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Meeting of the Minds
A question about a question. First, the question: “Who can best evaluate facility needs, the facility executive or the CEO?”
Now the question about that question: How long did it take to decide that the right answer is “both”?
The time it took to reach that conclusion isn’t a bad measure of how far a facility executive has come in two important tasks: first, educating top management about the value of facilities; second, buying into top management’s priorities as the touchstone for facility decisions.
The importance of those two tasks is one of the results of a six-month research effort by the editors of Building Operating Management, which we called “Tomorrow’s Facility Executive — Today.” Our goal was to begin to identify ways facilities can be used to add value and examine challenges that face facility executives attempting to reach that goal.
One thing the research makes clear is that , in the organizations where facilities deliver the most value, there has been a meeting of the minds between the facility executive and key business leaders.
The most important result of that meeting of the minds isn’t simply a facility plan that everyone buys into — though a facility master plan is one widely used way to maximize value. Rather, the best outcome is an ongoing dialogue, an exchange of questions and ideas. It’s in this give and take that facility executives and top managers alike discover how facilities can best add value.