Members of ULI Chicago’s Mentorship Program had an exclusive “sit-down” with Roy March, CEO of Eastdil, to discuss General Stanley McChrystal’s book Team of Teams. The Mentorship Program has been utilizing the book as a source of discussion surrounding the evolution of management and business culture in modern organizations. The book, and General McChrystal, have played a significant role in shaping March’s vision for the future of Eastdil and he agreed to share some of Eastdil’s experiences implementing key strategies. The book provides a glimpse into the organizational challenges, and subsequent solutions, McChrystal identified while leading forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, presenting a unique viewpoint with many lessons that can be applied to any organization.
Today’s business environment operates at a much different pace and through different mediums than in the past. Technological disruption, demographic changes, and cultural shifts have altered the way business is done. Organizations must be able to adapt to not only the current environment, but also need to remain nimble enough and prepared for the next wave of change. Eastdil’s goal, March explained, has always been to foster an environment that promotes efficiency, information sharing, and idea generation. March noted these have always been at the core of Eastdil’s culture and business model, stating “[there is] value in process, but a lot of value in ideas”. Although March believed they had achieved this through thoughtful commission structures, he noted there were deficiencies that needed to be addressed to stay competitive. Team of Teams provided the framework March is using for improving on these deficiencies.
March noted that the best way to improve information sharing within their organization was to find a way to get as many people as possible involved in the discussion. He pointed to General McChrystal’s “O & I” (Operations and Intelligence) daily meeting as the model for weekly cross-discipline meetings designed to promote open dialogue throughout the firm. The goal was to create a meeting that was “too valuable to be missed” and would lead to productive follow up discussions. March was quick to note that although improved communication is a big step, it is not the only step Eastdil has taken to ensure the firm continues to evolve. March discussed a robust internship and analyst program, significant investments into CRM platforms, and ongoing regulatory oversight that is needed to ensure the firm is well equipped for future success.
This informal discussion was a special addition to the formal Mentorship Program events held throughout the year and allowed ULI young leaders the opportunity to meet yet another senior industry leader. The ULI Chicago Mentorship Program pairs young professionals with industry veterans and senior ULI members to foster networking, career development, and support.
Authored by Joe Duffy, CA Residential, 2016 Protégé