OJL News

Is Facilities Management Strategic?

by jimware on September 21, 2016

office-buildingIs Facilities Management Strategic? What does it mean to be a strategic business resource?

Those questions are crucial to the future of the Facilities Management (FM) profession.

Please contribute to an important conversation and research project addressing the current state of the FM profession by helping to answer those questions. If you are an FM professional I invite you to participate in a brief global online survey about your FM organization and its current role and relationships, as well as your views about current challenges and opportunities for FM leaders.

The survey includes just 15 questions and will take less than 15 minutes of your time. Click here to complete the survey:


This survey represents an important opportunity for you to contribute to a global conversation about the emerging strategic impact of facilities management. If you complete the survey, we will be happy to send you a summary of our findings once the study is completed.

The survey is part of a study sponsored by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). RICS has commissioned Occupiers Journal to update our 2012 report, “Raising the Bar: Enhancing the Strategic Role of FM,” to provide a 2016 view of the state of FM, and analyze trends and developments over the past four years.

The 2012 report can be downloaded for free at this link.

We are also interviewing selected senior FM executives and professionals as part of this project. If you are an FM practitioner who has tackled a strategic project for your organization, we would like to interview you; please contact me directly at my Occupiers Journal email address:  jim.ware@occupiersjournal.com, to volunteer your story.

One more thing: fellow Occupiers Journal director Paul Carder and I will discuss the project and offer preliminary findings at education session 7.03 at World Workplace in San Diego, California, on Friday morning, 7 October. Hope to see you there!


Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to a large group of facilities professionals at the June luncheon meeting of the Houston Chapter of IFMA (International Facilities Management Association).

My topic was “Raising the Bar: Enhancing the Strategic Role of Facilities Management.” That’s the title of a research project that Paul Carder and I led in 2o12 for RICS (The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). We did the research in our respective roles at Occupiers Journal as Managing Director (Paul) and Global Research Director (me).

The presentation was well-received; it addressed four broad questions:

  1. Why isn’t FM a more strategic resource?
  2. What does it mean to be “strategic”?
  3. How are FM groups organized and managed today?
  4. What do FM leaders need to do to become a more valued resource?

And here is the presentation, just posted on Slideshare and downloadable at this link:


Be on the lookout for Sodexo’s annual report on workplace trends; it’s due out this Thursday, 24 January.

An online summary of the report identifying its 12 key trends for 2013 is already available online at this link:


And from there you will be able to access the full report once it’s published.

We are pleased to report that Sodexo’s Trend 8 was prepared by James Ware, PhD, and Paul Carder, directors and co-founders of Occupiers Journal Limited.

“Our” trend is based on the comprehensive global research project we completed last year for RICS: “Raising the Bar:  Enhancing the Strategic Role of Facilities Management.”

Here’s the text of the Sodexo summary of the trend we contributed:

There have been many assertions, over many years, that facilities management (FM) should be more strategic. Recent research provides evidence that FM can have a strategic impact, and should play a strategic role in the enterprise, but whether it will achieve that level of influence in any particular organization depends entirely on the actions taken by senior FM executives.

A survey of almost 400 professionals across six continents was conducted in order to review the current “state of the practice” of FM. The research focused specifically on how FM is currently organized, governed, and measured, as well as on how FM professionals interact with their peers in other infrastructure disciplines. Our insights were enriched by direct conversations with a selection of senior FM and corporate real estate (CRE) executives, as well as with thought leaders from academia and international professional associations.

To be effective, FM leaders must change their behaviors, and indeed their very identity. FM is not about managing facilities per se; rather, it is about enabling the workforce to be productive and engaged, and to produce value for the organization. In our view, and in the view of leading FM executives, the workplace is nothing more (or less) than a tool for supporting work, for shaping the experiences of the workforce, and for producing competitive advantage.

We are convinced that the evolution of FM into a much more strategic resource is not only inevitable but already well underway.

What do you think? Is FM truly strategic today? If not, why not? What has to change for FM to become more widely recognized as a strategic resource, and include in corporate strategy conversations?


Work&Place: Our new Journal

by jimware on September 12, 2012

Work&PlaceOJL’s new journal, is now out! The first issue is available online free of charge at this link:


Paul Carder, the editor and Managing Director of Occupiers Journal, describes Work&Place this way:

“Work&Place, published quarterly by Occupiers Journal, is different. For a start it’s international. The team behind it is based on three different continents with a wider team covering two more.

“The journal is promoting a dialogue between its contributors and readers. Every article includes extensive links to further information and readers are encouraged to join a special online discussion for each issue:


“Our journal will be relevant to the creators and managers of ‘places’ (corporate real estate, construction, facilities management and workplace development).

“It will be equally relevant to managers of ‘work’ (business leaders, and functional specialists who have a key influence on corporate ‘places’ – human resources and information technology and others such as branding/marketing).”

The first issue was published in August, 2012, to rave reviews. Here’s what some important thought leaders are already saying:

Diane Coles Levine, Director of Workplace Services, SCAN Health Plan; and IFMA Foundation Trustee:

“I read Work&Place cover-to-cover on the plane ride home [from the IFMA Foundation Workplace Summit]. Wow! This is the best periodical I have read in my field! Congratulations on an outstanding job.

Every article has some information that I can directly apply to my job. This never happens when I read trade journals I can’t wait to share it with the FM team at SCAN Health Plan. I just wanted to thank you for providing us FMs with this valuable information.

It’s fantastic! It’s stimulating! it’s easy to read and jam-packed with critical information I can apply. Can’t wait for the next issue. “

Michael Schley, CEO, FM:Systems; and Chair, IFMA Foundation Knowledge Management Committee:

“I was very impressed with your inaugural journal. It is very rewarding to see a publication that is both interesting and serious. I hope that you have success with the venture. It is making an important contribution to the conversation.”

Debra Dailey, Vice President, Human Capital Solutions & Outcomes, Sodexo:

“Paul, It was wonderful seeing you [at the Workplace Strategy Summit] and seeing the output from the Journal…congrats again! It was a great idea to get it printed and distributed at the conference. On the way home I sat next to someone who was reading it, underlining comments, and excited to post feedback.”

Don’t wait any longer; read Work&Place today, and send your comments to Paul Carder. We welcome your views on any of the articles, and on what you want to see in future issues.


If not, you’re going to regret it.


Where else could you spend two days at Cornell University (my own alma mater) in beautiful upstate New York in the fall (best time of the year there, by far), in conversation with 150 really smart people who together are going to define the workplace of the future?

Although the Summit is open to all, space is limited, so now is the time to register for a chance to learn from experts like:

  • DEGW Founder and pioneer Frank Duffy;
  • Professor Frank Becker of Cornell;
  • MIT Professor Michael Joroff;
  • Professor Alexi Marmot of University College, London;
  • Philip Ross of Unwired Ventures and the WorkTech programs;
  • Noborru Kono, Professor at Kyoto Institute of Technology;
  • Researcher Susan Stucky of IBM; and
  • Warwick Johnson of Brookfield Multiplex.

This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of the thought leaders and practitioners who created the work environments we inhabit today, and who are gathering to identify the key trends and discontinuities that will define the workplace of the future.

You need to be there. It’s happening in Ithaca, New York, on September 5-7. Register now, while there is still room, at this link:


You can read about the Summit, the speakers, and the topics at this link:


I will be there; I hope you will be too.


RICS backs global study by Occupiers Journal

by jimware on June 21, 2012

Dear Friends,

We are extremely pleased to report that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyrs  (RICS – http://www.rics.org/) is supporting our global study, “Raising The Bar – enhancing the strategic role of Facilities Management”. We have already had several hundred responses to our online survey, and we have conducted a few dozen one-to-one interviews with Heads of CRE and/or Facilities (see below for details).

The RICS support will now allow us to run several round-table discussions in key cities around the world, from late June into September.

PLEASE EMAIL ME TODAY at paul.carder@occupiersjournal.com if you would like to attend a round-table meeting.

We are looking for the following people to attend:

  • Heads of CRE & Facilities (or similar) from client organisations (corporations or government)
  • CRE/FM internal ‘business partners’ in Finance, HR, IT, Procurement

Also, if you work alongside a CEO/ Managing Director of large service provider, providing CRE/FM multi-service delivery to your organisation, let us know if you believe they should also be involved in the debate. Especially, if they are potentially willing to host meetings/dinners in your city.

You will have already heard about our study, “Raising The Bar – enhancing the strategic role of Facilities Management” via this ‘OJ’ group. But you can read more on our website: http://occupiersjournal.com/raising-the-bar-enhancing-the-strategic-role-of-facilities-management/

If you have not completed the online survey, it is still open – you may go direct to the survey here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/OJLRaisingTheBar.

I look forward to hearing from you, and will also post further details over the forthcoming weeks.


Paul Carder
Founder / Managing Director

{ 1 comment }

Principles for turning ideas into reality:

  1. Look – keep your eyes open; attach stories to what you see. Use the eyes of a child; look up; be curious
  2. Be wiling to do champions’ work – it’s lonely – use the time to practice and become great. We all get 86,400 seconds a day; use them well
  3. How’s your “want to”? Don’t talk about it, be about it. A closed mouth doesn’t get fed. Lead with courage. Courage is action, not words.(watching a video of a swimmer in 29 degree water at the North Pole! Why? To call attention to global warming) Be willing to fail, to learn
  4. Connect on a human level. One random act of kindness can change the world
  5. Five ingredients to a DREAM – dedication, responsibility, education, action, motivation. No dream is microwaveable.
  6. Be bold, be audacious, go after something that scares you a little bit.

Kevin Carroll – very inspiring!


Corenet Summit – Workplace Community

by jimware on May 1, 2012

Live blogging the Corenet Workplace Community: What’s the Future?

Come back for updates over the next 90 minutes

Kate North opening up,  welcoming people, explaining the concept of WPC

Brady Mick – introducing panel

Jan Johnson, Steve Hargis, John Hampton, Georgia Collins, Julie Seitz, Melissa Marsh, David Barban, Roy Lopinski

Intention to have quick conversations on topics, poll the audience, reveal results immediately

[Read more…]


I will be attending the Summit in San Diego on April 29-May 1 as a press representative, in my role as Global Research Director for Occupiers Journal.

The Summit program looks exciting and timely. I’ll be blogging and tweeting about it from San Diego – will post reports both here and on the Future of Work…unlimited blog. I also have two twitter accounts I will be using to report on the Global Summit news:

@jpwoccupiers (my Occupiers Journal “handle”);

@thefutureofwork (my long-standing Future of Work…unlimited account)

Follow me on one or both feeds and you’ll stay up to the minute on happenings at the Summit.

And if you are going to be there, let me know; I always enjoy spending time with old friends and making new ones.


Meet Our New Regional Partners

by jimware on April 3, 2012

We are very proud to announce that Martin LeitchLinda Van de Sande, and Francisco Vázquez have joined OJL as regional partners.

Please visit our Regional Partners page to read their bios and see their smiling faces. Or click on any one of their names to go directly to their individual biographies. You can also visit their respective LinkedIn profiles by clicking here to go to our LinkedIn connections page.

Martin Leitch has a UK background but is now based in Riddells Creek, Australia, near Melbourne. He is the CEO of fmedge facility management training (fmedge), a training organisation accredited to deliver nationally recognised qualifications within the Australian Qualifications Framework. He will be representing OJL in both Australia and New Zealand.

Linda Van de Sande is a psychologist and experienced researcher with particular interests in the linkages between social and built environments. She is based in the Netherlands.

Francisco Vázquez is an international workplace consultant and architect. He is president of 3G Office Consultancy Group, a company specialized in facility management, workplace strategies, work-life balance policies, business needs analysis, corporate architecture and interior design, engineering, and corporate project management. 3G Office has operations in Spain, Portugal, and Latin America.

These three experienced experts will be representing OJL in their respective countries, working with local CRE/FM professionals and contributing to our global research projects. They look forward to opportunities to meet with and learn from you, our constituents. Please join us in welcoming them to the OJL family!