Collaboration and Innovation in the Multifamily Industry

By Patrick Antrim, Chairman of the Multifamily Innovation® Council and CEO of Multifamily Leadership*

Collaboration and innovation were the dominant themes in our recent Multifamily Innovation® Council meeting. As industry leaders, we understand the importance of coming together to tackle complex problems and drive positive change. During our discussion, we had the privilege of hearing from esteemed speakers who shared their insights and experiences on problem-solving, creativity, and the power of collaboration.

One of the highlights of the meeting was the discussion led by our guest expert Jef Rawls, who brought his expertise in working with large organizations and facilitating meetings. He emphasized the need for a collaborative, creative process to generate innovative ideas. Rawls shared how he has witnessed firsthand the power of facilitation in shifting perspectives and unlocking new levels of thinking.

The speakers also touched upon the importance of adopting a ‘Yes’ mentality in leadership and communication. This ‘Yes, and’ principle, often associated with improvisation techniques, encourages active listening, accepting ideas, and building upon them. By embracing this mindset, leaders can create an environment that fosters creative thinking and collaboration.

One speaker shared a powerful story of a workshop where participants were asked to quickly name items pulled from a bag. The exercise was aimed at unlocking their creativity, and it was a revelation for one participant whose boss realized he had been stifling his employee’s creative potential. This story highlighted the vital role that leaders play in fostering creativity and innovation within their teams.

Another speaker recounted an experience where a group of employees were encouraged to generate ideas without fear of judgment. This liberated approach led to the development of innovative solutions that would not have emerged otherwise. The power of “yes, and” thinking was demonstrated as leaders embraced and built upon ideas from their team members, leading to transformative outcomes.

During a brainstorming session, the Multifamily Innovation® Council members displayed the power of collaboration and the ‘Yes, and’ philosophy. What began as the ambitious plan to deliver hoverboards to every mall in America by Christmas quickly evolved into a fruitful discussion on innovative ideas and possibilities. The group thrived on the collective creativity and open-mindedness, nurturing an environment where ideas could flourish.

The concept of embracing a ‘Yes, and’ mentality goes beyond improvisation on a stage. It can be applied as a leadership principle for driving innovation and growth within organizations. By adopting this mindset, leaders can create a culture that encourages team members to contribute their ideas and build upon them. It is essential to differentiate between saying “yes, let’s explore” and adopting a ‘yes-man’ approach that simply accepts without questioning. True collaboration and innovation require active participation, engagement, and exploration.

In the meeting, one speaker proposed a collaborative approach to unlocking innovation within a team or organization. This involved creating a safe space where team members could share their ideas without fear of risk or rejection. By trusting in the ideas of others and being open to surprises, leaders can create an environment that fosters creativity and encourages the discovery of new solutions.

The discussion also touched on the challenges of centralizing multifamily property management functions. This includes overcoming resistance to change and addressing technological hurdles. Members highlighted the importance of inclusive decision-making and active listening to ensure that all voices are heard and ideas are valued. Centralization can optimize business operations, but it requires careful navigation and buy-in from all stakeholders.

Furthermore, the conversation delved into the delicate balance between centralization and addressing the perception of job loss. It is crucial to communicate that centralization is not about cutting staff but rather about streamlining functions for consistency and positive outcomes. Implementing change management strategies and involving employees in cost-cutting decisions can help avoid alienation and create a sense of unity towards shared goals.

The Multifamily Innovation® Council meeting served as a powerful reminder of the benefits of collaboration, creativity, and the ‘Yes, and’ mentality. Through open dialogue and the sharing of ideas, we can unlock the full potential of multifamily operations. By participating in these discussions, industry professionals gain access to a network of like-minded peers, exclusive content, and the ability to shape the future of the multifamily industry.

If you are involved in the multifamily industry and want to be part of these cutting-edge conversations, I invite you to join the Multifamily Innovation® Council. As a member, you will have the opportunity to expand your network, gain access to exclusive resources, and participate in regular meetings where your voice can be heard. Together, we can drive innovation, foster collaboration, and propel the multifamily industry towards a brighter future.

To learn more about the Multifamily Innovation® Council and to become a member, please visit our

*Note: The Multifamily Innovation® Council keeps all discussions and speaker information confidential to create a safe space for candid and open dialogue.

I want to start by recognizing our partners and members who’ve joined us in supporting the vision and mission of the Multifamily Innovation Council:

Our members collaborate and take action. It’s working for leaders from companies like these…just to name a few.



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