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Is being a bit fluffy good?

Author : Tim Fryer

02 August 2012

I went to see someone this week who thought that FMs were a bit ‘fluffy’ – and that is why he wanted to speak to them!

This is actually a compliment. The person I was speaking to was an installer of AV systems and his views of fluffy FMs is a result of much delving around the corporate body to find the bit that is most receptive, and FMs appear to be that part.

The point being that FMs not only use the ‘fluffy’ language – they actually know what it means. To some the agile workforce, the flexible workspace or collaborative working are just buzz words, but to the FM they are strategic decisions and it is them who will make them work.

Particularly in the case of AV it might be an IT manager who could otherwise be the first point of call. But IT managers do tend to view new systems as impostors and assess how it will affect their systems, rather how they can make it work for the organisation. While a sweeping generalisation, the same could be levelled at other specialist managers – like those involved in energy, HR, environment, production, legal etc – their viewpoints come from a single perspective on any potentially disruptive changes to the way the business is organised or run.

So despite the prevalence of ‘management speak’ in the FMs vocabulary, it is they who are being recognised as the practical ‘go to’ person when real change, and a holistic view of the impact on the whole organisation, is required.

Quick change of subject, and back to my favourite one of the Olympics. At the time of writing the performance of Team GB is admirably gutsy without plundering too many medals. It has become this topic that is dominating the nations thoughts and conversations about the Games. This is such a positive for the FM industry. Doomsayers would have had it that food would have been expensive and poor, the Olympic Park would rapidly lose its shine and most of all, of course, security would be compromised. However, now we are underway all the talk is of the Queen parachuting into the opening ceremony and the sporting entertainment on show. The FM industry has a vital role in these Olympics, like a referee in a football match – if he does his job well then nobody notices.

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