through active engagement, you can build more value through IAMC.

Here are a few ways:

As you know, our Professional Forums are our flagship program. These twice-annual gatherings are well known for their compact size, dignified professional networking, and the balance of end-user, economic developer and service provider attendees. It is here that we are able to engage in active and lasting participation on a large scale — no business cards, just honest, meaningful discussions and collaboration.

In addition to the Forums, IAMC offers meetings through IAMC Local and IAMC International. IAMC Local provides regional events in a half-day format with both networking and education programs. They can be extremely beneficial for our members to build contacts nearby who understand the nuances of a community, city or region. We have an upcoming event scheduled for this month in Chicago.

IAMC International is a relatively new initiative that has successfully conducted meetings in Singapore, Hong Kong, London and Brussels. Like IAMC Local, these events have networking and education components for our members in Europe and Asia. These events only enhance our members' experiences and allow for further engagement in our global economy. Stay tuned for more information on IAMC International as the year moves forward.

One of the ways we continue to meet the goals of the IAMC 2020 Strategic Plan is through the use of webinars. By focusing on important functional needs of our members, these programs provide valuable professional education opportunities. Stay tuned for a webinar in the first half of this year by the Sustainability Council.

The last event type is the Flash Call, a conference call requested by a member to gain input and advice from other members on a specific issue. These calls affirm our membership by helping members leverage and build their networks on specific issues. And I can tell you from first-hand experience that they work — I recently asked for a call in order to get input on a project and was extremely pleased with the feedback provided.

Our portfolio of ways members can be engaged to enhance their value goes beyond events and provides education within a networking environment. IAMC is organized to provide real-time, hard data and CRE case studies to improve our professional performance.

In 2008 we began a benchmarking program for Active members. This was upgraded in 2011 so that participants receive fully updated reports, including the compiled data of all respondents-to-date, immediately after inputting their company's data.

The benchmarking service was an outgrowth of another highly popular member benefit — Industry Groups (IGs). These are small communities of Active members organized by industry and CRE work activity. There are three IGs: Manufacturing, Distribution and Health & Science.

Research Roundtables are Actives-only programs at Professional Forums that focus on a single, narrowly defined corporate real estate issue. Often, the attending members define, develop and offer solutions and approaches to specific questions. Occasionally, experts are invited to assist the group in order to provide an external view to the research.

Our website ( serves as the primary delivery source and repository for information generated by the organization. This is your repository for the many presentations, slide shows and handouts generated at each Professional Forum that are saved as Forum E-Briefings for future reference by IAMC members. It is also the location of another member favorite and possibly the most used publication: the Member Directory.

You also receive two emailed newsletters, IAMC Notes and the IAMC Dispatch. IAMC Notes delivers news and information about the Professional Forums, as well as other events, programs and services. The IAMC Dispatch contains news about recently joined members, committee activities, collaboration with other associations, member awards and recognitions, as well as a column by the executive director. Both are excellent ways to keep up with the news of IAMC.

Our official publication is the venerable Site Selection Magazine, which has been published for the benefit of corporate real estate executives, economic developers and real estate service providers for nearly 60 years. It has a reputation as one of the best-written business-to-business magazines going, and I am proud to represent us in it.

That's a pretty good list of ways we can engage and create value from our membership in IAMC. I encourage you to spend time at the beginning of this New Year and beyond investigating how you can leverage your membership to do more for you — check out an e-briefing, attend (or even better, host) an IAMC Local meeting. Find value for you and for your organization.

I wish you and yours a wonderful and prosperous New Year.

George Manos
IAMC Chair

Charleston Forum Keynoter Finds Causal Link from Happiness to Success

Shawn Achor

any of us would say that if we achieve our plans and dreams we'll be happy. But Harvard don Shawn Achor's research concludes that causation works the other way — happiness actually greases the skids for goal achievement and team success.

The IAMC Program Delivery Committee, co-chaired by Marc Morisseau and Margaret Grissom, is beginning to book the large-session presenters to set the overall tone for the Charleston Professional Forum. PDC recently engaged Achor to give the keynote address on how personal happiness can usher in all sorts of good outcomes for an individual, or as he describes it, "the happiness advantage."

Achor's website says, "A decade of research shows that training your brain to be positive at work, first, actually fuels greater success, second. In fact, 75 percent of our job success is predicted not by intelligence, but by your optimism, social support network and the ability to manage energy and stress in a positive way."

In a Harvard Business Review blog article, Achor explains, "… happiness is perhaps the most misunderstood driver of performance. For one, most people believe that success precedes happiness. ‘Once I get a promotion, I'll be happy,' they think. Or, ‘Once I hit my sales target, I'll feel great.' But because success is a moving target — as soon as you hit your target, you raise it again — the happiness that results from success is fleeting."

If this Harvard researcher is right, we each need to evaluate our mental outlook before we strike out in pursuit of a goal. "…People who cultivate a positive mind-set perform better in the face of challenge," writes Achor. "I call this the ‘happiness advantage' — every business outcome shows improvement when the brain is positive. I've observed this effect in my role as a researcher and lecturer in 48 countries on the connection between employee happiness and success."

Achor tells how he instructed clients to cash in on this phenomenon: "I asked them to choose one of five activities that correlate with positive change: Jot down three things they were grateful for, write a positive message to someone in their social support network, meditate at their desk for two minutes, exercise for 10 minutes, or take two minutes to describe in a journal the most meaningful experience of the past 24 hours."

If you run a company, manage people, or just want to learn how to become individually more effective, make plans to attend IAMC's Charleston Professional Forum and take in Shawn Achor's keynote address.

— Joel Parker


You can access the Charleston Professional Forum registration form through this QR Code:

Survey: Corporate Real Estate Metrics In Place at Over Half of Companies


eter Drucker once said "you can't manage what you don't measure." In that spirit, most corporate departments develop metrics or scorecards in conjunction with upper management to track their progress toward goals and show their contributions to company success. To assess corporate real estate's (CRE's) status on this, IAMC's Benchmarking Project queried the Active members on their CRE metrics and developed some interesting and useful data on the topic.

A bare majority, 54 percent, of the 57 respondents (to date) to IAMC's 2012 Benchmarking Survey said their department has "metrics or a scorecard to measure value of CRE." The proportion seems a bit low, especially given that the survey sample is composed mostly of large manufacturing companies, which tend to be numbers-driven. We'll need to test and confirm this percentage later with a parallel sample of similar companies.

Part two of this survey question asked each respondent to indicate their department's metrics. All told, they listed 48, of which 28 were unique. The top vote-getter, with almost 15 percent, was "savings generated and cost avoidance." This is no surprise. We know that most CRE departments operate as cost centers, and for years companies have been squeezing them.

The next most-mentioned metrics were "P&L impact" and "portfolio size," each accounting for about 8 percent of responses. The first of these is closely related to the top metric in this survey sample, cost reduction. All other things equal, cutting costs improves profits. The second, portfolio size, has to do with reducing costs and increasing strategic flexibility.

The first ratio measure to make the list is "sq. ft. per person." This addresses the issue of appropriately scaling the property portfolio to company size. It has the classic look and feel of a metric, but it ranks fourth based on number of respondent mentions.

Next in line is a group of eight metrics, each with about 4 percent of total responses. These include rent per sq. ft., cost per full-time equivalent (FTE) employee, lease savings, cash flow, projects completed on time and work complete within budget, among others.

The final 15 metrics each account for about 2 percent of total responses. These include CRE cost as a percent of sales, cost per work station, company sales per square foot of space, sq. ft. per work station and subleases at or above market rates, to name a few.

We can propose some conclusions from these survey data. First, at least among the companies in this survey sample, formal CRE department metrics or scorecards are not as pervasive as some in the industry assume. Second, cost cutting is corporate real estate's most cited value to the company. The next most often mentioned metrics are P&L impact, which is closely related to cost reduction, and real estate portfolio size, i.e., making it smaller. Many other measures are mentioned, but most relate in some way to cost reduction, P&L, and portfolio size.

— Joel Parker

comments powered by Disqus
Site Selection online is a worldwide service of Conway Data, Inc. ©1983-2023, all rights reserved. Data is from many sources and not warranted to be accurate or current. To unsubscribe from our print magazine, contact Julie Clarke. For general inquiries, visit our contact page. For technical inquiries contact the Webmaster.