Archive

Archive for May, 2011

Creating a Culture of Innovation

Here are some ways to help your organization help foster an environment of innovation in your office. Commit to a few of these today and you might be surprised at the results.

  • Remember that innovation requires no fixed rules or templates — only guiding principles.  Creating a more innovative culture is an organic and creative act.
  • Wherever you can, whenever you can, always drive fear out of the workplace.
  • Have more fun. If you’re not having fun (or at least enjoying the process) something is off.
  • Always question authority, especially the authority of your own longstanding beliefs.
  • Make new mistakes.
  • As far as the future is concerned, don’t speculate on what might happen, but imagine what you can make happen.
  • Increase the visual stimuli of your organization’s physical space. Replace gray and white walls with color. Add inspiring photos and art, especially visuals that inspire people to think differently. Reconfigure space whenever possible.
  • Help people broaden their perspective by creating diverse teams and rotating employees into new projects — especially ones they are fascinated by.
  • Ask questions about everything. After asking questions, ask different questions. After asking different questions, ask them in a different way.
  • Ensure a high level of personal freedom and trust. Provide more time for people to pursue new ideas and innovations.
  • Notice innovation efforts. Nurture them wherever they crop up. Reward them.
  • Encourage people to get out of their offices and silos. Encourage people to meet informally, one-on-one, and in small groups.
  • Think long term. Since the average successful “spin-off” takes about 7.5 years, the commitment to innovation initiatives need to be well beyond “next quarter.”
  • Don’t focus on growth. Growth is a product of successful innovation. Focus on the process of becoming adept at taking ideas from the generation stage to the marketplace.
  • Make customers your innovation partners, while realizing that customers are often limited to incremental innovations, not breakthrough ones.
  • Before reaching closure on any course of action, seek alternatives. Make it a discipline to seek the idea after the “best” idea emerges.
  • Know that attacking costs as a root problem solves nothing. Unreasonable costs are almost always a sign of more profound problems (e.g. inefficient structures, processes or training).
  • A great source of new ideas are people that are new to the company. Get new hires together and tap their brainpower and imagination.
  • Get customer feedback before committing resources to a product’s development.
  • Seek diversity of viewpoints. Get people together across functions. A diversity of views sparks more than conflict — it sparks innovation.
  • Don’t make innovation the responsibility of a few. Make innovation the responsibility of each and every employee with performance goals for each and every functional area.
  • Give your people specific, compelling, and measurable innovation goals.

About The Sundance Company

Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and the greater Treasure Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime Boise and Meridian locations. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

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Keep Your Employees Happy and Make More Money

Are your employees giving your company ‘their all?’ Do they believe that what they’re doing is important? Do they feel appreciated? Do they show up for work each day with passion and purpose?

A ‘red flag’ should go up if you answered “no” to any of those questions. Why? Managers who aren’t taking care of their employees are missing out on significant cost-savings and profits.

For business leaders in companies of all sizes, the writing is on the wall: You can make and save money by keeping employees engaged. Today’s managers must make it a priority to get to know them so that they, in turn, can provide whatever’s needed to keep their teams fully engaged in what they do. This creates wins for everyone. With that in mind, here are nine management tips for creating and sustaining employee engagement:

1) Let go of any negative opinions you may have about your employees. Approach each of them as a source of unique knowledge with something valuable to contribute to the company. Remember that you are co-creating the achievement of a vision with them.

2) Make sure employees have everything they need to do their jobs. Remember when you started a new school year and you’d prepare by getting all new school supplies? Why not build just such an opportunity into your department simply by asking each staff member, or the team as a whole, “Do you have everything you need to be as competent as you can be?” Remember, just as marketplace and customer needs change at daily, so do your employees’ needs change.

3) Clearly communicate what’s expected of employees – what the company values and vision are, and how the company defines success. Employees can?t perform well or be productive if they don’t clearly know what it is they’re there to do ? and the part they play in the overall success of the company. Be sure to communicate your expectations – and to do it often.

4) Get to know your employees – especially their goals, their stressors, what excites them and how they each define ‘success.’ I’m not suggesting you pry too deeply or start ‘counseling’ your team members. What I am suggesting is that you show an interest in their well being and that, when appropriate, you do what it takes to enable them to feel more fulfilled and better balanced.

5) Make sure they are trained – and retrained – in problem solving and conflict resolution skills. These critical skills will help them interact better with you, their teammates, customers and suppliers. It’s common sense – better communications reduce stress and increase positive outcomes.

6) Constantly ask how YOU are doing in your employees’ eyes. I know it can be difficult for managers to request employee feedback – and it can be equally if not more challenging for an employee to give the person who evaluates them an honest response. To get strong at this skill and to model it for employees, begin dialogs with employees using conversation starters such as, “It’s one of my goals to constantly improve myself as a manager. What would you like to see me do differently? What could I be doing to make your job easier?” Be sure to accept feedback graciously and to express appreciation.

7) Pay attention to company stories and rituals. Are people laughing at each other or with each other? Do they repeat stories of success of moments of shame? Stay away from participating in discussions that are destructive to people or the organization, and keep success stories alive.

8) Reward and recognize employees in ways that are meaningful to them (that’s why getting to know your employees is so important). And remember to celebrate both accomplishments AND efforts to give employees working on long-term goals a boost.

9) Be consistent for the long haul. If you start an ‘engagement initiative’ and then drop it your efforts will backfire, creating employee estrangement. People are exhausted and exasperated from ‘program du jour’ initiatives that engage their passion and then fizzle out when the manager gets bored, fired or moved to another department. There’s a connection between an employee’s commitment to an initiative and a manager’s commitment to supporting it. A manager’s ongoing commitment to keeping people engaged, involved in and excited about the work they do and the challenges they face must be a daily priority.

Ultimately, you must keep in mind that employees are a company’s greatest assets. Their collective ideas, feedback and enthusiasm for what they do can help your business grow and succeed. Some people are naturally wired to give their all and do their best no matter where they work. But the majority of people require the guidance of skilled managers who welcome their ideas, ask for feedback and generate enthusiasm in order to have a sense of purpose and energy about what they do.

About The Sundance Company

Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and the greater Treasure Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime Boise and Meridian locations. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Boise Valley Commercial Real Estate Build-to-Suit Options Available from The Sundance Company

The Sundance Company, a commercial real estate leader with more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations throughout the Boise Valley, prides itself on its ability to provide options and tailor solutions to its client’s needs.

Since 1976, The Sundance Company has offered a multitude of possibilities with its build-to-suit commercial real estate options throughout the Boise Valley. Confident tenants and buyers look to The Sundance Company for build-to-suit/construction because The Sundance Company has the size and diversity to avoid the need for a “one-size-fits-all” approach—thereby assuring customized solutions that are genuinely tailored to each client’s needs.

If the current market does not offer what your business is looking for, you can now consider designing and building a facility to suit your exact specifications, rather than renewing your current lease or settling for an “as is” building. Build-to-suit opportunities represent just one of the alternatives available to companies today in the Boise Valley commercial real estate environment. Many executives procuring space for their companies find a build-to-suit option most advantageous, and The Sundance Company can effectively and efficiently assist you with your needs.

Delivering customized solutions is the foundation of The Sundance Company’s build-to-suit program as we have collaborated and worked with customers to manage the entire build-to-suit process, including site selection, land acquisition, facility specifications, permitting, construction and ownership. The proven structure of The Sundance Company’s build-to-suit project team benefits our customers through its articulation of a clear mission and direction. The in-house management team values its personal connections and the relationship of trust it has created with its tenants and property owners, which include national and regional companies, some of whom have been in Sundance buildings for more than 15 years.

About The Sundance Company

Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and the greater Treasure Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime Boise and Meridian locations. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Wall Street Journal: Commercial Market is Dealing

A recent article by the Wall Street Journal discusses how commercial real-estate brokerages and related companies are attracting merger and acquisition partners as the commercial-property market rebounds.

Please click below to read the rest of the story.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703643104576291452170232740.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

About The Sundance Company

Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and the greater Treasure Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime Boise and Meridian locations. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.