The What and Why of the Who’s Who

Sept. 1, 2008

Which organizations involved in the business of buildings are employing the newest, most innovative initiatives?

Google the term "leadership" and you get 191 million results. In my opinion, though, the following best defines the qualities we sought as we selected the 44 organizations represented in the annual Who's Who in the Buildings Market 2008:

"Leadership is different than management. It entails visualizing the goal and effectively communicating that goal. It is the art of getting people to move together toward a goal they don't yet see."

There's no single, fail-safe formula for building owners and facilities managers when they're seeking to maximize the potential of a commercial or institutional structure, whether it's an office building, a school, a hospital, a retail chain, or a hotel. Frankly, it comes down to the quality of the service or product being supported by the building. Building performance can't be taken as a standalone. Just like anything, it's a tool that's used in the overall goal of enhancing a service (i.e. building occupant comfort and satisfaction, organizational flexibility, technological adaptability, etc.). And, with today's professionals incurring increased workloads and responsibilities without the support staffs that were once available, it's an even more monumental task to take services beyond the norm.

At the same time, technology within the commercial and institutional building markets is changing at breakneck speed. Driven by the perception that facilities are a major factor in achieving significant productivity gains, corporate and institutional America are both spending huge sums on more effective facilities. An example: At one time, "technologically savvy" meant merely rewiring and offering Internet access; today, advances continue to be made in systems integration, wireless communications, etc. This techno-branding of buildings has just begun to surface, but it will be interesting to see how the market measures and markets its value.

Sustainability, particularly from a holistic point of view, has also taken the industry by storm—one of the true market transformations that we‘ll see in our professional careers. Greenwash is difficult to wade through. Remember, though, that a back-to-basics approach is simple and direct—and it works. Fundamental values are sustainable and realizable.

This year's Who's Who is made up of organizations that view real estate as a core competency, and of others that integrate facilities know-how and expertise into making the structures that house their employees or clientele the most productive, healthy, and efficient in the marketplace. What sets them apart? Read the article and follow their leadership ...

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