FM is a complex, issues based role. I’ve learned along the way that nobody in the industry knows it all, and the best way to be successful is to leverage the knowledge and great ideas of others, including your staff, colleagues and suppliers.
Recently, I delivered a 3 day workshop on Strategic Facilities Management in Dubai. The location was spectacular, naturally, and the audience was diverse, interesting and most importantly, keenly interested in enhancing their skills and knowedge in the profession, which is quickly emerging in the Middle East.
While the 3 day workshop had many individual modules, the last session was on developing FM skills. This included an example from my past, dating over 15 years ago from a teamwork exercise while working in the Facility Management department of a major company.
It was so compelling about the the value of teamwork, I still had the exercise booklet.The exercise was from a company called Human Synergistics and was titled ‘Subarctic Survival Situation”. If surviving the cold doesn’t interest you, they have one set in the Desert and several other interesting situations.
In the exercise, you have crash landed in Northern Canada, a subarctic region. You have 15 items that were salvaged before the airplane sank, which you individually rank in order of importance. Then, your group works to gether to collectively rank the same 15 items and both individual and group rankings are scored against rankings from experts.
My individual score was 42. The lowest personal score was only 40. The average from our group’s individual scores was just over 49. The lower the score the better, so I did pretty well, so I thought.
The real test was the team score, which was a low 18. This was a significant improvement on my individual score and representing a 63% improvement over the group average.
This much lower team score illustrated the value of teamwork in analyzing and assessing important issues. The simple fact that I have kept the exercise book all these years demonstrates how compelling this lesson was.
Translating this to FM, it’s clear that your success isn’t based on what you know, it’s based on how well you combine what you know with the expertise and knowledge of those around you. Using this strategy, which is clearly a management / leadership skill that all Facility Managers need, you will be in a better position to to develop solutions and inititiatives that improve services, enhance efficiency and reduce total costs for your Facilities.