commercial property lambert smith hampton

Viewpoint - 24/07/2015

Rediscover your enterprising spirit

Enterprise. Innovation. Disruption. We all know the buzzwords and have heard how Uber, Airbnb and others are changing the business landscape forever. But what about our own sector? Is property an enterprising industry?

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Too often the answer is no. Yes, we may be more likely to rely on iPads than printed brochures these days, but that’s not even scratching the surface of being disruptive - true innovation means making a genuine difference for our clients.

When I look back at my career, the highlights aren’t necessarily just the biggest deals, but the ones where we tried something new, pushed the boundaries, approached the challenge from a different perspective. That’s why we make it our mission at Lambert Smith Hampton to be increasingly creative in the way we approach our clients’ problems.

So many industries provide cautionary tales of what is at stake if we fail to innovate. Digital technology, regulatory change and changing customer expectations have disintermediated a wide range of sectors; it hasn’t happened yet in commercial property, but it would be naïve to think that we won’t face disruption ourselves at some stage. To ward off the threat, the property industry needs to rediscover its enterprising spirit.

That’s why last week we launched the Lambert Smith Hampton Enterprise Award. The award, which has a £15,000 prize fund, will encourage the most enterprising, creative and the best thinking our industry can offer to address the most exciting property challenges.

In this inaugural year, the brief will focus on devolution. The government’s plans for greater local autonomy, laid out in the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill, are an unprecedented opportunity to shape the future of the UK. The recent Budget, which announced devolution deals for Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool and Cornwall to follow on from Manchester’s ‘northern powerhouse’ settlement, shows the momentum behind the drive for greater local powers.

Our sector has a crucial role to play in making devolved government a success. But we need to adapt and be creative to make the most of that opportunity. With that in mind, the question that the award will address is:

“The new government is planning further devolution, aiming to empower local communities to drive growth, job creation and regeneration. How can innovative thinking from the property industry help make devolved government a success?”

To judge the award, we’ve assembled a top-class panel of some of our industry’s most creative and innovative thinkers. Tom Bloxham, perhaps more than anyone, has defined what urban regeneration can look like. Sir Eddie Lister has been a driving force behind London’s success as the pre-eminent global city. Waheed Nazir has not only forged one of the most forward-thinking planning teams in the country, but is also increasingly shaping the growing reputation of Birmingham itself. Melanie Leech, who has quickly made her mark at the British Property Federation, and Property Week's Liz Hamson off a very accomplished panel.

The award is open to all, regardless of age or experience. We do hope you will enter. Even more than that, we hope the initiative will highlight the need for greater enterprise within property, while showcasing the industry talent that is already pioneering innovative ideas and approaches.

We believe in the power of property to transform lives, places and businesses. The Lambert Smith Hampton Enterprise Award is an opportunity to shout about the best of our industry to a wider audience and potentially inspire change throughout the country. That’s an incredible opportunity. Good luck!

To find out more and to submit an entry, please visit the Award website before 30 September.


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