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Innovations

Miami International Airport Opens the MIA Mover

Have you been hearing updates ever so often regarding the MIA Mover since construction began in January of this year? Well the wait is finally over; the Miami International Airport (MIA) recently unveiled the finished Automated People Mover.

As a part of the Miami Intermodal Center Project the elevated mover will transportB travelers and workers 1.25 miles from the airport terminal to the MIA Rental Center.B It is comprised of eight train cars that will be able to transport up to 3,000 passengers an hour helping to reduce the airport’s fuel emissions by 15 percent.

In addition to easing passenger traffic at terminal curb-fronts and the roads going in and out of MIA, the Mover has createdB 1,000 new jobs. It was also completed on time, under the proposed budget by $5 million and it has even earned the nationbs top safety recognition Voluntary Protection Program Star status from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

What are your thoughts on the MIA Mover? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Image by MDAD via Miami International Airport

Service Robots Gain Ground

After reporting that With Automate 2011 coming up March 21-24, the U.S. is competing in the international robotics market, more specifically for service robots, and America is definitely in the running. After IBMbs machine, Watson, competed on Jeopardy! last month—and definitively won—robots being common in the working world doesnbt seem like a concept thatbs too far off.

In fact, according to BusinessWeek, the market for service robots is expected to double in a mere couple of years. What do you think about a robotbs place in the working world? Can you picture one in your office? Leave a comment on the blog to share your thoughts.

Toshiba robot image via JapanToday.com

Business Innovation Depends on Leadership

As a company that provides corporate real estate services, we like to keep up with the latest in workplace trends and business innovations. A recent Businessweek article naturally drew our attention, as it discusses the role of leadership in an organizationbs ability to innovate.

Many managers now are focusing mostly on the difficulties of todaybs business world. But to remain competitive, they also must think about the future—how the business can grow and evolve for the better. The Businessweek article offers lessons in bputting innovation into practice,b focusing on the importance of leadership. It highlights six steps for executing business innovations, from gathering a development team to following up and sharing successes. If youbre interested in business innovation, we suggest you take a look at it.

To follow all of Morris Southeast Groupbs updates on innovations, the changing workplace and commercial real estate, simply subscribe to have our posts sent right to your email inbox.

Image: adservices.net/blog

Waving Goodbye to the Standard Office Cubicle

Evolving technology and a rough economy have contributed to new office landscapes, with a trend of most employees losing space, according to Many companies are axing the idea of a cubicle in favor of a more open plan, while others are condensing the cubicle footprint from 8-by-10 feet to about 5-by-5 feet. Sleeker and slimmer technology is requiring less space, but thatbs not the only contributing factor. With smartphones and other technology allowing more flexibility in work schedules and making it easier to work remotely, businesses are seeing that some employees really donbt need their own space.

People disagree on the effect of less space on todaybs workers. Though some point out this allows for more flexibility, others worry about employees feeling crowded or less valued.

How is your business changing the office setup in reaction to new technology? Leave a comment with your thoughts on smaller workspaces.

Image: archiexpo.com

Handling Business Innovations

As a company that provides corporate real estate services, we like to keep up with changes in todaybs workplace, which more and more are brought about by innovation—a follow-through of new ideas and, thus, a catalyst for change. Businesses that successfully integrate innovations into their organization usually respond to these changes with good management and adaptation, like founder of Business Strategy Innovation Braden Kelley describes in this article.

Why is adaptability so important? Because innovations affect an entire company, from customers and employees to marketing, operations and beyond. From the article:

bIt should be clear that as an organization is imagining how to take their creative idea and transform it into a valuable innovation in the marketplace, they also should be imagining all of the organizational changes that are going to be required and how they will implement them.b

You can read more about how to handle business innovation here. How does your company approach implementing new ideas?

Image: inventorsdigest.com

Robots Marketed for Businesses

As a corporate real estate company, webre always interested in workplace changes, trends and innovations. Needless to say, bThe Robot in the Next Cubicleb headline from Businessweek caught our eyes. Creating a new challenge for unemployed Americans, worker robots are hitting the business market as they can complete tasks like mail delivery and coffee runs without succumbing to distractions like many human workers do.

Multiple worker robots have been developed with a range of skill levels, from coffee fetching to bremedial problem solving.b So will these robots soon replace the need for human workers, especially in terms of secretarial tasks? Maybe, but maybe not. It could create a whole new industry of jobs for robot maintenance, Smart Robots’ chief executive officer points out.

You can learn more about robotic workers and their place in the office here. And then let us know what you think. Are you excited about the possibilities for businesses this technology presents, or are you concerned about robots taking over human jobs?

Image: AFP via news.com.au

A role for innovation: Chief Innovation Officers

Coming up with new ideas for business is not a new concept, but assigning the role of Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) is, and itbs one many companies are adding to their leadership teams. Citigroup, Coca Cola, Humana and other top businesses all have CIOs. This new role is being created in part because companies now have a clearer understanding of how innovation works and how to manage it in a business setting.

The role of a CIO embraces three main areas: bdevising a language with innovation, testing assumptions with prototypes and using structure to unlock creativity,b according to this Businessweek article. Learn more by reading the full viewpoint, bThe Role of the Chief Innovation Officer.b

Has your company employed a Chief Innovation Officer? What steps is your business taking to embrace innovation? Leave a comment to let us know.

Image: Seth1492 via Flickr

Trends in business innovation

Following the Product Development and Management Associationbs Global Conference this year, Business Innovationist Chris Dolan summed up 10 predictions he has for 2020, helping define a vision of companies of the future. Here are a few of the predictions we found most interesting:

  • Virtual offices become more standard, which could also result in more flexible work schedules. Read more about this from our former post, The virtual office: Is it worth the hassle?
  • More open source collaboration. Dolan suggests taking this past collaborating with employees within a company to seeking ideas from customers and clients as well.
  • Exercise breaks to enhance cognitive performance. Look for more gyms in offices and calendar events that include an exercise break.
  • Passion projects. Look for employees to be able to focus on matters that interest them while, of course, also completing their day-to-day work.

Read more about his future-of-business predictions here. Which of these do you see coming to fruition? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Image: business-strategy-innovation.com

Technology becomes obsolete more and more quickly

Obviously, old technology is a thing of the past. But does it seem to be fading away more quickly now than ever before? When it comes to technology, therebs always something better just around the corner, as Businessweek expounds on in this article.

Even seemingly new things like dash-mounted GPS systems, MP3 players and PDAs could be replaced extremely quickly by smartphones, which offer all these technologies and more in one simple device. So how do you know which technology to invest in and which will be obsolete much sooner than we ever imagined? Thatbs the challenge facing chief technology officers and others in business who make the technology-purchasing decisions for a company, big or small.

Let us know what your business is doing in light of this issue by leaving a comment. Do you try to keep up with the latest innovations, or do you keep on trudging by with the older versions? What influences these decisions?

Image: dusk-photography via Flickr

Artificial Intelligence for mobile devices

Webve talked a lot on this blog about smartphones, innovations and how technology is changing the workplace, but never about something quite thisb& well, futuristic-sounding. After all, bArtificial intelligence is going mobile,b Businessweek has declared in this article.

AI is expected to hit smartphones and tablets as these become increasingly prevalent and as faster wireless networks make AI apps more possible. As Businessweek reports,

“We are trying to reach that Star Trek dream,” says Mazin Gilbert, executive director of technical research at AT&T Labs. “We spent decades investing in this technology. If you can put AI with mobility, it reallybsignificantlybexpands the number of applications and services” you can provide, he says.

AI is already used in a few fields, such as banking to identify unusual transactions to detect fraud. But going mobile will be a whole new playing field. Just imagine how it will change the business world. What do you think? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Image: dailygalaxy.com

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