The FM Professional

SYWBAFM Part 3: Think Strategically, Fix Intuitively

David Spence
September 8th, 2015

If you’re just joining us today, head over to our first post where we introduce our list of competencies to help you decide if a career in Facilities Management may be right for you.

Today, we’re onto numbers 3 and 4 on our list – Strategic Thinking and Operations & Maintenance Know-­How

3. Strategic Thinking

Have you already mentally unpacked your new house and organized it room by room before the deal is even closed? Have you bought a minivan while you’re still a bachelor, just to save yourself the work of upgrading when you meet The One, have 3 kids a border collie?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, do we have a job for you. Big-­picture thinkers fare best in Facilities Management; the field of FM is ever­-evolving, and any successful company will always be growing, shifting and changing to meet new demands and opportunities.

Being able to consider factors that influence not just the climate of ‘now’, but also several stages downstream, is an essential skill in every FM’s toolkit.

Sharp Facility Managers know how to be proactive versus reactive, and understand that sometimes you need to endure some short­-term pain for long­term gain.

4. Operations & Maintenance Know­-How

“Something’s leaking…from somewhere…we’re a forty­-storey office building…it’s dripping all over the desks…I don’t know, just fix it!” Sounds like an expensive phone call to the plumber, only to find out that Bob in Accounting left the water cooler running ­ three days ago. We’re not saying you need to know the inner workings of every toilet in the building like the back of your hand, but basic competency and a knowledge of what’s happening, where is an integral part of the job.

This competency is closely tied to #3; if you have a brain for lateral thinking, you’re probably the kind of person who intuitively understands basic operations anyway.

Oh, and bonus points for knowing how to fix stuff. Murphy’s law dictates that something will always break down when the Maintenance Guy is on vacation.

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