Ismena Clout, chairman of the British Institute of Facilities Management, recently hosted another FM Leaders Forum. On the agenda was the topic of emerging trends in the FM sector.
The forum brought together a panel of FM industry commentators to identify key themes and trends and to discuss the prospective outlook for the FM industry over the coming year and beyond. The 10 experts were encouraged to submit topics for discussion in advance to ensure that trends from all areas of the FM industry would be considered. These included:
• FM as a strategic player.
• FM's perception within other business disciplines.
• The effect of the current economic downturn on FM.
• The impact of technology on FM.
• Anticipated trends emerging in legislation.
• How FM can attract top talent.
Speaking on the topics debated, Clout said: “Although the agenda was clearly constrained by the time allowed for the event, ideas that emerged tended to focus on a few key areas: the strategic role of FM, its relationship with other business disciplines, and the implications of the continuing economic downturn. There were also lively debates around compliance and trends in legislation, the impact of technology, and the need to attract top talent to the profession. Unsurprisingly, many of these issues overlapped or were revealed to be interconnected. This FM Leaders Forum provided real insight into identifying immediate trends. However, the key will now be continuing this conversation through formal discussions like these with our members and across the whole of the FM industry.”
The consensus was that emerging trends represent a range of opportunities for the FM industry to raise its strategic profile, if it is willing and able to change and adapt to changing conditions. As regards the challenges still facing the FM industry, the panel's main conclusion was that FM can grow and evolve if it accepts emerging trends as a catalyst for action.
If the many and varied opportunities are embraced, FM will be in a strong position to win recognition as a powerful strategic enabler driving business forward. Encouraging top young talent into the profession will have a refreshing effect, helping galvanise FM into the kind of creative, proactive thinking needed to exploit rapid change.