In The Phantom Tollbooth , Milo (center) 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?
 Juster, Norman and Jules Feiffer, The Phantom Tollbooth, 1961, Penguin
 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.
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