‘HPP Connect & Innovate’ about the Fourth Industrial Revolution



(Picture: Review with board members and Christa Thijssen after the meeting)

Last Thursday, we had traditional Dutch ‘beschuit met muisjes’ to celebrate the launch and first meeting of our renewed community HPP Connect & Innovate. Urban innovator and Chief Innovation Officer at Change= Bas Boorsma inspired us with a presentation about the Fourth Industrial Revolution we are in. He showed us how our society shifted from central organization to networked or distributed organization with examples in energy (shift to smart energy grids), market leaders (shift to tech companies) and economic fundamentals.

Bas: “When mega shifts take place, the past stops being the all-determining source of knowledge, advice, insight, organisational models, values, skills…”

He showed us how this revolution affects the real estate sector and predicted three types of innovation: business architecture innovation, technical and methodological innovation and social innovation, which will trigger changes such as the convergence of living, working, learning and recreation, ‘Networked Living’ and ‘Living as a Service’. In this time of mega-shift and innovations, successful leaders are changing by learning new skills and attributes. Important here is the focus on (social) innovation, multi-disciplinary teams, design-thinking and the networked organization.

After his powerful pitch, the participants of the meeting split up in breakout rooms to discuss one of the following questions:

  1. Which network transition concepts are you working on now?
  2. How does the talent & leadership look like in your own organisation?
  3. What kind of innovation am I focusing on, and why?
  4. What kind of multidisciplinary teams do I build?

In the following plenary session, we discussed the outcomes of the breakout rooms. Some of the conclusions:

  • Large organizations can be leaders in technical innovations, but if the leadership and culture do not change, it will remain a traditional organization. The structure doesn’t grow with the future model.
  • The themes of future vision, diversity, conscious leadership and future-oriented culture, require a long-term commitment. If it is taken up as a project, it disappears again and you quickly fall behind.
  • Leaders should not only be concerned with product or process innovations but should also have a vision on social innovation, the development of diverse teams and the company’s future. Hire and keep people who fit with that future and can contribute to the new reality of ecosystem-centric change.
  • It was noted by all participants that ‘change needs to be fun’ rather than an obstacle. This is clearly a behavioural aspect that needs to be addressed in every team we put together.
  • Soft skills over hard skills. It was noted that within highly effective teams it is required to let people go once they have completed their part of the puzzle, thus making teams highly fluid.
  • Network transition concepts in our sector are still in their infancy. However, a strong development is that there is more and more international cooperation in the chain of construction projects. In order to stay on top of this trend, the group concluded that it is important to make people responsible for this within your organisation.

The board of HPP-C&I concluded the meeting with an appeal to get in contact if you have a question, a statement or a challenge on innovation which we can debate the next meeting, scheduled for June 17th.

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