Lennar ceo Stuart Miller

For Lennar ceo Stuart Miller, "Disrupt or Be Disrupted" is not marketing speak. It's a principle that's part of running one of the biggest and best companies in the residential real estate business. Innovation is not a word. It's a way his organization, its pieces and parts, and people, and processes need to work to win, not just quarter to quarter, but around the next corner of time, and the one after that.

Stuart Miller graciously offered to join Hanley Wood and its small team of "deans," trusted advisors who are helping us to engineer our HIVE program, which will culminate in a game-changing two-day event, September 28-29, in Los Angeles. HIVE stands for Housing Innovation Vision and Economics.

In his mind, HIVE matters because it's about bringing three vital forces for housing together as no other event or conversation does: profit, which companies need to achieve or they die; purpose, which is the opportunity to do greater good; and technology, the engine for profit and purpose to come together.

What he wants, of course, is to make a difference, not just for Lennar, but for people who need homes of all kinds, and for people who make a living developing, designing, financing and building those homes. And making a difference means hammering home a message that innovation, change, self-disruption, are not pretty words for consultants to throw around. They are what to do, today, now, urgently, or else die.

Have a look at this image from Harvard Business Review contributor Vijay Govindarajan, and see if you can relate:

Three box solution, HBR, Vijay Govindarajan

Of this image, Govindarajan writes:

The Three-Box Solution requires an ability to think and act simultaneously in multiple time frames. You’re always managing the present, destroying the past, and building the future. At times, you will have to focus on one box more than the others, but if you attend to all three boxes with your teams and others in your organization, you will find that you’re creating the future over time, every single day.

Critically important, notes Govindarajan, is humility because it means doing by learning, and taking action as a basis of learning. Stuart Miller sees Lennar as doing incredibly innovative and transformative initiatives as part and parcel of its day to day operations. He also acknowledges that there are challenges and opportunities that will only yield to effort if brilliance comes together at HIVE, from both housing's leaders and from technology and data wizards outside the endemic footprint of the industry.

HIVE will be an event not to miss, in part because we have the help, the energies, and the vision of a man and his team who take these terms into the real world and put them to work. Of the quarter to quarter need to deliver profitability, Miller suggests the image of quarter laps of a race track, with the vehicle speeding around it, meeting performance expectations. To infuse the vehicle with the rocket-boost and maintenance and endurance capability it needs for the next part of the race, Miller suggests we think of a pit stop, where those innovative new enhancements and capabilities get added by the team.

We're inspired and energized to have Stuart Miller on the HIVE team; we know that having a fellow with the kind of fire and focus he has in the middle of the effort will only elevate our game. Truly, HIVE will be a gathering you will not want to miss.

Enough said.