We believe there are specific personality traits that make the best future leaders in FM, who can help to navigate and deliver all of these changes. TS Grale’s innovative and thought-provoking new ‘World Class Leader Report’ details how the best global leaders of the future must engage, communicate and influence, alongside revealing what characteristics the best world class leaders possess – and this is something that the FM market must look at closely.

Our research reveals world class leaders are people that can inspire those they work with. It also shows the key attributes and skills that future leaders require, can be divided into six core areas, which include emotional intelligence, absorption and commercialisation of ideas, an ability to really listen, clarity in execution of vision, the understanding of existing and future generations and placing a high value on social responsibility.

Workplace leaders also need to be empowered and engaged in order to elevate the workplace by doing more with the technology and innovation available. There is no doubt that FM is eager and ready for a new-age digital future, but it’s how this is best navigated that drives debate within the market. Most people understand the need to move towards a more consumer inspired working environment, powered by digital technology, which is exactly what’s expected from the next generation of talent.

“It’s the people who have the capacity to prudently learn about,

understand, embrace and implement this new wave of technology that will ultimately succeed.”

The power and capability of new technology is not in question, but it is vital that there is a strong business argument for this investment. Many designers, and owners of new buildings are embracing this and a fantastic example can be seen at one of London’ s latest sky scrapers – 22 Bishopgate - where new technology has been woven into every aspect of its design.

The building has a host of innovations that have been built-in to its 62 storeys in the heart of the city’s financial centre. These include everything from the way the design protects pedestrians against downdrafts caused by whipping winds, to the military-designed logistics system that prevents traffic build-up around its base, technology has helped solve so many FM related problems.

It’s a revolution in terms of design, behind the scenes logistics and the latest technology. All of which combine to create a system that controls everything from the amount of light passing through the windows and the building’s temperature through to meeting room bookings

and time slots in the on-site spa, all via one easy to use app. Everything that a tenant does within the building is sent to the cloud and analysed and monitored – the tech infrastructure is second to none. It’s the ultimate in a high performing, smart workplace.

However, the investment in 22 Bishopsgate has also been sky high. What FM leaders of the future need to successfully achieve is a balance between the very latest technological developments and existing technologies. It’s important that businesses don’t miss out on digital upgrades but not at the expense of existing systems that have only recently been adopted. To stay competitive and efficient, firms need FM professionals that can identify both the opportunities and threats of new technologies.

Another example of where the latest smart technology is being adopted is within the toilets of several American airports. The Trax smart rest-room platform system uses sensors to keep count of how many people have entered. When a selected threshold is met, the system alerts cleaners and supervisors via email or text message, which are monitored via a tablet. As part of the Trax system, there is a tablet installed in the toilets so people can quickly feedback their experience. The system also has an analytics component so staff can be informed when lots of flyers are due to arrive in particular part of the airport.

This sort of smart technology has not only helped with efficiencies and scheduling but importantly created a better experience for the end user. Other systems use sensors to send out notifications to staff via smart watches so cleaners are able to complete checklists that can be transmitted through the cloud for co-workers to see, rather than using the outdated paper checklist.

It’s clear that anything is possible when it comes to new technology, but of course all this requires investment, and that’s not really something the FM industry can always influence or control. The way we all work and the type of buildings we work in is evolving fast and it’s the people who can anticipate and prepare for changes that will be best placed to take advantage of these opportunities, whilst also spotting the threats. Certain aspects of FM will no doubt remain unautomated but other areas that are more structured and easily repeatable certainly will be. At the core of everything though, and something that is a constant, is people. It’s the people who have the capacity to prudently learn about, understand, embrace and implement this new wave of technology that will ultimately succeed - and that’s where we come in.

TS Grale sources people for a variety of leadership roles within the FM market, including MDs, Operations Managers, Facilities Managers and Business Development Managers. TS Grale was founded in April 2016 and currently employs a 14-strong team and plans to expand to 30 people by 2022. The company is on target to grow turnover to more than £2m this year. TOMORROW’S FM | 41

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