Posts

Special Announcements: July/August 2012

Mobile Workforce Survey 2012

We delighted to announce that we have launched a new Mobile Workforce Survey to explore in depth how and where people are getting their work done in 2012. This survey is a collaborative effort between The Future of Work…unlimited and Novacrea, a talent management consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The survey takes just 10 minutes to complete. [continue reading...]

What’s Happened/Happening: July/August 2012

Raising the Bar

As you may know, Jim Ware, in addition to his leadership of The Future of Work….unlimited, is also a co-founder of Occupiers Journal Limited (OJL). He serves as Global Research Director for OJL.

And OJL recently announced its first 2012 research project, “Raising the Bar: Enhancing the Strategic Role of Facilities Management.”

Most importantly, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, (RICS) is sponsoring the study. [continue reading...]

RICS Supports Global Study of Facilities Management by Occupiers Journal

I am extremely pleased to report that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyrs (RICS – http://www.rics.org/) is supporting the global study, “Raising The Bar – Enhancing the Strategic Role of Facilities Management” that I am leading in my role as Global Research Director for Occupiers Journal (OJL – http://www.occupiersjournal.com).

We have already had several hundred responses to the online survey we are conducting, and we have conducted a almost two dozen one-to-one interviews with Heads of CRE and/or Facilities (see below for details). [continue reading...]

Becoming Strategic

James Ware, PhD

This is the third installment of a series of observations about how an organization’s operational capability impacts business performance. In Part One (at this link) we explored the basic concept of strategy and suggested that operational capability is an absolutely essential component of business strategy.

Then in Part Two (at this link) we expanded on that idea and offered a history lesson showing how information technology exploded out of the “back room” a decade ago to become a strategic resource.

Here in Part Three we personalize these ideas, and suggest how senior facilities and corporate real estate professionals can/should “make the case” to the business that they too deserve a seat at the table.

Can a facilities strategy and operational capability impact a business strategy? Clearly, we think so, and so do the most experienced facilities professionals we know.

Just for starters, consider this: rethinking and redesigning your workplace strategy—including flexible workplaces and flexible work arrangements—can produce an ROI of more than 40 percent, and double profit margins in many businesses. We’ve seen it happen many times, and we even suggested a few years ago that CEO’s who aren’t implementing flexible work programs and reducing their real estate footprint should be called on the carpet by their shareholders (“What are You Waiting For?” – July/August 2009).

But we also know that making facilities strategic isn’t just a matter of cutting costs. We’ve also pointed out that there are at least five additional ways that effective management of facilities operations can enhance workforce and business performance:

  1. Increase workforce productivity;
  2. Help to attract and retain talent;
  3. Increase organizational agility;
  4. Reduce the business risk of disruption; and
  5. Reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and environmental impact more generally.

We’ll expand on each of these strategic impacts just briefly; we’ve written much more extensively about them elsewhere (for example, see “How Come Distributed Work is Still the Next Big Thing?” Work Design Collaborative, 2006).

Read more

Is “Operational Strategy” an Oxymoron? (Part Two)

Jim Ware

This is the second installment in a series of observations about how an organization’s operational capability impacts business performance. In Part One (at this link) we explored the basic concept of strategy and suggested that operational capability is an absolutely essential component of business strategy.

Here in Part Two we expand on that idea and offer a history lesson showing how information technology exploded out of the “back room” to become a strategic resource in almost all commercial and public-sector organizations by the beginning of the 21st century.

[An “Oxymoron” (from the Greek ὀξύμωρον, “sharp dull”) is of course a figure of speech that is self-contradictory. Common examples include “jumbo shrimp,” “living dead,” and “open secret.”]

Last month (at this link) we cited Professor Michael Porter of Harvard University, a widely recognized expert on business strategy, to highlight what makes a business activity or resource strategic. Based on his analysis we suggested that there are nine different ways that an operational activity can affect business performance. However, for now let’s just focus on the six most important factors:

StrategicFactors

(inspired by Porter’s seminal article in Harvard Business Review, “What is Strategy?”)

Strategic business success is measured in many different ways: market share; customer satisfaction; revenue and profit growth; employee attraction and retention; and public, or brand, reputation. Note that none of the six factors shown above is inherently strategic; it is only when a factor is central to a particular business strategy that achieving it makes a specific function strategic in its business impact.

To understand how these factors can affect a functional area, recall how the IT function (and technology itself) exploded out of the back room and landed in the board room between about 1975 and 2000. Let’s consider how IT impacted just three of these factors, and how those changes dragged senior IT executives into the executive suite.

Read more

Complete a new survey on the state of facilities management

… and receive a complimentary Executive Summary of the findings.

In my role as Global Research Director for Occupiers Journal Limited (OJL) I am leading the current GRID study, “Raising the Bar: Enhancing the Strategic Role of Facilities Management.

We are conducting a brief online survey to help us understand how organizations around the world (both private and public sector) are organizing, governing, and measuring the performance of the facilities function. [continue reading...]

What’s Happened/Happening? (April 2012)

Recent Activity

Talking About Tomorrow

We have long wanted to engage more directly with smart practitioners and independent experts, as we all drive in parallel towards the future of work. Now we have found a way.

We took a first step towards creating an active community of workplace/workforce futurists on February 10, when twenty of you joined me for a one-hour free-wheeling conversation. Our second and third calls were equally engaging, and we now have a LinkedIn discussion group limited to “alumni” of these calls. Participant feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, so we will continue to host these calls, about once a month, for the foreseeable future.

The conversations are limited to no more than fifteen people who have registered in advance to ensure that they become active, meaningful conversations rather than one-way “pontifications.”

The next “Talking About Tomorrow” conversation, featuring Bob Fox of Workspace Design Magazine, is already oversubscribed. However there is plenty of room for new participants on May 24 and June 14, the next two scheduled conversations.

To sign up for the May 24 session, or for June 14, just send an email directly to Jim. Please tell us your company name and position (to help us know who you are). We will then reply with a call-in number and related information. We look forward to exploring the future together!

Occupiers Journal Limited

As you may know, Jim Ware, in addition to his leadership of The Future of Work….unlimited, is also a co-founder of Occupiers Journal Limited (OJL).

OJL is a global learning and development organization serving real estate and facilities management (FM) “end users” with whom OJL engages and cross-shares data, knowledge, experience, and case studies with other occupiers in a confidential environment. OJL’s premier program, GRID (Global Research Into Development) is actively seeking new members.

There is a brief description of the GRID program on the Occupiers Journal website, at this link.

Read more

Facility Fusion: April 11-13, 2012

Jim Ware will be leading and/or participating actively in five separate sessions at IFMA’s Facility Fusion Conference, at the Chicago Sheraton Hotel on April 11-13, 2012:

April 10 [pre-conference]

Roundtable on Managing End-User/Service Provider Relationships

Jim is leading this invitation-only Roundtable for senior facilities professionals representing both the service provider industry and end-user occupiers. The Roundtable is hosted by IFMA and sponsored by CBRE, Sodexo, and Kimball Office. [continue reading...]

Occupiers Journal GRID Program is Studying the Strategic Role of Facilities Management

As you may know, Jim Ware, in addition to his leadership of The Future of Work….unlimited, is also a co-founder of Occupiers Journal Limited (OJL).

OJL is a global learning and development organization serving real estate and facilities management (FM) “end users” with whom OJL engages and cross-shares data, knowledge, experience, and case studies with other occupiers in a confidential environment. [continue reading...]

Facilities Management Careers and Jobs

My colleague Paul Carder (a co-founder with me of Occupiers Journal Limited) has posted nice summary of the current job market, and job seekers, on his personal blog, at PaulCarder.com.

The post is at this link:

http://paulcarder.com/2012/03/02/oj-careers-jobs-4-2nd-march-2012/

The post is essentially about a new LinkedIn group that Paul formed in late January, called “Careers & Jobs (Open) CRE & Facilities Management.” [continue reading...]