Architecture is a visual art,
and the buildings speak for themselves.
Architect of Hearst Castle
The Official Publication of the Corporate Facilities Council
Through Play: Part 2
On the Cover
From Your President
News & Events
CFC board member honored with Distinguished Member Award!
Beth Osgood is the Workplace Strategy Manager and Occupancy Planner for CBRE's Midwest, South and West regions.
Mike Petrusky interviews Gary McKelvey, Jr. of Siemens
From Your President
"The Shard" London
How to Influence
As you know we’ve wrapped up another World Workplace; I hope that everyone who could attend was able to glean a nugget of information that will make you more successful or make your work days better. This event always has something to offer for facility professionals whether it be a session that asked to think about things a little differently or a product that could end up being a game changer or the new contact that you met by chance at a lunch table.
I’d like to send a big thank you to the panel for the Corporate Facilities Council’s Real Life Conversation on Wellness, Carolyn Rickard, Phil Kuttner of Little, Jonathon Farr of Vivreau Advanced Water Systems and John Rimer of FM360. We are planning more programs on this topic as it is quickly becoming a hot button for all of us in the facilities management arena. I’d also like to thank the team on the council’s board who spent countless hours planning the event.
In my summer letter, I mentioned the speed of change─it seems to be a constant theme for me this year and maybe you too. And sometimes in the midst of all that busy, it’s hard to prioritize, so I use my membership in the Corporate Facilities Council as a tool to help me stay current on trends and in contact with people who have become friends as well as business connections. Let me know how you are getting value from your membership.
Finally, I heard from some about the schedule change at World Workplace and it seems that everyone has an opinion about it. I encourage you to make your opinion know and answer your survey.
Facility, the official publication of the Corporate Facilities Council of IFMA, is published quarterly.
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Executive Board 2018-20
Beth Osgood, CFM
Koch Business Solutions
Sarah Wortman, CPSM
Joe Selby, CFM
Wells Fargo Bank
Immediate Past President
Denise Johnston, CFM
Bobby R. LaRon, M.S.
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Koch Business Solutions
Sue Thompson, CMP
AAA Club Alliance
Wayne Whitzell, LEED AP, BEP, GBO
Matthew Kutzler, PE, CDT
Facility Engineering Associates
Buck Fisher, CFM, IFMA Fellow
Facilities Management & Operations Assessment
Alice Houguisson, CFM, SMP Edelman
Jeff Martin, CMP
Wells Fargo Bank
Melodee Wagen, MCR
Workspace Strategies, Inc.
The effect of play and innovation on organizational success
Photo: Andrew Rugge/Perkins Eastman
Changing Perceptions of Workplace Design
2 of 3
By Scott Fallick, AIA, LEED AP, Associate
the first article of this three part series we examined the importance of “play” as a catalyst for innovation. As organizations around the world continue to explore ways to promote collaboration among employees, we must examine purposeful play as a facilitator of innovation within the workplace. This second installment focuses on how play and the built environment can foster measurable drivers of innovation and organizational success—collaboration, productivity, and staff engagement.
Collaboration at its highest potential produces creative and enhanced methods and solutions, ultimately leading to innovation. Google, famous for innovation and redefining the way people work, has continually invested in optimizing collaboration. During its Project Aristotle, a two year long internal study of what factors help create the most effective teams, they found there was no ideal permutation of team structure or personalities. Instead the study revealed that the ability to establish a safe culture where team members felt comfortable to open up and take risks was the best facilitator of team success (Duhigg 2016). When team members shared personal details that impacted their professional lives, it improved empathy, communication, and motivation, which in turn produced better results. With this insight, we can start to explore how architecture might support situations in which employees feel comfortable to break professional norms and form important interpersonal connections.
This sense of comfort can be fostered in environments that lack a sense of hierarchy or formal social conventions. These spaces can be blatantly informal, such as ones that resemble coffee shops or living rooms. Similarly, this experience of comfort can be subtly encouraged by nuanced departures from traditional meeting space design. For example, the standard conference table setup, usually associated with long structured meetings, can be replaced with standing height tables and stools surrounded by writeable surfaces. These informal furnishings signal meeting participants to not passively sit and listen but rather actively participate, get out of their seats, explore new ideas, and invite coworkers passing by to drop into the discussion. In this setting, everyone feels empowered to provide and learn fresh perspectives.
In addition to increasing teamwork effectiveness, individual productivity and engagement are cornerstones of any successful business. It might seem counterintuitive to address productivity under the context of play, but scientific research shows the brain is significantly more active while at play than when it is engaged in the focused study of a specific problem (Stevens, 2014). As Stuart Brown, M.D., writes in his book Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, it is “paradoxical that a little bit of ‘non-productive’ activity can make one enormously more productive and invigorated in other aspects of life” (Brown, 2009). Yet, the kinds of activities that constitute play are as unique as each person’s character traits and preferences. To accommodate this, Google offers a variety of play opportunities within their offices, from high-energy to low-energy, social to solitary. The other approach is to provide users with the freedom and tools to personalize their surroundings. For example, at the design consulting firm IDEO, employees are empowered to “mold their own nooks and crannies as they see fit” (Kelley, 2001).
It is through these varying aspects of design for individualization and collaboration that innovation is maximized, allowing different teams across an organization to frequently intersect and exchange ideas. Jeff Dance, founder and CEO of the digital strategy firm Fresh Consulting, describes how combining multiple perspectives and skill sets provides a deeper well of knowledge and experience to draw from—increasing the likelihood that new ideas will emerge. Collaboration can also increase the rate at which ideas are generated and played out—an important competitive advantage when it comes to innovation. In addition, bringing people together can raise the level of enthusiasm surrounding new ideas, as well as increase the chances of follow-through (Dance, 2008).
Company-wide collaboration tends to occur in unassigned informal spaces with incentives such as shared amenities, spatial variety, or opportunities to play. Salesforce, #3 on Forbes’ 2018 list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies, recently invested in this idea with the design of “Ohana Floors” at their towers in San Francisco, New York, Indianapolis, and London. Taking inspiration from the Hawaiian word for family, these areas are replacing the penthouse real estate previously reserved for executive offices. The top floor now features social lounges, mindfulness rooms, and space for town halls, designed to evoke nature and maximize daylight and views. According to Elizabeth Pinkham, Salesforce Executive VP and Head of Global Real Estate, the design of these floors fosters “collaboration, fun, sustainability, and employee wellness” (Pinkham 2017).
Keeping the need for these spaces in mind, the best design strategies are developed by focusing on each company’s unique culture and working through a process of discovery that helps foster financial viability. For Salesforce, this process meant building mockups and testing subsequent design interventions. Early in their design process, they asked their staff “how they wanted to work” and later uncovered that 70% of surveyed employees “felt more productive than before” in their renovated space (Littman 2017). In other words, measuring the impact of playful environments requires continually collaborating with users, embracing lessons-learned, monitoring key performance metrics, and comparing the real estate value of hierarchical executive space with that of community oriented spaces that inspire fun and increase internal communication.
Scott is an architect, researcher, and strategist at Perkins Eastman Architects. He spearheads environmental psychology studies investigating collaboration and well-being in workplace, healthcare, and higher education environments. With a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Southern California, Scott is also a registered architect in the State of New York and a LEED-Accredited professional.
Brown, Stuart, M.D. & Vaughan, Christopher. (2009). Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul. New York, NY: Avery.
Dance, Jeff. (2008). 5 Reasons Why Collaboration Contributes to Innovation. Retrieved from source.
Duhigg, Charles. (2016). What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team. The New York Times Magazine.
Kelley, Tom & Littman, Jonathan. (2001). The Art of Innovation. New York, NY: Random House, Inc.
Littman, Julie. (2017). Salesforce’s Top Floor Amenity is a Rarity in Office Design. Retrieved from source.
Pinkham, Elizabeth. (2017). Behind the Scenes: The Making of our Ohana Workplace Design. Retrieved from source.
Stevens, Victoria. (2014). To Think without Thinking: The Implications of Combinatory Play and the Creative Process for Neuroaesthetics. American Journal of Play. 7(1), 99-119. Retrieved from source.
Newton’s Third Law of Motion is popularly represented as: To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction. Or, to put it another way, when you push, someone always pushes back.
C-suite residents spend a lot of their time coming to the operational managers of their companies looking for ways to improve their margins. Why? Because that’s the point of being in business in the 21st century – find a way to make more money for the shareholders. Or, to put it another way: CEO’s push, the market pushes back and the CEO goes looking for another way to fight inertia. Often, particularly with businesses in mature markets, there is no real, legal or ethical way to grow the business. Then what?
Well, you can break the law or get ethically pliable. We certainly see plenty of that (and will, unfortunately, likely see more of it). You can also look for other levers to pull. By far the most popular lever to grab is the one that reduces expenses.
I’d like to assume that everyone reading this understands basic financial concepts, and especially that every FM out there knows that what we really, fundamentally are in the business of doing every day is a function of corporate finance. We are asset managers and expense managers. I say I’d like to assume this, but I’m not going to because after nearly 30 years in the FM world I’ve learned never to assume anything about my peers. So, if you do know what I’m talking about, feel free to skip the next paragraph. If you don’t, read it several times just to make sure you’ve got it.
Finance for FM’s 101: You are a financial manager. Most of you run operations that are 100% cost centers, which means you generate no income for the business. Every dollar you spend is a 1 to 1 subtraction directly from the bottom line. That means that if your company generates $2 million in revenue annually and your department budget is $1 million then your work is a $1 million drag on company performance. You’re also responsible for maintaining the capital assets your company has purchased (buildings, land, vehicles, furniture, air handlers, etc.), which means you have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize the productive value of those assets so that they do not have be replaced sooner than is expected/planned for.
When the CEO is looking for a lever to pull to reduce expenses the operational managers of the business start putting their hands up, offering solutions. We FMs got a lot of C-suite love in the past few years by offering up flexible office utilization as a big expense reduction lever to be pulled. On paper, it’s a no-brainer. Count the folks actually coming into the building, subtract that number from the number of square feet being held for them and show the boss that you can shave a ton off of expenses if you just approach the office space as a flexible landing pad for those who need it when they need it. Joy ruled the land.
Until it didn’t.
If you read the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, the Washington Post, Forbes, Bloomberg, Huffington Post, etc. you’ve seen article after article about how awful the open plan/flexible office is. It’s killing productivity. It’s killing culture. It’s loud. Workers who work from home are “ghosting” on the job. Those of us who have intimate knowledge of flexible or alternative office strategies that have been put into practice know these are exaggerations, or cherry-picked examples of companies who blindly adopted an open plan or flex office program without considering whether it suited the business model of their organization. But the folks in the C-suite often don’t see this. What they see is that they pushed and the world pushed back.
There’s a pendulum swing toward a new strategy – everyone back in the boat. But let’s put the boat in calmer waters. One of the selling points of the flexible office was work/life balance. If your building takes most of your workers an hour or more to commute to and from each day then you’ve effectively reduced their wages by 25%. Employers who offer telecommuting, even part-time, are essentially paying more without actually paying more. That’s a competitive edge in a tight job market. But if your industry is prone to “ghosting” by workers who work from home then you’ve got a vested interest in getting your people to come to the office. So, what do you do?
Put the office somewhere else. The business world is keenly watching where Amazon decides to drop HQ2. My money is on Salt Lake City for a few very simple reasons: 1) Low cost of doing business/real estate. 2) Lower cost of living than any of the other candidates. 3) Highly educated workers are there in abundance. 4) East of getting to and from a potential campus.
Here’s what it comes down to for CEOs today: Managers hate the distributed workforce. It takes someone with a strong vision for their team and really terrific communications skills to lead a team they can’t see and who cannot see them. Ideally, what I just described would be the minimum standard for divisional heads and operational group managers in every business. It’s not, and it’s not going to be absent some real crisis that causes a massive transformation in the way business is done (that might happen – but it’s going to take a lot of repeated pushing to defeat the inevitable push back). So, when the boss says “What’s it going to take to increase our margins?” The answer from their direct reports is more and more sounding like, “We need our people back in the boat with us.”
A year ago I was starting to wonder if the so-called “future of FM” was really a “future without facilities.” Now, not so much. Transformation is afoot. Just not the transformation I thought was coming.
Glamorous corporate addresses are going to give way to the reality that New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago are just too expensive, and there’s a whole lot of untapped areas out there. Twenty years ago, did anyone see Charlotte becoming the financial center of the United States? Ten years ago, did we see Portland as anything but funky and cool? Businesses used to say to themselves “we need to be in Silicon Valley.” Now they’re saying, “Couldn’t we bring Silicon Valley to Atlanta?”
There was a 50-year push to the coasts. The coasts are pushing back. It looked like that meant business accepting the idea of people working where they are. Now it looks like they’ve decided on a Field of Dreams model─if we build it, they will come.
Joe Selby is a Retail Property Manager for Wells Fargo Bank, managing a large portfolio of buildings, responsible for capital planning, operations and ongoing maintenance programs.
(continued on page 10)
By Sara La Forest
and Tony Kubica
You have to learn how to feffectively influence others. Sure you can threaten vendors, contractors, subcontractors and architects with no further business if they don’t do what you ask. That can work, but you are kidding yourself if you believe that approach will result in their best effort. It won’t. The intangibles of doing that “little extra” and showing “attention to detail” will rapidly disappear. You get exactly what you contracted for and you can never address the intangibles in the contract because they simply won’t care anymore. What you can do is learn how to influence without authority. If you are looking for best performance and service that wows your tenants or the facility’s employees— read on.
As you delve deeper within this article, you will soon realize that you can motivate others to higher levels of performance. You can positively impact the morale of your employees or tenants of the facility and have a positive impact on your vendors, subcontractors. and others who provide services to your facility. The result: you get more work done and see a higher level of cooperation.
Influencing without Positional Authority Strategy #1:
Build Positive Relationships We estimate that more than 80% of the time we spend as coaches to high- performance facility managers and leaders is spent on helping them manage the transition and work their way through performance issues with others.
You will fast-track and gain altitude in your career as a facility manager when you learn and practice the keys to building strong, effective interpersonal relationships with others. And, it starts with recognizing that nothing happens until a relationship is developed. Building a relationship includes:
● Having the other person’s best interests in mind—”win-win” versus “win-lose”
● Understanding and respecting the other person’s work style and key needs and expectations
● Understanding and respecting personality differences
● Finding areas of mutual interest
● Using exchange principles to enhance the relationship
Influencing Without Positional Authority Strategy #2:
Honor the law of reciprocation. The law of reciprocation involves a mutual value-for-value exchange. To effectively engage in the law of reciprocation, you must identify what the recipient values— whether the other person is your employee, an employee or tenant in the facility, or a contractor. For example, you can offer employees and tenants:
● Funding for projects, additional personnel, space
● Organizational support
● Your own personal support by being readily available when an employee or tenant is stressed, vulnerable or perhaps just needs someone to listen
● Reliability—doing what you say when you say you will do it
● Your acknowledgement
● Vision—Identifying the future direction, portraying excitement and confidence in the future, and in the outcome of the project
● Rapid response—this is self-explanatory
● Recognition—this can be an award, a new project assignment or praise at a public meeting
You can offer vendors and subcontractors:
● Information—competitive intelligence, industry trends, upcoming changes
● Gratitude by thanking them with testimonials
● Your recommendation—the best way you can motivate your vendors and subcontractors is to let them know if they meet or exceed your expectations you will be more than happy to refer them to others
● Bonuses when they meet certain milestones or criteria
No matter what you offer, it must be meaningful to the recipient. Just because we think we are providing something of value does not mean the recipient agrees with us. To determine what is meaningful, we need to understand issues such as:
● What do they need to succeed?
● How are they measured on their performance?
● How are they rewarded? And what is their greatest reward?
● Career objectives
● Their key concerns (or fears, if they will share it with you)
● Key expectations (of their boss, peers, subordinates, their constituents)
● Recognition/Privacy (preferences of the individual and considering the culture of the organization)
● Interests outside the organization.
This means you must first build a relationship with your employees, employees or tenants of the facility and those who work for your facility!
Influencing without Positional Authority Strategy #3:
Participate in Healthy Conflict It’s possible that as you work to influence others without positional authority, conflict will arise. Employees, employees and tenants of the facility, and contractors will push back, argue, and disagree. Let’s face it, some people like to argue, negotiate, and play devil’s advocate. In other words, they love a good fight. So facility managers, please take note: conflict is NOT bad or wrong. Engaged in the right way, conflict is good. In fact, it’s not only good, it’s essential for growth and development. “Healthy conflict” that is vibrant and candid leads to:
● Expanding ideas and perspectives
● Identifying more options
● Better decisions
● Inclusion (individual value and contribution) rather than reinforcing exclusion and a natural futility when not being heard
So learn how to appreciate and participate in healthy conflict. Remember, being a successful facility manager requires more that the hard skills we learned in school. Success also requires that we recognize and master the intangibles of successful management. And the most powerful intangible that is extremely important to master is the ability to influence others without authority. It will provide you with leverage and enable you to garner more support than you would ever achieve on your own or through positional authority alone.
Sara LaForest is an entrepreneur, consultant, coach, author, and instructor with broad experience in the private, not-for-profit, education, and government sectors. Her mission is to empower leaders to grow their businesses and create thriving workplace environments.
Tony Kubica, her former business partner, is now retired and serves as an adviser in her consulting practice.
Facility Managers have a difficult job. They are in a profession that has a lot of responsibility and very little direct authority. While they may have some employees, their constituents represent tenants, employees of the facility, vendors, general contractors, architects and subcontractors. So how do you make things happen and achieve positive results?
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(continued from page 7)
SAME-IFMA 2019 FM Workshop
San Antonio | February 6 - 8
World Workplace Europe Meets Facility for Future
Amsterdam | March 20 - 22, 2019
First Wednesday Webinar
National & International Events
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Workplace Wellness Strategies
November 7, 2018
By Darin Rose, CFM, SFP, GGP
Renee Azerbegi, President, Ambient Energy
Michael Susi, Director Global Wellness, Linkedin
Gary Smithson, MD, Redbrick Health
Many Americans spend much of their time at the workplace. It is important for their employers to provide an environment that is comfortable and healthy in order to increase productivity and decrease health benefit costs. An additional externality is employee satisfaction, which has shown to increase retention rates. As a means to achieve these goals, many companies are turning to wellness programs.
Workplace wellness programs have existed since the 1970’s and have gained new popularity as the push for cost savings in the health delivery system becomes more imperative. Over the years, a variety of wellness programs have been proposed, some more successful than others. On November 7, join IFMA’s Corporate Facilities Council as we explore some of the wellness options that are currently implemented in companies throughout the US and beyond. We will have three panelists, each of whom is an expert in their area of wellness. One panelist will discuss some of the wellness programs executed in very large, multinational companies. Another panelist will explore the WELL building standard and how it is revolutionizing the way people think about the built environment. Finally, our third panelist will provide an overview of wellness consulting firms that offer a variety of services; including proprietary employee health assessments, and health coaching programs tailored to each employee participant.
Facility Fusion 2019
Atlanta | April 8 - 10
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World Workplace Asia 2019 Conference and Expo
Singapore | April 3 - 5, 2019
In the business world today, it’s not enough to respond quickly to a situation or market conditions. Today, customers and employees are looking for an “experience.”As facility managers, we need to provide this sense of connection and well-being to the people we support. We need to differentiate ourselves by switching from a responsive yet reactionary mode to anticipating and averting a situation all together. The anticipatory approach brings together the International Facility Management Association’s second, fourth, and fifth core competencies of Quality, Operations & Maintenance, and Human Factors: to develop and implement best-value practices, monitor occupant satisfaction, and enhance operational performance.
Let me frame this expectation with examples from the first few days of my honeymoon. My wife and I stayed at a Ritz Carlton in Southern California. We heard their service was impeccable, and from the moment we checked in, the concierge for our floor engaged us and called us by name. We felt like A-List celebrities. During one of our times out, the concierge noticed we appeared to be headed to the pool, and mentioned we could leave our towels with him and would return them to our room; the pool attendant would provide towels, sunscreen, and any of our other needs. We couldn’t believe the attention to detail and helpfulness all of the staff exhibited. We asked the concierge how they are able to provide this high level of service, and they shared their goal is to “fulfill the guests ‘unexpressed wishes and needs’.” They were trained and experienced to evaluate what might be missing, to anticipate a situation and to be there to assist at the right time. It was an amazing experience we still appreciate to this day.
Later on our honeymoon, we were in the Bay area. We were beat from the day’s activities, and checked into a “budget” hotel in Oakland. This was before cell phones, and map and customer review apps. From the desk clerk who handed our key past the security barred slot while talking on the phone, to parties on the floor above us, and the bullet holes through the walls—suffice it to say, we did not get the same treatment as the Ritz Carlton, nor did we get any sleep that night.
These two examples helped frame my career in the service industries I have worked in. One hotel has built its reputation on anticipating and enhancing the customer’s experience, and another has built its brand by “leaving the light on.” I was challenged by the Ritz’s Carlton’s approach and decided to try to identify and fill the gaps before my customers saw them.Instead of only asking what my customer wanted, I began asking myself, what would the customer want if they knew they could have it?
A strong benefit about taking an anticipatory approach is there is no fiscal cost to identify gaps. Both brands of hotel could have had an anticipatory approach, but the Ritz Carlton’s business model does not limit what they implement. There is the real and perceived level of quality and service between Lexus, Toyota, Scion, and Daihatsu. They are all owned by the same company and likely have similar management approaches, but have different service levels and outcomes.
Predicting and anticipating may not yet be an exact science, but there are indicators which help if a person is attuned to them. A hard trend is the reality of baby boomers retiring from numerous industries, including facility management. A soft trend is something that “might happen,” such as the need for education and training to those who provide medical services to baby boomers. A cycle is something that reoccurs on a regular basis, like the change in seasons or the light rail schedule.
Some might think, “This all sounds great, but I don’t have time and it’s too overwhelming to get started.” Actually, we anticipate several times a day whether we realize it or not—on our commute to work, or in the numerous phone conversations and business meetings we take part in. A facility manager also doesn’t have to implement an anticipatory approach by him/herself. A great way to get started is to see what peers and other industries are doing and how it may translate to the initiatives of their own company.
The goal is to be intentional with finding the gaps and creating the better customer experience. Even if an idea is not implemented, the facility manager can keep it in a back pocket for a future situation.
Being able to operate and implement this best practice will enhance customer satisfaction and operational performance. The great thing about the anticipatory approach is that we can start it at any time, and today is a great time start! It’s even okay to make errors along the way, because anything worth doing is worth doing poorly . . . until it can be done well
Darin Rose is a Certified Facility Manager and the Facility Manager for the City of Lone Tree, Colorado.
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(continued on page 15)
I’ve been reading Live Long and . . . , William Shatner’s new book. He’s 87 years old and writes as one with wisdom to share, while making it clear that no one should consider him down for the count just yet. Subtitled What I Learned Along the Way, Shatner delivers his thoughts on relationships, life philosophy, and memories of childhood, interspersed with some marvelous, funny stories one can almost hear him telling in that famous voice. He considers what it has meant to him to work and how he has approached it. “Just like everybody else, I have been working my entire life,” he writes. “I started working on a radio program when I was six years old and just never stopped. I never saw a reason to stop. There was never anything I wanted to do more than what I was doing. In some ways I have been a workaholic. I rarely go to Hollywood parties or just spend hours relaxing. For me, working is my relaxation.”
I set this up as a preface to offer how absolutely tired I am to hear, constantly and incessantly, that all of us over 55 years old are aging out of the profession and in a few years there will be very few FMs to fill lots and lots of open positions. I do not dispute this, and I do not bury my head in the sand and insist it isn’t so. It certainly is so. But I’d like to point out that we are all aging out of whatever we’re doing. Knowing what I know now, it’s lovely to consider what I would do if I were 28 years old and just starting in FM, but if I were 28 years old and just starting in FM I wouldn’t know what I know now. Certainly part of the reason I enjoy what I’m doing so much is that I have decades of experience under my belt, and my job is richer because of it. I have more options at my disposal when I encounter a problem to solve. I’m not as freaked out by crises as I was when I was fresh in all of this and my first middle-of-the-night fire alarm sent my adrenaline skyrocketing.
If it is so that in a matter of years there will be far too few facility managers to fill far too many open jobs, then hurray for those of us who plan to work into our 70s if a company can be open-minded and farsighted enough to grab onto us for dear life. At some point, the corporate world is going to have to completely shed its last unjustifiable prejudice and retain the worker who desires to contribute well past what is now considered the age of retirement. We have the answers they need and the experience they may not yet realize they need. It’s funny to me how anyone can honestly dismiss an older candidate with the thought that he or she probably won’t be working very many more years. Who offers a job anymore expecting someone to stay for 20 years? How often have any of us in facility management assisted Human Resources in setting up a new employee’s desk with all of the needed accouterments, perhaps showed him or her around on the first day, only to find out that the next Monday a call had been received in HR that the employee wouldn’t be coming back? The job had been tried for a week and found wanting, and the person moved on without a backward glance. All of us have watched those hired only a year ago, or 2, or 5 years ago, pack up and move on, or not work out at all and get a pink slip. I am betting that a significant portion of us have received a pink slip from a company that is making draconian cuts because it is failing, or from one that has gone completely belly-up. There’s no guarantee any company will be around very long, much less an aging facility manager. Why wouldn’t a company want the expertise and talent I possess for a good 8 or 10 years? That’s enough time to find someone young and put them under my tutelage.
I love my job, and I’m grateful to have been hired for it when I was past that constantly-aired 55 number, by a company that seems to have no qualms about hauling my decades of experience in the door. I have to admit that like Shatner, work is frequently my relaxation, and I want to keep doing it as long as I am having fun. There will surely come a day when the frustrations outweigh the benefits and I will quite happily hang up that part of my life and move on to the next. I hear of too many energetic, productive people who are gladly working well into their senior years to discount the possibility that I might be one of them.
Having loved his profession and the serendipitous path it has provided for him, Shatner notes, “No one should retire when their work remains pleasurable. What would I do if I retired? That’s the question I would ask anyone, whether they are a nuclear physicist or a laborer. If your job isn’t pleasant I understand the need to change, but retiring to sit on the back porch and rock will atrophy not only your body but also your mind, and it will do it within months. . . . People may retire from a job, but I don’t believe they should stop working.” I agree. We should live long, and work long if we want to, and prosper.
Quotes from Live Long and . . . What I Learned Along the Way, by William Shatner, copyright 2018, St. Martin’s Press.
Sue Thompson is the editor of Facility, the immediate past president of the IFMA Delaware chapter, a past president of the CFC, and the Facilities Manager at AAA Club Alliance.
(continued from page 12)
The Art of Telling Your Story
The Stellar RFP Process:
Building, Issuing and Responding to RFPs
Larry Morgan and Wayne Whitzell
First Wednesday Webinars
Managing Risk in Delivering Facility Services
Christopher Hodges and Maureen Roskoski
Beyond the Open Office and the
The Distinguished Member Award is the second highest form of recognition given to an IFMA member (the first is IFMA Fellowship, the most prestigious title bestowed by the Association). The Distinguished Member Award is presented to a Professional or Associate member who has provided sustained, outstanding leadership to an IFMA chapter, council, or community, and the Association at the international level. This person is highly valued by his or her company, IFMA and the facility management profession. This individual keeps current on changes in the facility management profession and educates other IFMA members and peers. Recipients demonstrate the best in leadership and ethics.
The CFC’s Programs Chair, Wayne Whitzell has been an active member in IFMA since 2000. In 2015, he was selected as IFMA’s International Associate of the Year at IFMA’s World Workplace (WWP) in Denver and in 2016 he received the Distinguished Author award at WWP San Diego. He has held over a dozen leadership roles in local chapters, councils, and committees throughout IFMA. Wayne’s record of service reveals a deeply-rooted commitment to IFMA through his consistent leadership and countless hours over the past eighteen years.
It’s not often that you will see someone get emotional and misty-eyed when describing a professional organization, but that is precisely the reaction you get from Wayne when he describes why IFMA is so important to him. Wayne says, “That’s what IFMA is for me. It’s that place, those people, those friends that offer that missing piece in my life. It’s a sense of belonging and an oasis for me in an otherwise difficult career field. IFMA is the place where all of my best friends are. It’s the place that has molded me and guided my career and lifted me to places in my professional life that I never would have achieved otherwise. Giving back to others in a REAL way─not a superficial or scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours way─is the only thing I can do after everything that this organization and in particular what my mentor, Kit Tuveson has done for me. However, the most supportive and pivotal person in making this a reality is my CEO, Cory Ravid. Without Cory, this award simply would not have been possible. His genuine support of the FM profession through the investment of significant amounts our staff’s time is something that many IFMA members do not experience. I am grateful to work for someone who encourages us to commit to far more than surface involvement at IFMA and consistently prioritizes DFS Green’s support of FM professional development."
IFMA Corporate Facilities Council Programs Chair
is IFMA’s Distinguished Member of the Year
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Wayne Whitzell, EVP of DFS Green and Trena Ellis, CFM President of IFMA Sacramento