Preface – Workplace Hidden Opportunities

by David Mills on April 18, 2016

We are created by a creator to create. Richard Runyeon

Most would not argue that the world’s economies and their component public and private enterprises are in a tenuous, if not, fragile state. All of this in a time when collective capital and technological capacity have never been greater. Why then the schism?

Hunter GatherersFrom hunter gatherers on the Savannah’s of Africa, to cave dwellers across the globe, to farming settlements, to the advent of the Industrial Age, to the now ubiquitous and resplendent Internet Era, the workplace has evolved. First slowly and now near the speed of light.

The breadth and magnitude of our creations are from the ancient days to the current moment both magnificent wonders of artistic ingenuity and horrific deprecation’s of man’s inhumanity to man. All of this has been played out on Mother Earth’s terra-firma, waterscapes, and molten-core. Indestructible or vulnerable is another question.

Workplace Hidden Opportunities explores this evolution at both the global socioeconomic level and at the more granular level of industry specific and individual enterprise focus. The goal of this book and companion website is to make the subject(s) accessible in three modalities to three primary audiences: 1) a macro-focus on the entire ecosystem for stakeholders and practitioners in the space (accidental then intentional pun); 2) a micro-focus of the component disciplines for the technicians; and 3) hopefully, a digestible collection of stories for the broader audiences with the bar set high given the inspiration of Malcolm Gladwell’s work (most specifically David and Goliath). The construct of the book is this. The more granular and ‘shop talk’ chapters will be captured on the website for contributors and subscribers. The general audience book will be available both in digital and hard-copy formats.

Perhaps some of you are asking why this tome of study on the workplace and its evolving investment and management discipline of corporate real estate. Forty years of relationships have illumined the following insights. Workings of hubris, bravado, and ego are what build cultures and civilizations. Humility and orderliness of service provider expertise is servant leadership at its epitome. In between are casts of millions working to connect the dots. Their manifestations are where we live, work and play. If there was ever a demarcation between work and home, commercial and residential, the Connection Economy of the Internet era has not blurred but obliterated that line henceforth and forevermore.

Society and PopulationThe population is exploding. Current and historic geographic boundaries, while relevant, are becoming obsolete. From visionary architects and engineers, to deal-makers who make things happen, to technicians who install functionality and fix things when they break; these are the people that create the environments for our daily experiences.

Tom Wolfe defined ‘Masters of the Universe’ in his bestseller, Bonfire of the Vanities, which will forever define late-twentieth-century New York style. Each era has its own quintessential heroes, leaders, warriors, politicians, pundits, financiers, jurists, philosophers and the list goes on. The combination of an exploding population, depreciating infrastructure, antiquated irrelevant bureaucracy that have worked in disparate isolation unless confronted have all converged at our moment in time together. An opportunity for the ‘workplace’ community to craft a vision and implementation plan for the future is at hand. The work has begun as you will see in the following pages.

Think about the legacies, once sound and beneficial, that have outlived their time. Orderly evolution and chaotic revolution is our inheritance and civilization’s forewarning.

David Mills

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