Home' Facility Perspectives : Vol 10 No 3 Contents FACILITY PERSPECTIVES | VOLUME 10 NUMBER 3
INDUSTRY UPDATE |
you look back along my path, you will see
how each element and adversity brought
me to this. I am a lucky guy in that my ‘bliss’
found me, and I have been acknowledged
with an award.
FMANZ: What are some of the things
you like most about working in facilities
GW: The mix of people and the technical
aspects. They seem to pull the brain in
opposite directions, but the bridge between
them is wisdom, and your intuition is the
product of experiences, both positive and
FMANZ: What do you think is the most
important skill required to carry out your job?
GW: In a word: menschkeit. It’s Yiddish for
‘the space between a handshake’ (Google it for
the full meaning).
FMANZ: What is your proudest
accomplishment in your career to date?
GW: The FMANZ Brian Happy Award,
and the fact that the nomination came
from my tenants and director. I took
a risk and innovated the JLL service
offering. I worked ‘the space between the
handshake’. I canvassed the stakeholders
one on one, and invited them to be part of
this unfolding collaboration.
I believe that if we can accept that
architecture is the art of creating human
habitats and see engineering as providing
the vital organs, then we must surely see
facilities management as the soul that brings
it to life for its stakeholders.
Young Achiever of the Year
Gareth Ramson has been with ISS for four
years, working on a global contract with
the Foreign Commonwealth Office. He
is the facilities manager for the British
High Commission in Wellington, and at
age 32, Ramson is the youngest Foreign
Commonwealth Office Post Facilities Manager.
‘When I think of my role as a [facilities]
manager, the term “jack of all trades” comes
to mind,’ says Ramson. ‘Some days, I could
be working with a contractor on a solution
to a building leak, and other days I may be
refining security assignment instructions,
procurement to pest control or staff training
to lease negotiations. I could even be relaxing
with the client, building a relationship. My
ultimate goal is to ensure that whoever
I work for, wherever I go, I am looked
upon as someone that’s approachable and
knowledgeable; someone who will spend the
time to help colleagues without question.’
FMANZ chatted with Ramson about
FMANZ: What are some of the things you
like most about working in FM?
Gareth Ramson: I really enjoy the
challenge of knowing that every day will be
different, and that at any moment a disaster
could be in my hands and I may need to
adapt to the situation to provide a solution – a
solution that I am also going to be measured
on. How many jobs are there with so much
diversity across such a broad range of services?
FMANZ: What do you think are the most
important skills required to carry out your job?
GR: In the fast-paced, reactive world
of FM, it is easy to step away from a
methodical approach, only to all of a
sudden be firefighting, slowly getting
the fire down but never extinguishing
it. Keeping calm when issues arise, and
having clear processes around tasks is key.
The time I have invested in documenting
processes, training staff and reviewing
has paid off time and time again. It also
has benefits for succession planning, staff
training and handovers.
Communications has got to be top of the
list; whether it is with clients, colleagues
or contractors, it plays perhaps the most
important part of the role [of FM]. Part of
working on a global contract means that I have
colleagues and clients all around the world.
This has its hurdles, but thanks to technology,
they are easily overcome. As my team is
transitioning British families into residences
in New Zealand, there is a huge level of
communication required. Making sure that the
incoming family feels welcome and has what
they need in a foreign country requires a lot of
work, both in planning and in communication.
FMANZ: What is the proudest
accomplishment in your career to date?
GR: I really enjoy working on a global
contract, and being able to reach out and
collaborate with other FMs in other parts
of the world. One of the highlights of my
career to date is speaking at the ISS 2015
Foreign Commonwealth Office Conference
in Hong Kong. I delivered a presentation
on asset and risk management focusing on
the value you can add by incorporating
asset planning into the day-to-day
operations of facilities managers.
Young Achiever of the Year Gareth Ramson
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