20A — April 25 - May 15, 2014 — Spring Preview — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal

S pring P review

By Michael Mullin, Integrated Business Systems Change: vital for moving forward, yet universally challenging


hange. Business lead- er s recogni ze that transformation is one

be saved, and every month that you’re not capturing it, you’re losing money. Sustainability is a win-win –an effort that all companies can benefit from. However, many are side- tracked by the how. I often hear advice to establish measure- ment first, and then pursue efficiency projects. But effective measurement can take years to set up, and it doesn’t make sense to hold off on the lowest- hanging fruit while you work on that. First Potomac jumped right into lighting upgrades, which often have payback periods so short that they are no-brainers. In an ideal world, measurement would be fully up and running before projects are implemented, but there is suc- cess to be had in doing things “in the wrong order”. 2. Don’t Fret Too Much About Picking the “Right” Vendors Don’t obsess over making the perfect decision when it comes to vendors. There are hundreds of options out there, least 60% of 93 firms polled: •Implementation took more time than originally allocated (76%). •Major problems surfaced during implementation that had not been identified before- hand (74%). •Coordination of implemen- tation activities (for example, task forces or committees) was not effective enough (66%). •Competing activities and crises distracted attention from implementing this strategic decision (64%). •Capabilities (skills and abilities) of employees involved with the implementation were not sufficient (63%). •Training and instruction given to lower-level employees were not adequate (62%). •Uncontrollable factors in the external environment had an adverse impact on imple- mentation (60%). Avo iding these pi t fal l s through effective change man- agement is not an “event.” Rather, it is a process with an ultimate goal to make change happen on time and budget, with as much participation and involvement as possible. The best practices of change management include: •Establishing a clear link between the change and the business strategy.

and the market is sure to settle down and consolidate over the next decade, but the important thing is to move forward with something and not let the deci- sion slow you down. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of a good opportunity! 3. MeasureMeasureMeasure Work to continuously im- prove measurement systems as you go. There is room for ongo- ing improvement in this area, and the work won’t be done for a while, if ever. 4. Ask the Right Questions Much of sustainability is thinking about things in new ways and asking questions that are not part of the usual routine. “Do we track the en- ergy efficiency of our HVAC units?” “Do we give our lighting designers or suppliers a goal for lighting energy efficiency, such as 0.8 watts per square foot?” First Potomac’s sustainabil- ity efforts save approximately $2.5 million, 2 million gallons of water, and the equivalent On the other hand, a com- mercial real estate company that has decided to change or upgrade its enterprise property management and accounting system faces a progressive rollout. You simply cannot turn on a new system onMonday, ex- pect that people are immediate- ly going to “get it,” and imagine •Clear, unequivocal and con- sistent leadership. •Investments to implement and sustain the change. •The presence of quantifiable benefits – metrics for measure- ment. •Securing key stakeholders who are engaged in the process and who are involved early. •The integration of behavior changes with process and tech- nology changes. •Continuous, targeted and personal communication that “sells” the change (not just com- municates about the change). These basic principles can be applied universally, across industry sectors and initiatives. Of course, situations will vary dramatically. Consider the im- plementation of a new branding initiative. If a company has a good marketing group, all the tools (a new logo, website, business cards and other docu- ments, signage, etc.) will be ready to fall into place simulta- neously on a specific date.

of 90 railcars of coal each year. Almost 60 percent of the company’s multi-story office properties have earned LEED or Energy Star certification. The greatest triumphs in sus- tainability start with small changes, and they might be easier than you expect. Sara L. Schoen, LEED So what about that built-in resistance? When people per- ceive themselves as losers in a change initiative, they resist the change; consequently, re- sisters can be expected each and every time. It may be helpful to identify people who have something to lose and an- ticipate how they will respond. EATONTOWN, NJ — The topic was “New Jersey at the Center of the Digital Universe” at the New Jersey Technology Council Data Center Summit at Fort Monmouth in Eaton- town, and the statistics un- veiled at the event bore out that premise. “New Jersey is the largest data center market in the country, and possibly the world,” Jeff West , global direc- tor of data center research for Cushman & Wakefield , told attendees of the event. The New Jersey data center market consists of two submar- that by Friday things will be up and running smoothly. Without excellent training and com- munication out in front, and the continued visible support of executive leadership, these types of longer-term projects have a tendency to wallow. We often see clients who are excited about incorporating new functionality afforded by IBS system updates. Yet after the training and implementa- tion, their employees are still doing things the “old” way. Frankly, familiar is frequently faster. However, better func- tionality moves operations forward. The IBS users who accomplish successful upgrades make sure their employees understand why the change is being made, and how it will benefit the organization. They also – after a short period of time – take away access to the older version of the applica- tion, forcing them out of their comfort zone and into the new environment.

AP O+M, is the manager of Energy & Sustainability at First Potomac Realty Trust, a self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) that focuses on owning, operating, developing and redeveloping commercial real estate in the greater Washington, DC region. n Management should work with them to establish a sense of ur- gency and emphasize the ben- efits of the change – especially if they can make those benefits seem personal. Making them active partners in the process through new roles that rep- resent genuine contributions and mitigate their losses also can help. Remember: D * V * F > R. If Dissatisfaction with the pres- ent situation, multiplied by a Vision of what is possible, mul- tiplied by First steps toward reaching the vision is greater than the Resistance to change, change will occur. However, if any one of the multipliers (D, V, or F) is zero, change will not occur. On the other hand, if a criti- cal mass of the organization has a common understanding and agrees on each of these elements (D, V, and F), organi- zation-wide change can occur. It will not be easy, though. Change is hard. However, lead- ership that approaches change as culture – a way to improve their organization – has a definite advantage. Employing sound change management strategy can take that advan- tage to the next level. Mike Mullin is the presi- dent of Integrated Business Systems n kets, Southern and Northern. The Northern New Jersey market has had “more than 1.5 million s/f of new product delivered in the past year and a half alone,” said Brady. “Those markets combined total approximately 6.5 million s/f of third-party data center space, and that number is still growing,” said Sean Brady, se- nior director and co-founder of Cushman & Wakefield’s Data Center Advisory Group. Main attractions include the tri-state region’s best fiber network and lowest power costs.” n

of the most vital keys to successfully moving com- panies for- ward. They a l s o kn ow that it can be one of the mo s t cha l -

Mike Mullin

adjustments need to be made. The daily load curve of one of First Potomac’s properties in Washington, DC revealed an increase in electricity use be- tween two and four a.m. With- out access to real-time data, this mysterious and wasteful overnight load would be invis- ible to First Potomac staff. Technology can put powerful data at our fingertips and allow us to operate our buildings in smarter, more informed ways that save our companies money and protect the environment. How To Get There There are an overwhelming number of energy and sustain- ability options available today, and it can take time to select the best solutions for any given company. Some pointers that might help along the way: 1. Don’t Delay Make as careful and in- formed decisions as possible, but balance your research with a sense of urgency and don’t wait years – there is money to lenging hurdles. As a technolo- gy firm serving the commercial real estate industry, we are on the front lines of this opera- tional paradox on a daily basis, and we constantly observe, first hand, the importance of good change management practices. At its core, change is sup- posed to make things better. Yet even the simplest changes encounter some level of resis- tance. Why should manage- ment care? Every time a change effort fails, the resistance to new change efforts increases making it more difficult to obtain ownership and support for any new initiatives. By many estimates, 60 to 70 % of change initiatives fail to meet their objectives. Managing Change and Tran- sition, published by Harvard Business School Press, iden- tified seven implementation problems that occurred in at

Harnessing the power of data: saving green by going green... continued from page 7A

Data center summit: “New Jersey is at the center of the digital universe”

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