Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four "corners:" corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles.

1. Leading Change in a Company That’s Historically Bad At It

David Malan/Getty Images

David Malan/Getty Images

Organizational change was once a seasonal experience. But today, managing continual disruption is a skill required of most leaders. Change management is the new management, which makes doing it effectively that much more difficult.

Despite our extensive knowledge on the topic, failure rates among organizational change efforts remain high. Most reliable research estimates that 50%–70% of initiatives fall short, largely focusing on change implementation as the culprit.

Common obstacles that organizations face include failure to sustain the effort over the long term, competing priorities, and under-resourcing. But some seeds of failure are sewn long before change is implemented — and some initiatives are set up to fail the moment they are conceived.

2. How Phones Made the World Your Office, Like It or Not

Bettmann/Getty Images

Bettmann/Getty Images

Misplacing your car keys is worrisome, but it’s nothing like the free-fall panic of losing your phone. Hollywood could make a horror movie about somebody just looking for their iPhone XR and going slowly insane.

The telephone began to pervade our lives at the end of the 19th century, and then — as you can see in these photos from The New York Times’s archives — it became our lives. Cellphones were a significant inflection point. They made it possible for us to be available at virtually any moment, which was so extraordinary that most of us tacitly accepted that we should be available at virtually any moment.

History’s first call on a hand-held wireless phone was made on April 3, 1973, by a Motorola executive named Martin Cooper. Mr. Cooper had developed the phone himself and, having a cheeky streak, decided to step out onto Sixth Avenue, in Midtown Manhattan, and call his rival at Bell Laboratories to gloat a little. Can you hear me now?

3. Going Beyond Hospitality

Ray Cavicchio

Ray Cavicchio

In the world of hotels, the lobby is a convenient hub for the vast array of services that the establishment provides, including checking in, checking out, and arranging transportation.

It often doubles as a communal multipurpose gathering place for the work and leisure activities of guests—providing a place where they can do everything from meeting with corporate clients to relaxing with a good cup of coffee and a book.

But Greenbelt, Maryland–based Bozzuto Group, a diversified real estate company that manages 72,000 apartments and 2 million square feet (186,000 sq m) of commercial space in East Coast cities and Chicago, has figured out that lobbies can provide similar—and even more expansive—benefits to residents of its apartment buildings.

Bozzuto employs interior designers from the hospitality field who emulate the flow and activation of space in hotel lobbies and often incorporate hotel-like features such as business centers and conference rooms to accommodate residents who are remote workers. One apartment community in Baltimore, Anthem House, features a coffee shop with tables that spill into the lobby as a way of activating that space.

4. How To Invest Like Blackstone: Four Industrial REITs Riding The Amazon Wave

AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Blackstone Group's record-breaking $18.7 billion bet on 179 million square feet of U.S. warehouse space is a bet on the future of online shopping.

As more and more Americans turn to internet retailers—e-commerce accounts for roughly 10% of total retail sales in the United States, up from 6% at the beginning of the decade—companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Home Depot are vying for the increasingly valuable real estate where they store and distribute their growing inventories. And most importantly, they're willing to outspend each other.

In what is now the largest private equity deal in history, Blackstone announced on Sunday that it will acquire the U.S. logistics assets of Singapore-based GLP, which has one of the largest real estate fund platforms in the world and $64 billion in assets. Blackstone's own real estate arm was already robust, with a $140 billion portfolio and hundreds of millions of square feet of hotel, retail, residential and office space under its control across the globe. According to Bloomberg, the deal will roughly double the firm's U.S. industrial footprint.

5. What 10,000 Steps Will Really Get You

Ed Jones/AFP/Getty

Ed Jones/AFP/Getty

In America, the conventional wisdom of how to live healthily is full of axioms that long ago shed their origins. Drink eight glasses of water a day. Get eight hours of sleep. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Two thousand calories a day is normal. Even people who don’t regularly see a doctor are likely to have encountered this information, which forms the basis of a cultural shorthand. Tick these boxes, and you’re a healthy person.

In the past decade, as pedometers have proliferated in smartphone apps and wearable fitness trackers, another benchmark has entered the lexicon: Take at least 10,000 steps a day, which is about five miles of walking for most people. As with many other American fitness norms, where this particular number came from has always been a little hazy. But that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a default daily goal for some of the most popular activity trackers on the market.

Now new research is calling the usefulness of the 10,000-step standard into question—and with it, the way many Americans think about their daily activities. While basic guidelines can be helpful when they’re accurate, human health is far too complicated to be reduced to a long chain of numerical imperatives. For some people, these rules can even do more harm than good.

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!