Tony Keane, CAE 2017-07-13 22:05:01
I once read that an organization’s board members can be thought of as visionaries sitting up in a crow’s nest, “scanning the horizon for signs of storms or rainbows to explore” (National Council of Nonprofits). Indeed, an organization is only as strong as its board of directors. With this metaphor in mind, I would like to thank IFMA’s 2016-17 board for contributing their foresight, oversight and insight to fortify our role in an industry that is undergoing staggering growth and change, as witnessed over the past year. The FM market consistently made headlines throughout the past year, with the global market economic value of FM estimated at US$1.2 trillion (Global FM Market Sizing Study 2016). Our board has provided unfailing guidance throughout the onset of this growth, ensuring that IFMA stayed true to its mission, remained financially sustainable, was equipped with sufficient resources and championed FM to the world at large. This was no small task, and it’s important for us all to keep in mind that the work was done without compensation. For all this, and for your staunch stewardship to the members and volunteers who will succeed you in service, I offer my sincere gratitude. On that note, I would like to welcome IFMA’s incoming 2017-18 board. Your leadership comes at a time of unprecedented growth for the FM industry — growth accompanied by disruptive changes brought about by technology, robotics and automation; the continued demand for sustainability, potentially confused by dramatic changes in supportive policy by new government administration; growing concerns over workforce safety; and the issue of global workforce shortages triggered by retiring Baby Boomers. I am confident this board will excel at steering IFMA and its members through these uncharted waters. Introducing BETA I am particularly eager to explore the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the Built Environment Technology Association (BETA). IFMA established this organization in May 2017 to equip the real estate, construction, design, urban planning and facility management industries to better understand and use contemporary and developing technologies for the built environment. This body will navigate a number of technological frontiers: • machines talking to machines through the Internet of Things • smart buildings, campuses and cities • building automation systems • artificial intelligence and augmented reality • design, material and construction technologies • blockchain • cyber security • the cloud, mobility and analytics • the evolution of integrated workplace management systems • building information modeling and collaboration tools • 3D/4D/5D printing • drones BETA has its work set out, paving new roads as the group endeavors to foster collaborative relationships with companies, vendors and trade organizations, as well as develop a real-time communication portal, commission research and produce educational and training products for these transformational technologies. With progressive research and engaging conversation as the foundation of BETA’s vision, I see the opportunity to create endless possibilities. I will keep IFMA members apprised of progress on all relevant fronts. Workplace safety and security On a more somber note, I feel the need to comment on the increasing occurrences of workplace violence. The rate at which such incidents are growing is both shocking and frightening. It is imperative that FM’s work with their human resources departments to ensure that safety policies and procedures are put in place, including measures for identifying possible problematic personnel and ample staff training for individual actions that can be taken in such an incident. Please consider prioritizing workplace security efforts in your organization. I can’t imagine a worse feeling than that of regret from knowing a fatal outcome could have been averted by timely attention to this pressing matter. As you work with FM peers and colleagues to build workplace security, remember to invite them to join IFMA. Get them involved with the association so they too can benefit from belonging to the world’s leading professional FM organization.
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