Office Locations

200 S. Wacker Drive
Suite 700
Chicago, IL 60606

6250 N. River Road
Suite 11-100
Rosemont, IL 60018

February 2016

Recent technology advances require increasingly difficult challenges to keep up with today’s rapidly changing world.  Innovation has become vital to remain competitive in the global marketplace.  This is all too evident for companies such as Kodak, RadioShack and Blockbuster; who all failed to see the value in embracing technological advances while promoting innovation within the organization. So the question becomes: how does a company “uber” themselves before becoming ubered?  

Numerous articles have been written about promoting innovation and in turn seeing massive growth internally.  This is not one of those articles.  CEO’s are, or should be, clear on how innovation and growth are directly correlated.  Instead, the question C-Suite executives should be asking is: how does a company create an intrapreneurial culture?  Recent trends in the workplace and innovation are, in fact, interrelated.  Companies that embrace change the fastest will be the ones that see the largest returns.  So how do you create an “intrapreneurial” culture?  

  • Understand it already exists.  Companies don’t have to go out and recruit talent, they most likely already have the talent sitting in their offices.  Stepping out and walking your floors will provide you the opportunity to not only get to know those that are spending countless hours working for you, but it provides an open culture.  The more comfortable your employees feel with you, the more likely they are to come to you with ideas.  A recent trend in the workplace to support this has been a layout promoting flat hierarchy.  Putting executives and middle management on the same levels as employees helps to promote collaboration, therefore leading to innovation.
  • Sensitive to Identity and Culture.  Human-beings, on a basic level, need to be able to express themselves, some more than others.  Taking ownership in something provides people with a sense of identity and accomplishment.  Empowering your employees to make decisions on their own and express their personality throughout the workplace provides a sense of ownership.  Gensler, a leading architectural firm, coined the phrase “hackable atmosphere”, meaning to make something your own.  By creating a hackable atmosphere employees feel more engaged in the workplace and therefore willing to create solutions apart from their superiors. 
  • Mobility and a variety of choice.  Options in the workplace, encouraging collaboration, has been proven to pave the way for innovation.  Not all collaboration has to be work related, but providing the choice for them to work where they like will create a socialized culture.  Some companies did this by having fully open office space plans, which now some view as too extreme.  Collaboration and shared workspaces are now the compromise, providing an open atmosphere, without sacrificing productivity.
  • Recruiting top talent.  The ongoing war for talent is forcing companies to step back and reevaluate their competition.  A study conducted by Steelcase showed that Gen Y’s, or millennials, have an increasing desire for work-life balance.  According to the study “they believe employers should manage their work outputs, not their time.”  In preparation for this many companies have adopted what is called lifestyle amenities in the workplace.  By providing employees with amenities such as day-care and fitness centers companies are helping to balance work and life.  A less stressed employee is more productive and therefore more engaged at the workplace.  
  • Reward and incentivize intrapreneurs.  Motivation is the driving force behind an employee’s engagement.  The source of the motivation is the differentiating factor.  A Gallup poll determined that 70% of the American workforce are disengaged at work.  That is a staggering and alarming number!  So the question is, what motivates the majority of workers to be engage at work?  Forbes conducted a study that showed that camaraderie and peer motivation was the top driver, while a desire to do a good job and feeling encouraged and recognized were a close second and third.  Recognition and reward will not only engage your employees more, but it will drive your retention rate up, therefore saving the company money on recruiting efforts.

As new generations emerge in the workforce the customary way of working will continue to evolve.  How, where and why we work will be challenged on a regular basis in order to help cultivate the intrapreneurial spirit. Rather than viewing real estate as a cost, use it as a tool to help your company’s culture flourish. 

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Companies that embrace change the fastest will be the ones that see the largest returns.

For More Information, Please Contact:

6250 North River Road, Suite 11-100 Rosemont, IL 60018 United States | Tel: +1 847 698 8444