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From the editor: August 2016

11 August 2016 | Martin Read

In so many aspects of the management and maintenance of an organisation's identity, FM has huge potential, writes FM World editor Martin Read.

In a world of technology, people long for personal, human contact,” suggested author John Naisbitt in his seminal 1982 bestseller, ‘Megatrends’.

For someone writing at a time when consumer IT choices amounted to Space Invaders, LCD watches, the BBC Micro and something called a ‘compact disc’, Naisbitt was remarkably prescient. He recently wrote again on the topic. In High Tech/High Touch Naisbitt says that technology today has “a profound effect on us, influencing our communications, the way we see ourselves, how we spend our time, our mental habits and emotions, even our basic beliefs and values”.

We are living, says Naisbitt, in a “technologically intoxicated zone”.

And indeed we have all become saturated in technology. But in the same time frame (1982 to 2016), it could also be argued that we’ve lived through a similarly significant shift in how organisations approach managing people in their pursuit of development.

Productivity is a key theme for BIFM this year, and while the workplace as productivity enhancer is a topic for a future edition we’ve used our new Facilitate section this month to focus on three aspects of productivity from a personnel perspective: An organisation’s choice about the corporate status it affords the FM function; its choice of attitude towards the Investors in People standard; and what an organisation can learn from high-performance sport about its own ‘higher purpose’ (including the ramifications for FM’s role in establishing and maintaining it).

In so many aspects of the management and and maintenance of an organisation’s identity, FM has huge potential. The giddying pace of technological advance only serves to focus an organisation’s mind on its true USP – and the people and technology it needs to get it where it wants to be.

Consultant Clive Reeves talks in this issue about how the language we use in the workplace is just as powerful as the physical environment we maintain, all to the end of ensuring a ‘no-excuse’ culture. This is a task requiring constant reinforcing, and you have to ask: which department other than FM is better placed to make all of this happen?


Martin Read is managing editor of FM World