04 September 2018 | Conrad Dinsmore
Conrad Dinsmore, building innovations manager at ISS, discusses how technology has impacted the generational divide in the FM industry.
My grandad and dad have always said that with everything in life, "You need to measure twice and cut once." It's in lessons like these that the older generation can help guide the way we 'youngsters' approach a task.
Our industry is looking to the next generation for new talent, ways of thinking and approaches to make FM an attractive industry to work in. And those from the older generation have a larger part to play than they may think.
My mentors have taught me not to imitate their management style but to understand why they make the decisions they do so I can apply this knowledge.
Talking about technology seems to be when the generational divide becomes more stark. Already, our industry has seen successful contracts implemented, good practices guides published and lessons learnt, which allow us to position ourselves to thrive in the technological society we live in.
Too often though, we hear of technology failing in the industry and how we are in our adolescent phase.
This is in part due to a younger generation developing a strategy for a technology-based future with limited industry knowledge. But it is also because we lack experienced and knowledgeable FMs that are technologically driven.
To structure the industry's future we need to understand what the previous generation has achieved and what it has not, and integrate it with newer technology-driven knowledge and skills.
The older generation holds on to the adage "Been there, done that, wrote the book".
It's true, they have. And this is why I've tried to learn from every manager I've had.
But their book is subject to edits too. We have to think about everything the previous generation has done, including their successes and failures.
Drawing from their experience will help us to understand our own and equip us to find new solutions.
Conrad Dinsmore is BIFM Newcomer of the Year 2017 and Additional Works, building innovations manager at ISS Facility Services