Tag: IFMA’s WWP 2017


In my previous blog, the second in this series, I identified levels of preparedness for an FM organization to gain positive short and longer-term payoffs using a consultant. I also mentioned finding a consultant using the FMCC Consultant Search directory in IFMA ENGAGE. Essentially, an organization with sound strategies, that give rise to practical objectives, which can generate clear processes stands to strengthen its FM outcomes with consultant use because it can insert consultant work anywhere to support specific business outcomes. A less mature

IFMA's WWP 2017

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In the last blog, I pointed to the independent FM consultant as an exceptionally valuable FM resource, available and responsive with knowledge and practical skill to apply, to lasting good effect. I was also unreserved about reasons that FMs hesitate to use a consultant. What can an FM do to strongly increase the odds of a definitively positive outcome?

The pressure and uncertainty imposed on Milo in The Phantom Tollbooth[1] resembles the FM problem. Milo, feeling his way toward rhyme and reason, is under the constant constraints of time and practicality imposed by the Watch Dog[2], who is nevertheless of little help with knowledge of the best way to proceed. Milo eventually has the good fortune and cooperation to find his way.

An FM has to be surer than Milo, with a safe process for using a consultant, founded in sound strategy expressed in clear objectives. If your efforts are not already strategy based, specifically aligned with your organization as a whole, clear in their objectives, and measurable to guide improvements, a consultant can help your FM organization get there and keep growing. Strategic management brings safe and sound FM ground.

How about just let’s get this project done, problem solved, milestone passed, temporary overload relieved, technical capability in place, compliance met, etc.? Succeeding in such a project will help with FM capability and maturity. Success breeds success. But how do you find and become acquainted with a suitable consultant and obtain the best value?

The interactive IFMA FMCC Consultant Search Directory  provides 35 areas of consulting practice to guide a search, as well as searchable names and locations. FMCC members can readily point out other sources as well. We are relentless FM problem solvers. More knowledge is always better than not enough. Luck is great, as long as it holds. Milo had an author. FMs have less certainty.

[1] Juster, Norman and Jules Feiffer, The Phantom Tollbooth, 1961, Penguin

[2] Milo and Tock the Watchdog, in a 2015 sketch by Jules Pieffer at the request of Zack Smith. Published on comicartfans.com.


IFMA's WWP 2017


In The Phantom Tollbooth [1], Milo (center[2]) encounters the Humbug (left), who is perpetually his own sole context. Humbug is rarely lost for words. The Watch Dog Tock (right), is mindful of Milo’s and everyone’s time. He tells Milo that words only add to confusion when you use too many to say too little. But it’s too late for Milo. Humbug orates, proclaims, and becomes combative. He means no harm; he does no good, and worse. Milo eventually moves beyond Humbug, but not before wasting time, losing to confusion, and being jailed.

FMs, when you hear “consultant”, does Humbug come to mind in a cautionary way, cooling your enthusiasm to risk reputation and performance numbers? This is a good time, the Watch Dog advises, to remember that your budget won’t pay a consultant and your boss would not let you hire one anyway. You and your staff can wrangle changes, discover and develop opportunities, and optimize FM by yourselves. Stop reading now if you are certain that this will always be the case.

Who are independent FM consultants? Why do we persist? We are relentlessly practical problem solvers, coaches, technical and organizational specialists and generalists – at the same time. We are people strongly occupied with, studied up, and networked around the breadth and depth of FM and current challenges and opportunities posed by the built environment. We are motivated by contributing, in light your circumstances and the goals of your organization. We bring ability, motivation, knowledge, experience, capability, and capacity, leaving you with some of each to carry on. In IFMA, a good number of independent consultants are FMCC members.

What gains can you accomplish with an FM consultant? How do you define the problem or opportunity, identify potential consultants, and approach expenses and ROI?  How can an FM optimize a consulting project? These are coming up.

Stay with me?

[1] Juster, Norman and Jules Feiffer, The Phantom Tollbooth, 1961, Penguin

[2] Milo, the Humbug and Tock the Watchdog, from Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer, THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH. Artist: Roger Langridge (Penciller). Gallery owner, Zack Smith. Published on comicartfans.com, c. 2011.


IFMA's WWP 2017

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