The return of wooden escalators

When you live in a big city, it takes a lot to be surprised – and even more to be truly delighted.

This week, Transport for NSW surprised and delighted Sydneysiders and heritage buffs with the installation of a five-tonne sculpture based on Wynyard station’s iconic wooden escalators.

The sculpture is clever, fresh and connects the commuter to the millions who have also travelled down to the same underground concourse for the last 80 years.

Along with the opening of George Street to the public on Monday, the CBD of Australia’s oldest city feels young again.

That is thoughtful renewal. While innovation is one of the most overworked words in business, it is fundamental to what we do every day.

The ability to imagine and then implement is vital if we are to adapt to the changes happening around us.

Central to innovation is the culture for creativity that occurs in our workplaces. Our people, their aptitudes and experiences are the drivers for innovation.

The Property Council has long argued that diversity is not just a social necessity but an economic one as well.

Diversity is not just gender, age, race, or ethnicity – though they are important parts of it. It’s also our life experiences as well.

This week, we look at the trends that our young leaders in the industry are identifying and answering and how they are carving out new paths for us all.

We also look at some of the benefits that accrue by bringing people with different life experiences into the industry. I saw that last week when Lendlease’s Terry Byway was named the industry’s Retirement Village Manager of the Year. Byway was a soldier in the Australian Defence Force, a police officer and a personal trainer before forging his fourth career as a retirement living manager.

Increasingly, we will see stories like Terry Byway’s as our industry takes a bigger view towards skill portability. We are seeing many new sources of talent for our industry – and one of those is the ADF. This issue also looks at how our industry can benefit by having a wider view about talent.

We need that broader view, because in property, talent and creativity go hand in hand.