One of the best initiatives that RICS has undertaken in recent years

John HUghes

is the Futures report that was launched at the Americas Summit in LA (do watch the video).

For me, it is a clear demonstration to our members and other stakeholders that RICS is really working to keep up with the rapid pace of change. Without this forward-looking approach we would not be leading global organization for the built environment. 

Change - recognizing it and responding to it - is one of the greatest challenges that organizations face today, particularly given the speed at which it is occurring. That RICS has not just survived -- but has thrived -- for nearly 150 years is evidence that it manages change well. Indeed, there is no better example of this than the decision to go global. Today we are by far the world’s leading professional organization in the built environment.

Today’s challenges mostly stem from the digital revolution. Like the taxi business and Uber, the real estate brokerage industry is being shaken up by organizations with new business models built around the skilled manipulation and packaging of data. In the facilities management sector, analytics and big data are leading to more sustainable building operations. The internet has been around for less than 25 years; imagine the changes to come in the ones ahead.

So what is RICS doing to keep up? Firstly, it is keeping track -- the Futures report is an example of this effort. Secondly, we are listening to our stakeholders -- clients, employers and members. Thirdly, we are responding by changing what we do and how we do it.

For example, as young professionals have less time and interest in going to events, much greater emphasis is being placed on social media as a way of keeping members in touch and encouraging dialogue. Finally, our organization itself is being reshaped to increase flexibility, agility and responsiveness. I have been heavily involved in the restructuring process for Governing Council. Among the innovations, is a more strategically focused annual event that brings together thought-leaders from across the built environment. 

For our region, this is especially news as the RICS Summit of the Americas DC2016 taking place next April 3-5, 2016, will be the first of these events, with top leaders in the industry, coming together with the RICS Governing Council in Washington, D.C. Judging by the calibre of the speakers being lined up and those present, it will be a noteworthy event with a clear focus on the future.     

John Hughes FRICS
RICS Senior Vice President       

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