Value management: raising CRE strategic relevance
Sally A. Fisher
Global Client Services, Cushman & Wakeﬁeld, Los Angeles, California, USA Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe the need to go beyond relationship management to embrace the techniques of value management with details on why and how CRE managers should pursue this as a professional goal. Design/methodology/approach – This article discusses the experiences of the author working across multiple global corporate accounts. The article advances the discussion on how to strategically align and advance the performance of CRE departments to support business change for corporate competitive advantage. Findings – As CRE managers strive to elevate their strategic relevance to the organization, they are challenged to go beyond relationship management. They are challenged to become value managers, capable of implementing corporate strategy anywhere and with anyone in the organization. Research limitations/implications – Further research is warranted into the perspectives of senior management on the contribution of CRE to the business planning process. CRE managers are often viewed as functional experts and may be overlooked as candidates for involvement in corporate management development programs. Practical implications – CRE managers, in charge of business alignment, must turn a professional corner by focusing more on driving corporate value. A career choice is required to invest in the business and ﬁnancial acumen needed to sit credibly at the planning table with senior management. The career path of the in-house CRE manager is one of a general business manager, referred to in this article as a “value manager”. Originality/value – CRE managers are challenged to adopt the behavior, attitude and skill set of general business managers to arrive at solutions to business challenges. These challenges are cross-functional in nature and often do not start nor end with real estate or, by extension, facilities. Thus, the role of relationship manager needs to evolve into a value manager, who possesses the skills of business planning, business case development, and cross-functional project management. Keywords Value analysis, Change management, Strategic alignment, Strategic alliances, Career development, Real estate Paper type Conceptual paper
The impact of value managers It is a rare Corporate Real Estate and Facilities (CRE) group today that does not feel pressure to elevate their strategic relevance to the organization. CRE managers risk being ignored or simply taken for granted unless they are perceived as adding value to evolving corporate strategies. For one CRE group, this became abundantly clear when a decision to move the headquarters was made without their involvement at the planning table. CRE learned of the decision at the same time as the rest of the organization. Why did senior management ignore CRE at the planning table for such an important decision? At the opposite extreme, a different CRE group foresaw a major ﬁnancial crunch coming their way as over half of their space was coming up for renewal in a single metropolitan market. The case that convinced the CFO to move a signiﬁcant portion of
Journal of Corporate Real Estate Vol. 11 No. 4, 2009 pp. 229-236 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 1463-001X DOI 10.1108/14630010911006710
the business operations was made not just based on rental rates and location risk, but more importantly on labor demographics and operational efﬁciencies – linking CRE to the full view of the business challenge. These examples illustrate how senior management is looking for functional managers who can create business change and lead cross-functional teams to implement against corporate strategies (Bruch and Ghoshal, 2002). This paper makes a case for...