6 Reasons Why IoT Leaders Are Focused on Tampa


Recently leaders from technology and the multifamily gathered in Tampa, Florida for an event called “Building Cities of the Future”, A CRE and Urbantech Summit.

Tampa is already on its journey to becoming a smarter city, and thus was the perfect setting for this event. The one day event was designed to bring together executives and founders who are reshaping the Built Environment was produced by Bisnow and Dreamit.

Some of the featured speakers from technology included Dan Doctoroff Chairman and CEO of Sidewalk Labs and  Felicite Moorman, CEO and co-founder of STRATIS. As well as business leaders like Jeff Vinik Chairman of the Tampa Bay Lightning and partners of Strategic Property Partners, LLC, James Nozar, CEO of Strategic Property Partners, Steve Barsh, CIO of Dreamit and more.

The event featured 35 speakers and 4 keynotes speeches aimed at driving development in commercial real estate through innovative means.

“No great city was ever completely and truly planned,” Doctoroff said. “The neighborhood of the future can look a lot like the city of the past – teeming with life. Safe, defense, diverse places with a hyper-dynamic sense of community.”


Moorman had the following insights for the audience about IoT, Smart Cities, and software as a servicer (SaaS).

a)    IoT – The return on investment for technology investment is faster and more accessible than ever, oft times weeks, and the time to start is NOW!

b)  Smart Cities – The commercial residential footprint of NYC is nearly 60%. Anyone who thinks they’re going to create a Smart City without enabling MultiFamily Owners and Residents is missing half the puzzle!

c)  Access, Energy, and Automation software –
Access applications for Smart Cities are endless, and the privacy and security concerns must remain front of mind, but they are not insurmountable. Understanding when people are leaving residences is a tremendous data point from a city planning perspective.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, “Vinik outlined plans for create a venture capital fund with as much as $ 50 million or more to support startup entrepreneurs, some with direct grants. That, he believes, would make it the largest fund of its kind in Florida.”

The Times also reported that “Vinik outlined plans to build an “innovation hub” on the second floor of Channelside Bay Plaza. He expects it to occupy 40,000 to 75,000 square feet of space — or 20 to 40 percent of the building — and take 12 to 18 months to create.”

The UrbanTech Summit reflects the commitment of its participants to increase the adoption rates of technology, which currently stand at less than 10%, in an industry with over $ 40 trillion in the US alone.

“If STRATIS could flip a switch and install ubiquitously across the globe, we could immediately reduce energy savings by 15-20% and more, while providing a real and near immediate return on investment,” Moorman said. “Today. There should be a greater urgency in installing and embracing that which we know works today. The single digits of savings we’ll achieve as we continue to progress are minuscule compared to what we can do right now.”

Insurers & IoT

Moorman added that Insurers are finally getting interested in IoT.

“Insurers may be the biggest winners in the short term. Consider that in MultiFamily, if a Resident doesn’t immediately catch an incident of fire or water damage, that incident will affect other units,” she said. “Leak sensing and smoke detection are tremendous opportunities to mitigate those damages and reduce loss.”

Bisnow, the world’s largest commercial real estate news and events platform, and Dreamit Ventures, a top-10 global accelerator, have committed to leveraging their reach within the commercial real estate industry to impact change through driving collaboration across commercial real estate ecosystem.

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How Effective Leaders Drive Digital Change

No leader wants his or her team to fail. But, in many digital transformation efforts, creating the conditions in which failure is an acceptable outcome might be key to success. As with Pixar Animation Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Co., which credits its blockbuster successes to all the storyboards that don’t actually make it onto film, effective digital initiatives often depend on a mix of experimentation, prototyping, and failure.

Creating a culture in which risk-taking is acceptable and giving employees a wide berth to learn from failure (and success) can be difficult challenges for leaders managing change. If the following behaviors aren’t part of your leadership repertoire, you may not be ready to lead a digital transformation.

The importance of these leadership behaviors appeared in a year-long study of a 450-person financial services function within Deloitte Services LP that was implementing a large-scale technology project to streamline reporting, budgeting, and analysis for the entire organization. If successful, many employees in the function would have more time to become trusted advisers to the business, rather than simply focusing on compiling and reporting numbers. The financial services function, however, was risk averse: The entire group was accustomed to complying with fairly stringent regulations and policies but was unaccustomed to voicing their opinions. Becoming advisers by effectively communicating a new way to do business would be a hurdle for much of the staff.

At the end of one year, the research had identified several distinctive characteristics of executives who were most effective at implementing the project: They fostered a culture tolerant of failure and embraced the following four behaviors.

1. Be clear about priorities. Leaders who were clear on shifting priorities and how success would be measured seemed to have much more engaged employees throughout the transition. Goal-setting was an important factor that enabled employees to track their progress and growth. Leaders also frequently reassessed goals and ensured that employees were well aware when priorities and needs shifted. Balancing clear communication of priorities with a willingness to adapt goals when circumstances dictated was important to engaging the workforce during a time of digital transformation.

Before launching the project, executives traveled to local offices to express their vision for the future and set the overarching mission for the finance function. They offered compelling reasons for the technology transformation and gave permission to local site leaders to shift priorities as needed throughout the change. This in-person executive visit was intended to empower local office leaders to tailor the implementation, while also connecting them back to a broader vision of the future.

2. Provide effective two-way feedback. The research findings appear to support the importance of creating psychological safety during check-ins with employees. It may not be enough simply to engage in project report-outs — leaders must also create a culture of psychological safety, giving employees freedom to express concern when things aren’t going right and feel they have the ability to take risks. Doing so allows employees to share new ideas and to believe they are being heard. Leaders in the study who engaged in these types of feedback sessions seemed to be able to get ahead of employee issues before they became a roadblock to the project’s ultimate success.

During the project, frequent pulse surveys were conducted to identify emerging employee pain points. Rather than keep information confidential, pulse survey results were shared broadly across local offices during monthly leadership feedback forums. Leadership teams would also invite team members to participate and provide further feedback on how the project was going. These transparent feedback forums allowed managers and employees to begin collaborating in newfound ways as they focused on overcoming shared challenges, while also identifying shared opportunities for success.

3. Recognize staff and support risk-taking. While extrinsic motivators have their place, we know from behavioral science that intrinsic motivators drive longer-term behavior change. Simply recognizing and acknowledging people for their hard work during times of change can go a long way. However, recognition also typically means sharing the success of a project. Our research found that one way to kill the momentum of a project was for leaders to take all the credit for its success. Leaders who shared responsibility for a project’s success with all levels of staff seemed to achieve much higher levels of employee engagement throughout the project.

One leader brought team members to a high-profile client meeting, allowing employees to see firsthand the impact they were making. Another leader brought their staff to a baseball game and invited the partner of the project to attend as well. As one manager remarked, “I have not only seen changes in my employees’ ability to interact and engage with senior leaders more comfortably, but also in identifying opportunities where they can gain more exposure. And, when they need my help with that exposure, they now ask me for that help.”

4. Engage in frank development conversations. The more effective leaders communicated how change would benefit staff, including how continuous education and training opportunities would help strengthen an employee’s skill set. In addition, these managers did not shy away from transparent conversations on where employees’ efforts were needed in order to move forward. An effective conversation card was developed to help leaders engage in these conversations on a monthly basis with their teams.

Additionally, the more successful project leaders worked with staff to identify development opportunities and engage in conversations beyond the project itself. One manager said, “I used to think if someone made a mistake, it was because they weren’t very strong. I now realize that is part of the learning process and people can change if I am willing to devote the time and attention needed to help their development.” In this manager’s region, employee engagement nearly doubled after leadership instituted monthly development conversations with staff.

Leaders who displayed these four behaviors reaped not only better performance, but greater engagement from their employees throughout the change. Employees were much more likely to report back higher levels of learning and growth, and greater meaning from their work. These four behaviors, which allowed employees to share ideas more freely and embrace taking risks, appeared to lead to higher-performing teams during this digital transformation. This was further evidenced by year-over-year manager effectiveness increases of over 10% once these behaviors became commonplace throughout the regions. Regions that once lagged the organizational average in managerial effectiveness, now led in many of the managerial effectiveness metrics.

Digital transformation may not be easy, but effective leadership can help bolster the chance of success. There is typically so much emphasis on the technology itself, establishing implementation road maps marked with important milestones, that the people part can easily be overlooked. Yet, we know from research that people are the lynchpin to a digital transformation’s success. Leaders who are able to actively engage their people are much more likely to experience not just success — but greater satisfaction throughout the change.

MIT Sloan Management Review

Putting an End to Leaders’ Self-Serving Behavior

Morela Hernandez is an associate professor of business administration at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. The Darden School is on Twitter @dardenmba. Links to Hernandez’s work are online at morelahernandez.com.

Although we might hope that leaders in business environments will embrace their decision-making responsibilities with a clear head and an open heart, empirical research has shown otherwise. Instead, business leaders are often selfish. Access to resources in many organizations is a moving target, leaving many managers feeling protective of what’s theirs. And when they take more than their fair share — extra resources for themselves at the expense of others — they often do it because they honestly think they are entitled to these resources and believe they have earned the right to take more.

Where does this kind of entitlement come from?

As I’ve tried to reconcile current political events — such as the European Union’s reaction to Brexit, the continuing global refugee crisis, and the ongoing debates in the United States about tax and health care reform — with scholarly work on ambiguity and decision-making, I’ve come to think that feeling entitled to a larger share of a resource might come not from objective assessments of reality but rather from what social scientists call motivated reasoning. Motivated reasoning occurs when people “selectively notice, encode, and retain information that is consistent with their desires.” People use this kind of reasoning to reach conclusions that help them support their self-serving beliefs. After all, reasoning, it has been said, “was designed by evolution to help us win arguments.”

Understanding the effects of self-serving beliefs is a tricky business. In the last decade of research in behavioral ethics, for instance, scholars have moved away from a “bad apples” approach in which only people with poor moral characteristics are deemed likely to behave unethically. Instead, researchers have examined how people can engage in self-serving behaviors while convinced of the rightness and fairness of doing so. Few studies, however, have explored the circumstances in which this type of selfishness — one that comes with a sense of entitlement and justification — is likely to arise.

Working alongside my colleague Laura Noval of the Imperial College Business School, in London, we sought to understand how organizations enable self-serving behavior. Specifically, we investigated how certain contextual and individual characteristics can facilitate motivated reasoning aimed at justifying self-serving decisions.

We explored this issue through two experimental studies, one using a hypothetical business decision-making scenario (in which 395 people participated, 52% women) and the other using a behavioral task in the laboratory (in which 239 people participated, 52% women). In both studies, we assigned participants to conditions in which they received either identical performance information with respect to another party (strong, unambiguous context), or in which they and the other party were favored by different performance criteria (weak, ambiguous context). In the latter case, participants could use motivated reasoning to convince themselves that their own performance criterion was more relevant for the task at hand, thereby convincing themselves that they deserve larger shares of the resource.

The results showed that, in fact, when there’s ambiguity in the context, people do convince themselves that they deserve more resources than others, a form of motivated reasoning that in turn facilitated their self-serving behavior. This effect was even stronger when individuals held strong ideologies that endorse status hierarchies (that is, social dominance orientation) and the belief that because of their age, race, gender, economic status, or other individual characteristics, some people should be relegated to lower levels of our social hierarchy. In contrast, when individuals held strong beliefs rooted in fairness and equality (that is, moral identity), they exhibited less self-serving behavior.

Examples of businesspeople taking more than their fair share are ubiquitous in modern organizational contexts. Some of the most vivid, recent illustrations come from the housing bubble that arose during a period of market flux and opaque hedging strategies. The resulting crisis was driven by self-focused bankers who were rewarded for their high-risk practices, and the most profoundly affected individuals came from minority racial groups. Ten years on, the pain felt by these groups is still severe.

Given that organizational realities are often fraught with ambiguity, our research offers several strategies to prevent such contexts from prompting motivated reasoning:

Choose leaders who tilt away from self-serving frameworks. Organizations should ensure that decision makers have central (and internalized) moral identities and that people who unwaveringly endorse status hierarchies don’t always end up in positions of power, as is often the case. Organizations need to realize that, by ignoring such factors, they may be inadvertently facilitating the relationship between contextual ambiguity and motivated reasoning.

Create systems that reinforce fairer evaluations. Our findings underscore the need for managers to not only create systems and processes that incorporate a consideration of stakeholder needs and interests, but do so clearly, unambiguously, and consistently to prevent motivated reasoning from taking place. For instance, decision makers in organizations may be able to convince themselves that certain stakeholders are more deserving than others without realizing that they have reached such conclusions due to their motivated biases. Organizational systems and processes can make moral concerns more or less salient to employees. Competitive environments and contexts that intensely emphasize financial concerns, for instance, can prompt organizations to unwittingly facilitate motivated reasoning and self-serving behavior.

Recognize the added complexities that arise on the global stage. Operating globally increases the ambiguity surrounding decision-making and presents decision makers with more complex, multifaceted issues than they face in domestic business. In many emerging and developing countries, institutional environments are weaker — as compared to economies at high levels of development — and involve arbitrary law enforcement, bureaucratic irregularities, and widespread corruption, all of which might reinforce the contextual ambiguity of situational cues. Organizations should give their employees explicit, clear guidelines for engaging in cross-cultural interactions to reduce contextual ambiguity. Doing so will produce a more holistic, comprehensive understanding of other global business contexts in which decisions are less susceptible to self-serving interpretations.

MIT Sloan Management Review

Recognizing Internet visionaries, innovators, and leaders from around the world

As the Internet Society celebrates 25 years of advocacy for an open, globally-connected, and secure Internet, we are honored to recognize some of the trailblazers who have fueled the Internet’s historic growth.

On September 18, the Internet Society gathered to honor the fourth class of Internet Hall of Fame Inductees at UCLA, where nearly 50 years ago the first message was sent over the Internet’s predecessor, the ARPANET.  Over the years, the Internet has evolved thanks to the tireless efforts of individuals, including these inductees, who believed in the potential of an open Internet.

Representing 10 countries, the 14 individuals who comprise the 2017 inductee class are computer scientists, academics, inventors and authors who have advanced the Internet with key technical contributions,  fostered its global reach and increased the general public’s understanding of how it works—in turn accelerating global accessibility and usage among us all.

Ultimately, the success of the Internet depends on the people behind it, and these inductees personify the pioneering spirit of the ‘Innovators’ and ‘Global Connectors’ that have been so instrumental in bringing us this unprecedented technology. They are some of the earliest Internet evangelists and their work has been the foundation for so many of the digital innovations we see today, and for generations to come.

Whether they were instrumental in the Internet’s early design, promoting its use, or expanding its global reach, we all benefit from their commitment and foresight.

Thank you for your work….and congratulations! 

More details on the 2017 Internet Hall of Fame inductees can be found at www.internethalloffame.org.


  • Jaap Akkerhuis (Netherlands)
  • Yvonne Marie Andrés (United States)
  • Alan Emtage (Barbados)
  • Edward Krol (United States)
  • Tracy LaQuey Parker (United States)
  • Craig Partridge (United States)

Global Connectors

  • Nabil Bukhalid (Lebanon)
  • Ira Fuchs (United States)
  • Shigeki Goto (Japan)
  • Mike Jensen (South Africa)
  • Ermanno Pietrosemoli (Venezuela)
  • Tadao Takahashi (Brazil)
  • Florencio Utreras (Chile)
  • Jianping Wu (China)

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Internet Society

How to Get Started Building Your IoT Solution Today – Five Tips from Industry Leaders


At Microsoft, we’re committed to helping businesses capitalize on the enormous opportunity that The Internet of Things presents, but since the term “IoT” covers so much terrain, we understand it can be hard to know where to get started.

There are often numerous questions about security, standards, and deployment, and the two big problems we get asked to solve for is: where do you focus your attention when it comes to IoT and where do you start?

At our recent IoT in Action event in San Jose, we spent time talking to IoT experts within Microsoft and at partner companies like Arrow, Avnet, Advantech and … (Rajat can give you some others that were at the event) who are already seeing success with IoT. We asked them for their thoughts on how to get started with an IoT solution.

Here’s what they had to say.


  1. Understand the platform first

 It’s important to know what IoT can and can’t-do for you.  Many companies don’t see the true value of investing in IoT because they don’t understand how to stand up a platform to build off and evolve their IoT application

So, choosing a partner that can show you the way their platform works and how it can be integrated into your everyday business process is crucial. Does it need a consulting partner? What devices and machines need to be connected? And what happens to the data once it flows in?

Delve into our IoT site on Microsoft.com to find information, case studies, white papers, and educational videos that will help you understand IoT better and help you make informed decisions on what to do next.


  1. Know your strength and where you’re going

Every company has a core strength. Find yours and you’ll be able to generate actionable data and learn from it. How do you identify your core strength? Ask yourself what vertical you play in, what type of customers you serve, and what they need that an IoT solution could cater to.

A large number of IoT initiatives don’t have a plan that defines what it’s going to look like in the end, who your audience is, and how you’re going to monetize your IoT platform. You need to decide early if the purpose is for cost savings, new revenue models, or increased customer engagement.

Once again, ask yourself, “What’s my value proposition and what do I bring to the table?” There are a lot of different applications within IoT, so you should be able to articulate your value to your ecosystem partners and be able to find ways that you can turn those elements into a viable solution.

“What vertical do you play in? What experience have you been creating over the years? What types of enterprise or customers do you serve? What are your partner assets?”

“Get started where you have a core strength, a core set of value props that you can deliver.”

  • Rodney Clark, VP IoT Sales, Microsoft


  1. Predict the intent of your customer

The IoT industry leaders we spoke to suggest that winners in IoT will always be those who gather, analyze, and understand customer intent and can predict what they might do next.

For instance, while you can get data and analytics on how many times someone walks into your store by installing an in-store sensor, it’s another thing to interpret that data to get inside the head of the customer to understand why they are there and what they might do next.

The best place to begin before you start to figure out your customers is what your end goal is. It’s not enough to have the latest piece of hardware or software; it’s what you do with it.

 Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 12.32.27 PM

  1. Be very selective in the area of IoT you pursue

There are lots of paths to get you to where you want to go, you just have to figure out a final destination. These range from IoT operating systems that fit your device of choice or large, robust cloud services that give you the bandwidth and security your product or service requires.

Which one serves your needs? Once again, it’s important to partner with the right people, whether it be a gateway provider, a cloud partner, or an integration partner who understands the area you want to pursue.

Once you know your niche, you’ll start to gather the right team to help you excel in your business with the end customer in mind.

“Don’t try to boil the ocean. Be very selective about what you do, and stay focused on connecting with the right partners in the ecosystem.”

Manik Rane, Managing Director, Grail Research.


  1. Make a commitment and find partners

The best way to commit is to start with a goal in mind: are you going to increase revenue, try to save costs, or engage customers? Then, commit! Once you commit to the enterprise level, you’re ready to find other partners that exist in your ecosystem that is ready to commit to you.

“Decide what you want to do, set up your goals, and then commit to it!’


Tom O’Reilly, GM, IoT Device Experience, Microsoft


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