A friend of mine, Michael Kerrison, owns a Minneapolis-basedmanagement consulting firm called EnduranceAmerica whose offer isto help companies "create the organization that, if it existed,would put yours out of business."

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Think about that. It's a powerful statement that Mike turns intoa question and immediately gets his client's senior managementteams thinking about what's missing from their organizations in anon-threatening way. His question asks them to project rather thananalyze, devise rather than criticize. Hope rather than fear.

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With the recent mergers in the real estate industry, a questionlike Mike's may well have real estate industry watchers scratchingtheir heads. After all, these mergers are not creatingorganizations that put more power back in their client's hands;they are simply creating bigger entities. In an effort to improvethe bottom line, these firms will have to reduce their headcountwhile trying to reassure their newly assimilated employees that allis well (and stable). It will be difficult to do this in light ofmass defections and layoffs. And trust me, you'll see both.

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Survival by sheer size is indeed survival, but it's boring.

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And what about the customer? If you're in the real estateservice provider industry, the organization that "will put yoursout of business" looks for ways to seduce your client, offering tobe attentive, responsive, perhaps even exclusively tenant focused.I don't think clients are seduced by bigger anymore unless theyhappen to be bigger too. If so, then, the safe choice for them maybe the biggest--after all, they grew in much the same way. Butsmaller, mid-sized clients will feel a disconnect and the sensethat they don't matter as much to the industry. It will take a longtime for the larger firms to re-focus on the smaller client baseand, in the meantime, it's nice to know that the organization thatputs my competition out of business may actually be mycompetition.

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VikBangia is Vice President of National Accounts forCresaPartners, an international corporate real estate advisory firmthat exclusively represents tenants/space users and specializes inthe delivery of fully integrated real estate services. The viewsexpressed in this article are the author's own.

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