Know your Knitting...

Whilst in the middle of reading the latest article about Facility Managers getting more credibility in the lofty C-Suite of organisations I started to yawn….and then yawn again. I know I’ve been busy recently, but I think I’m exhausted!

Is anybody else tired of the identity confusion and navel gazing in FM, Workplace and Property?

Who cares what they (we) are called?

To a large extent, who cares what they are doing – so long as it’s adding value for stakeholders – employees, management and shareholders.

In fact the blurring of where Corporate Real Estate Management (CRE) finishes and where Facilities Management (FM) starts – and where FM finishes and I.T. starts – and all vice versa – has been around for a long time now.

We know Finance and HR are increasingly seeing FM or Property footprints in their back office too.

So it’s a fact…….traditional lawns are being trampled on with steel toe boots and stilettoes all over the world…but that shouldn’t be a problem…should it?

It’s called evolution

Anybody who works in those competency areas will tell you they aren’t concerned about their identity in the eyes of the business, they just want to add value by using their skills. People have a propensity to Evolve. It’s a shame that we don’t just accept that (indeed encourage it) and move on.

We all know it makes sense and is the right thing to do…the trick (and hence the opportunity) for most organisations is knitting the outcomes of those skills together – be it internal teams and departments, a simple/complex supply chain or a mixture of both.

The snowstorm of research (whitepapers…get it?) over recent years about workplace effectiveness which has added to the identity crisis, has quite rightly pointed the spotlight more towards the use of property (or not, when working from home or a hotel or a harvester? (too much on the alliteration?) and its effect on the bottom line for businesses. They have also pointed a big Angle Poise lamp over the quality of workplaces to encourage higher productivity AND be a place where people want to do work.

OK so what’s your point Mike?

My point goes back to the knitting point. Somebody in your organisation needs to start knitting in this newly evolved world and how can we all help her/him/them, irrespective of our identity?

Lets deal with some tangibles…, people, buildings, equipment assets and data. They all require management that we have compartmentalised into Workplace, Facilities Management, Real Estate, IT, HR & Finance. I would challenge that we should evolve and start to manage them in a consolidated and interlinked way. How? By combining data in all these areas to provide insight, we should help business leaders adjust the levers of running a business, so they get the right balance and understand where changes can become a win/win across all areas. For example; spotting energy savings that can be reinvested in property to help attract and retain staff. Whatever the job title, Head of FM, Head of Workplace or Head of HR – if somebody does this they are an established knitter and will be adding value AND they deserve recognition in the C-Suite.

This is business in the 21st century

At CDS we recognise that we have a big part to play as an independent Digital Communications Agency with a Property and FM heritage. We help organisations knit their Data together to provide one version of the truth. Data that can be Property Terrier data, CAFM data, Energy and Waste data, Health & Safety and Compliance data etc. you get the point…..But we also target people and finance data as we work with Leesman to capture qualitative data on workplace productivity.

CDS promise to deliver the right content, to the right contact in the right context and we do this for those people who are interested in knitting.

The solution is called Asset Factory™

Author: Michael Stephens, Head of Asset Intelligence at CDS Digital

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