In the dynamic world of facility management, the question arises: should accomplished facility management professionals focus solely on advancing their individual companies, or is there a greater benefit in coming together to develop, support, and grow the facility management industry as a whole?
Here, I will explore the compelling reasons why collaboration among facility management professionals is not just beneficial but crucial for the sustained success of the FM industry.
The facility management (FM) industry plays a vital role in maintaining and optimizing the functionality of the built environment. Traditionally, professionals in this field have tended to concentrate on the growth and success of their individual organizations. However, a paradigm shift is occurring as the industry recognizes the need for collaboration to overcome challenges and foster sustainable growth.
Current Challenges in FM Industry
Individualistic approaches in the FM industry can lead to challenges such as inconsistent standards, limited innovation, and a lack of cohesive advocacy for industry-friendly policies. Series of issues arise when professionals focus solely on their individual organizations’ goals.
Imperatives of not Collaborating for the FM Industry Development
By not actively supporting and investing in the development of the facility management industry, matured FMs focusing solely on their individual organizations may be seeing immediate cost savings and operational benefits or believing they keep certain best practices and strategies proprietary, all these competitive advantage over perceived rivals are short lived.
Limited Progress: Stagnation within the industry can hinder overall growth and innovation, preventing FM professionals and organizations from accessing the latest best practices and technologies.
Risk of Inefficiency: Without industry standards and best practices, facility practitioners and FM companies may inadvertently adopt suboptimal solutions, leading to inefficiencies and increased operational costs.
Lack of Talent Development: Neglecting the industry development may result in a shortage of skilled professionals entering the facility management field, making it challenging for companies to find and retain top talents.
Reputation Risks: FM companies that prioritize their own interests over industry development may suffer reputational damage if their practices are seen as outdated or non-compliant with evolving norms and expectations.
Missed Collaborative Opportunities: Failing to support the FM industry growth can mean missed opportunities for collaboration, partnerships, and collective problem-solving that could benefit individual companies.
Regulatory Vulnerabilities: In the absence of industry standards and regulations, FM companies may face increased legal and regulatory risks, especially in areas such as safety, environmental compliance, and labor practices.
Benefits of Collaboration in FM
Collaboration among FM professionals brings forth a myriad of benefits, from setting improved industry standards to fostering innovation. By working collectively, professionals can elevate the entire industry, leading to enhanced professional development and increased competitiveness on a global scale.
Obstacles to Collaboration in FM
While collaboration is essential, there are common obstacles that hinder professionals from coming together effectively. Common obstacles include a lack of communication, competition fears, and a reluctance to share knowledge.
Overcoming these obstacles requires a cultural shift and proactive strategies to building a collaborative culture within the industry.
What the FM Industry Stands to Gain From Veterans
Highly experienced facility professionals possess a wealth of knowledge, skills, and insights that can benefit the industry in numerous ways. There are lot of reasons why they should take on the role of industry champions rather than focusing solely on their own companies’ successes.
The FM industry stands to gain the following when veterans work together for the common goals of the profession:
Industry Advancement Through Knowledge Sharing: Experienced facility professionals have accumulated a deep well of knowledge and expertise over the years. By actively participating in industry associations, conferences, and knowledge-sharing initiatives, they can disseminate their insights, best practices, and lessons learned to benefit the broader community.
This does not only elevates the quality of facility management across the board but also fosters innovation and continuous improvement for the younger generations. FM professionals can collectively elevate the skill set of the entire industry, leading to more informed decision-making and improved service delivery.
Raising Industry Standards: Highly experienced professionals can advocate for and actively contribute to the establishment of industry standards and best practices. They can collaborate with other FM organizations to set benchmarks that ensure consistent quality and safety in facility management operations. By raising industry standards, they enhance the reputation and credibility of the FM profession.
Mentoring the Next Generation: Experienced professionals can play a pivotal role in mentoring and nurturing the talents of the next generation of facility managers. Sharing their knowledge, offering guidance, and providing mentorship not only strengthens the skills of emerging professionals but also ensures the industry’s longevity by passing on the torch of expertise.
Influencing Industry Regulations and Policies: Industry veterans can actively engage in lobbying efforts and policy advocacy to influence government regulations and policies that impact facility management. This involvement can lead to regulations that promote sustainability, safety, and efficiency in facility operations, ultimately benefiting the entire industry.
Professionals can engage with government bodies to shape regulations that support industry growth and development, and can wield significant influence in advocating for industry-friendly policies.
Fostering Innovation: Experienced professionals often have a unique vantage point to identify emerging trends and technologies. By actively promoting innovation within the industry, they can drive the adoption of cutting-edge solutions that improve efficiency, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness in facility management.
Collaboration and Networking: Highly experienced facility professionals can leverage their extensive networks to encourage collaboration and partnerships among industry stakeholders. These collaborations can lead to research, shared resources, and collective problem-solving, which are critical for the growth and evolution of the profession.
Innovative Solutions through Collaboration: Collaboration fosters creativity and innovation by bringing diverse perspectives together. Professionals working collectively can generate novel solutions to industry challenges, ensuring ongoing relevance and adaptability.
Building a Unified Vision: A shared vision for the FM industry is crucial for sustained growth. Aligning individual goals with a collective vision, will foster unity and a sense of purpose within the industry.
Industry Image and Attraction: An industry is often judged by the caliber of its experienced professionals. By actively championing the industry, these professionals help enhance its image and attractiveness to potential talents. This can be particularly crucial in recruiting and retaining top talent in facility management.
Addressing Industry Challenges: Experienced professionals are well-equipped to identify and address industry challenges, such as talent shortages, evolving technology, and sustainability demands. By taking an active role in solving these issues, they help ensure the industry’s resilience and adaptability.
Benefits for Individual Companies: Contrary to the fear of losing individual competitiveness, collaboration actually benefits individual organization in the long term. By contributing to the growth of the entire industry, FM companies can position themselves for sustained success.
Individual businesses benefit from collaboration through enhanced industry standards, access to innovative solutions, and a supportive network for professional development.
Highly experienced facility professionals should recognize their responsibility not only to their individual companies but to the broader facility management industry. By actively developing and supporting the industry, they can create a positive ripple effect that elevates standards, fosters innovation, and ensures the profession’s long-term success.
While there are short-term advantages to not supporting the development of the facility management industry in favor of individual companies, the long-term disadvantages can include industry stagnation, inefficiency, and reputational risks. Striking a balance between pursuing company-specific goals and contributing to the facility management industry advancement is often the best approach for sustainable success.
Through knowledge sharing, mentoring, advocacy, and collaboration, experienced professionals can leave a lasting legacy that benefits the industry and society as a whole. The future success of the facility management industry hinges on the collaborative efforts of its professionals.