By: Adam Stanley, Global Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer
Last month, we were joined by Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871, Chicago’s center for technology and entrepreneurship, who presented at our Rooftopics event on leveraging entrepreneurship as a corporate capability. A partner and friend of Cushman & Wakefield, Betsy was the latest in a line of great speakers we bring to the Chicago office to cover topics from leadership to technology to sports. This talk focused on how companies like ours can stay ahead in a fast-changing and technology-driven world.
“Entrepreneurial-minded employees help businesses adapt to an ever-changing world with advancing technologies that will never be slower than today. Business models are constantly morphing before our eyes, and the reason many companies do not succeed over time is because they’ve missed the future,” said Ziegler. To stay one step ahead, management must build teams that can quickly adapt, design, and create new business strategies and operate with a startup mentality.
So, what are Ziegler’s suggestions for addressing this challenge head-on and instilling entrepreneurship as a core competency in your organization?
- The CEO has to really care about this for it to happen. Company culture starts with leadership, and it’s important for the c-suite to be 100% invested in cultivating entrepreneurship to ensure it will be adopted within an organization.
- Look at your incentive programs, and ask if they’re making your employees lives easier or harder. Evaluate your employees’ paths to success. Are they simply checking boxes, or are they incentivized to do work that will make them future leaders?
- Break down silos in your organization and establish shared vocabulary to allow for cross-team collaboration. Collaboration and communication across departments fosters innovation. Giving employees insight into one another’s work creates a unified vision and a common goal.
- Stop viewing failure as a negative, and start seeing it as an opportunity to learn. Entrepreneurs know the concept of “failing forward” is vital to future success. Learning from experiences, especially failures, makes you better prepared for the next challenge. Do not be afraid to pivot in business.
Adam Stanley provides strategic and operational direction for Cushman & Wakefield’s client facing and colleague technology systems and infrastructure across all global business lines. Drawing on his more than 20 years of industry experience and as an integral member of the global executive team, Adam is a change agent with proven success driving growth, performance, talent retention and innovation. He serves on the Board of 1871 / Chicago Entrepreneurial Center and is an advisor to multiple PropTech accelerators and VC firms.
Cushman & Wakefield’s Technology Practice Group brings together high energy advisors from primary tech clusters across the globe in a collaborative team serving the real estate needs of these organizations. We focus on start-up, emerging private and early-stage public companies, including those developing tech products and services and those leveraging new technology to disrupt existing markets through innovation.