8 April 2014
When BIFM launched its new vision in October a central theme was becoming the authoritative voice of facilities management.
I took my role at the institute at the beginning of February, charged with putting in place the model that will allow us to achieve that.
Many organisations talk about "having a voice" or giving an industry or sector a voice, but sometimes it's not clear exactly what this means.
It can be interpreted in many ways whether it is media coverage, lobbying, thought leadership or surveys; in reality it is all of these things.
My view is that if an organisation is to become the authoritative voice then it needs to be able to deliver on all of the component parts and ensure they are dovetailed with each other rather than working in isolation, which is often the case. The work that we carry out in our research projects should help us develop a view that, in turn, should fuel our conversations when talking to key stakeholders such as government departments and the media.
Given the complexity of this model it is not something that can be developed overnight, and much work will be required to get us there. But the reward is great. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, an organisation that does this very well, is speaking at ThinkFM this year.
Through its "voice" activity it has, over time, ensured that HR professionals and the wider business community know that it is the organisation to go to if you need anything related to that profession.
Yes, that comes through its qualifications and CPD offering but its voice contributes significantly to that view. We read about what it is championing in the media, we hear about how it has taken that to government and we see it in its practical guidance documents and development products. In my short time at BIFM I've met a number of people who are keen for their profession to have a voice and we intend to provide that as their professional body. The work has already begun and will continue over the coming months, with some outputs in the pipeline already, which I hope will show that we are starting to convert our intent into action.
There are some huge debates in our industry and some emerging trends that we need to investigate. My role is to produce the work that will assess, analyse and challenge these and their impact on business, the economy and wider society. Many have already offered their support, and I'm sure many more will, and I hope that we are able to provide the content that can keep the debate moving and can help forge a path for our profession as we demonstrate its broader impact.