As companies, professionals and other stakeholders in the built environment continue searching for the right processes, people, materials and technologies towards the growth of Facility Management industry in Nigeria, Infoprations believes that learning from Professor Ndubuisi Ekekwe’s aspirational mission framework will not be a bad idea.
At a recent public forum in Lagos, Professor Ekekwe emphasised the need for Nigerian governments to adopt aspirational mission. According to him, to achieve growth, every citizen must believe in its growth. Governments must convince the citizens that truly leaders believe in the country’s growth before asking citizens to make certain sacrifices. Citizens will be willing to pay taxes when they are seeing developments in every aspect of the society.
Situating this within FM industry, it means FM brands must be ready to make sacrifices. Efforts for the recognition of the industry must be intensified by the experts and professionals. The standardization of the processes, materials and technologies being used for solutions delivery must not be jettisoned too. Currently, it appears that businesses, people and governments are realizing the essence of FM solutions, but the delivery using the right processes, people and materials seems limited due to quackery in the industry.
After dissecting Professor Ekekwe’s aspirational mission, Infoprations discovered that the growth of the FM industry within the mission context requires a reformulation of FM brands’ mission statements and creating aspirational brands instead of inspiration brands. It has also emerged that the growth would be phenomenal when companies hire and nurture aspirational employees.
Reformulate Mission Statements
Analysis of 14 companies that published their mission statements on the website indicates that quality, comfort and creativity are being prioritised at the expense of global reach, regional reach and social impacts consideration. This has established that companies prefer communicating the industry to the clients based on the specific values they will capture. It has also showed that FM brands believe in presenting information that will attract clients locally.
From the analysis, it is obvious that most of the companies are not aspiring to be market leaders. This shows that competition is not fierce in the industry, our analysis suggests. When the companies are not aspiring to be leaders with realistic plans, it would be impossible for the industry to grow. Being aspirational will facilitate the process and solution innovations towards the industry competitiveness.
The Need for Aspirational Brands
It is high time that FM brands move from inspirational to aspirational brands. As stated earlier, the focus of the companies over the years has been the provision of quality solutions using the creative minds to businesses, individuals and governments. Moving to aspirational brands has been necessitated by the growing interest in FM activities. Beyond the quality, creativity and making places comfortable for people, companies must strengthen processes and equip employees with the required skills and knowledge towards effective performance. Aspirational brands can be attained when employees know that they are part of the journey to the growth of the brands and the FM industry.
Employees should be able to discern what brands want to be by solving frictions for clients. They must strive in a long-lasting and meaningful way to achieve their companies’ aspirational mission. Efforts should be collective towards the realisation of the specific activities stated in the mission through aspirational roles. Understanding clients’ demographics and psychographics is also crucial for delivering solutions that enable businesses and people achieved what they wanted to achieve. A bank manager would be happy that an FM company pays prompt attention to his or her faulty facilities’ peculiarities and deliver tailored solutions that ensure positive experience for the users.
FM Industry as a Movement
Companies and professionals need to turn the industry into a movement. It should be a movement because people, businesses and governments still need to know the importance of the FM solutions. It must be a movement because poor maintenance culture remains the tradition among the people and some businesses. Professionals need to determine the industry’s identities and connect with them while preaching the mission and vision of the industry.
For instance, cost reduction and operational efficiency of organisations and people who demand FM solutions must be more pronounced. From the mission statements, our analysis has also established that the FM industry as a movement can only be realised when the statements are revisited by the brands.
Dimensional analysis shows that clients, distinctive competency, motivation on excellence and employees are embedded in the statements more than the investors, suppliers, future orientation and company philosophy or values which are important for the FM industry as a movement. The growth of the industry cannot largely be achieved with the brands communicating capabilities and competencies, and having the right people to solve clients’ issues. Investors and suppliers must be involved by demonstrating the future orientation (create, anticipate and dedicate must be explicit in future activities) and values will attract and retain them for a long period.