In each issue of FMJ, IFMA’s Facility Management Consultants Council shares some commonly asked FM-related questions accompanied by advice from top FM consultants. The questions and answers presented in this section align with IFMA’s core competencies following the themes outlined for the given edition of the magazine. While the following answers are intended to be helpful, these responses should not be deemed complete and are limited in context by the space allocated. Please contact the individual consultants directly for further explanation of the opinions expressed. Q: An innovative, cutting-edge, young and growing manufacturing company is contemplating moving from their existing over-crowded and outdated corporate headquarters. The most important factor in their building selection and space plan is that it must reflect their culture and brand. As an FM consultant what advice would you give this company before they enter the search/selection/ design phase? A: First of all, I think re-visiting the concept that the employees have of their culture and brand would be important. Orchestrating a Visioning Workshop could be the vehicle to bring a cross section of key individuals together to review the current elements of the brand as they see it. Within the Visioning Session a good facilitator would bring out any issues as well as solidify a bit the understanding of where they are today. However, the next step and the most important is creating a solid roadmap of moving forward with all of the dreams and aspirations they have for their new headquarters. Here again, the facilitator would be certain to coach them in infusing the thread of the brand and culture elements within the final visioning statement. ANSWERED BY Teena Shouse CFM, IFMA Fellow FM Transitions — 14341 Norwood Leawood, KS, USA 66224 913.486.8847 email@example.com A: First, determine your production growth rates at various probabilities over a ten-year time frame. Based on that, establish the plant layout that offers expandability, ensures logistics for materials in/out, and meets current/emerging EHS requirements. The plant’s factors must drive all considerations of a future facility, since they will be the most difficult to change. Second, the HQ are people-related spaces and will likely be on the ground adjacent to the manufacturing area. These can be designed to meet the culture/brand goals, but avoid having that tail wag the production dog … it’s the money-maker. Finally, as a general rule, be careful not to integrate the two major building functions too closely, but rather design them to be compatible while being adjacent. When the plant prep is done, you’re ready to conduct the search process, looking for firms that share that experience. ANSWERED BY Dr. Doug Aldrich CFM, IFMA Fellow — 720.253.8974 firstname.lastname@example.org A: You must pin down the new space standards and programming requirements. If you are considering a different ratio from 1:1 due to hoteling and a telework program, that too must also be determined before touring real estate. ANSWERED BY Richard Fanelli AIA, CFM, IFMA Fellow Principal — 3928 Pender Drive, Suite 220 Fairfax, VA, USA 22030 703.563.0379 www.fmstudios.com Visit FMCC online or join the conversation on the council’s LinkedIn group — fmcc.ifma.org http://linkd.in/1gAa8ae Have a question about the Ask the Experts section? — Contact Mark Sekula, IFMA Fellow, CFM, FMP, LEED AP, president of Facility Futures, Inc., at email@example.com. A: Edgar Schein, recognized as the grandfather of corporate culture said, “Culture matters. It matters because decisions made without awareness of the operative cultural forces may have unanticipated and undesirable consequences.” Before you begin your search for new space you must understand the culture of your company. Why? Because your buildings and the physical workplace, when properly designed with corporate culture in mind, helps to keep the spirit of the culture visible to everyone. You won’t find corporate culture written down. Instead, it’s the way things get done in your organization. It’s about the company’s organizational structure and how decisions are made It’s the embodiment of how employees behave, their attitudes, their actions and habits, their beliefs and the assumptions they make based on those beliefs. Corporate culture manifests itself in the common, shared values, beliefs and practices. It is developed over time and evolves as the company grows and matures. For the newly hired FM, clues about what your company’s culture is like can be derived from its mission and vision, its web site, how job interviews are conducted and how people dress. Evidence of culture can be suggested in the way people get their work done and how they interact with each other. Examples of how corporate culture is manifested and supported by the physical workplace abound. For one mid-western U.S. manufacturing company, the family culture was reinforced and supported by providing a large enough dining area so that all 400 employees could share meal times and co-mingle when the plant was closed for lunch. For a small technology company located in mid-town Manhattan, New York City, collaboration and interaction among employees was paramount to their success. They leased enough space to accommodate a game room and lounge where employees could relax and collaborate. It cost the company tens of thousands of additional dollars per year to lease this additional space but the importance of having it from a cultural standpoint clearly outweighed the cost. Finally, a large banking institution in the U.S purchased a multi-story building and consolidated five corporate spaces into it. Their existing space was comprised of large cubicles with high walls and private offices along the outside walls. The bank was in the process of changing their culture from a very formal siloed organization to a more collaborative space that inspired innovation and creativity. Their new space consisted of 6’ x 6’ cubicles with low walls for most employees. Some people who were in private offices moved into 6’ x 9’ low-walled cubicles. Private offices were built in the central; core of the building so all of the cubicles could benefit from the natural light. All the private offices had glass fronts as well. No one could hide. It was a huge cultural change for the organization and their new space was designed to fully support the cultural change. So, before you begin the search for your new space, stop, look and listen to what the culture of your company is telling you and let it inform your selection criteria and the design process. ANSWERED BY Mark Sekula FMP, SFP, LEED-AP, CFM, IFMA Fellow President | Facility Futures, Inc. — 550 North 93rd Street Milwaukee, WI, USA 53226 414.899.8387 firstname.lastname@example.org
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