22 April 2014
A football-loving friend of mine wrote recently about the problem of a "man of the match" being announced before the end of the match.
What happens if an opposition player then goes on to score a match-deciding "worldy" in the last minute? Cue much embarrassment when the bloke who's decided the outcome in spectacular fashion is ignored in favour of a sheepish-looking loser clutching a bottle of cheap champagne.
It's not that "man of the match" status is overrated, just that it's not necessarily indicative of all the key events that have gone before. And my friend proposes a radical solution: Why not name the man of the match before kick-off? That way, the remaining 21 players would be minded to take the prize from the nominated winner as the match progresses, thus adding another dimension to proceedings. Motivation, he suggests, would go through the roof.
OK, so let's see how it might play out in the FM sector. Imagine announcing a particularly strong project as the presumptive winner at the beginning of an FM awards process. The remaining nominees on the shortlist might then present their case, explaining how their particular solutions to the sustainability, brand image, productivity or profitability of the organisation they serve are an improvement on those put forward by the "winner". Essentially, an awards event as a live debate.
Except, of course, that any such thing would be monstrously unfair (if hugely entertaining - and you can't blame this story-hungry editor for dreaming). Case studies in best practice within FM vary dramatically, so much so that - oh yes - no two award winners are ever alike. It may be possible to pick out an FM "man of the match", but in truth FM projects vary just as goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and strikers all bring different elements to a team performance. It's the team that matters.
We don't lack for great examples of FM's role in organisations' success, and the best of these show just how much FM is integrated into the performance of the organisation as a whole. What's needed is the greater awareness of FM's value that a scrupulously conducted awards programme can help to demonstrate. And such a programme already exists; the BIFM Awards have been doing this important work for many years and have increased in scope and number of entries appreciably over the past three years. Steve Gladwin, chairman of judges, says: "Entering these awards is a great way for teams to come together and reflect on achievements."
For the 2014 awards, time is tight for anyone thinking that theirs is a potentially award-winning operation - the deadline for entry is Friday 2 May (for all but the individual 'facilities manager of the year' category, which closes on 27th June). New categories for 2014 include one recognising the best rising talent in FM and two separate awards for FM service provider of the year, one for large and one for small providers. The full list of twelve categories, together with details of how to enter -can be found at www.bifm.org.uk/awards2014.
Celebrating success in any profession is worthwhile; celebrating success in FM, with its wider 'value to business' issues, is arguably even more important. If you've been thinking of entering this year's BIFM Awards but have yet to do so, we strongly suggest that you get involved.
Martin Read is managing editor at FM World