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Everywhere I look, I see the word “disruption.” And with good reason. Just think about what online shopping is doing to the retail industry, or how Airbnb and related sites are changing the hospitality landscape, to take two examples from the facilities arena. These days, scanning the horizon for disruptions is part of a CEO’s job description.
Maybe it should be on the facility leader’s to-do list as well. An array of changes is poised to transform the way facilities are designed, used, and managed. Some disruptions are already being felt; others are looming down the road. Either way, now is the time for senior-level facility managers to be thinking about questions like these:
• How could technologies from mobile phones to robots change security practices?
• What new demands will buildings face as a result of mounting concerns about climate change?
• Can you take better advantage of the growing opportunities presented by smart building technology?
• What strategies can you use to respond to the challenges of facility staffing as baby boomers retire?
There are many reasons that it’s worthwhile to get ahead of the curve on forces that promise to disrupt facility management. One is to take advantage of the capital planning cycle to seize opportunities and mitigate risks. Another is to begin preparing top management for the impact of these changes and to lay the groundwork for possible future investments — and to be prepared yourself for questions about these issues from senior leaders. Advance planning could also make it possible to find synergies in the responses to different forces, for example, by using smart technologies to address security and climate change risks.
For NFMT 2020, we are developing a track of sessions on forces that are likely to bring substantial changes to facility management. Industry experts will help facility managers make plans to navigate the turbulent waters ahead. Eight areas of disruption will be covered at NFMT: technology, security, climate change, workplace transformation, smart buildings, changes in the workforce, globalization, and change management. NFMT will run March 17-19, 2020, in Baltimore.
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