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Martin Read is editor of FM World
Martin Read is editor of FM World

04 December 2017 Martin Read

Martin Read wonders whether great variety is always such a good selling point for FM. 

No two days are the same” – six words to sell a career in FM; words so ubiquitous that we once stole them for the name of our ‘and finally’ column. In fact, we so casually invoke ‘N2DATS’ these days that it’s almost a default promotional position for the profession; If a sense of ongoing adventure is your thing, why not make FM’s day-on-day variety the spice of your working life? The certainty of each day having a different composition suggests excitement, not boredom. Become an FM!

Undoubtedly, there’s a truth to all this ‑ but while we routinely deploy the phrase, perhaps we too rarely pause to consider whether it is entirely benign. Could all this variety play into the hands of those who all too readily dismiss what FM is and does? Is one day diverging from another really such a good thing?

Because here’s an alternative view, one perhaps held by those who do not take FM as seriously as we’d like: doesn’t huge task variety risk FM being neither one thing nor the other? Seen only as a reactive resource, often visible to others through chance encounter rather than well-structured output?

The fight remains with those who see only the fires fought by FMs, not the plans so perfectly (and perhaps too quietly) executed. Because its activity is so various, FM as a whole can slip off the corporate radar. But where FM remains unique, or at least particularly well placed, is in its requirement to service and thus communicate across all of an organisation’s departments. Could more be done to promote FM’s consistency of delivery to end-users? No two days are the same, yes, but neither should they see differing levels of service delivery. Reliability isn’t so exciting, but it’s crucial to the role nevertheless.

Ironically, we’re about to encounter one of the more reliable dates on the calendar. Perhaps no two Christmas days are the same, but they’re certainly similar in terms of all the turkey-and-tinsel routine. We wish you all the best for the Christmas break; our last daily newsletter goes on Wednesday 20th December, the first of 2018 arriving on Wednesday 3rd January.

Oh, and one more thing: the next print edition of FM World will be our 300th – can you believe that? It’s been suggested we dress in the garb of the recent Sparta-themed movie ‘300’ to celebrate. Don’t worry, we won’t.

Martin Read is editor of FM World