Chief Facilities Officer – Your Next Step?

December 6, 2013


In an October webinar, Skip Smith, VP Supply Chain, Physical Asset Services for Catholic Health Initiatives and past president of the American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE), discussed 5 key steps to take your facilities career to the next level. You can watch the webinar here with the full audio and presentation.

Michelle Ervin, the editor of Canadian Facility Management & Design, covered the webinar and detailed the five steps in this article entitled “Becoming a Chief Facilities Officer.”


Here they are:

1.       Build Credibility

Building credibility through excellent performance is crucial for developing the Chief Facilities Officer mindset. This will help you gain respect and influence within your organization.

2.       Thought Leadership

Beyond doing a great job, the CFO should always strive to improve. This can be achieved by taking courses, such as those sponsored by professional associations like IFMA, or by keeping current with industry trends. A CFO should be knowledgeable in both strategic approaches to facilities management as well as particulars such as the latest sustainable materials.

3.       Innovation

A CFO should be creative, looking for new and innovative ways to utilize their facilities management expertise. These new processes should also, in turn, be linked the organization’s larger goals. This feeds back into point number one: innovating processes will improve credibility, influence, and respect for the Chief Facilities Officer position in the organization.

4.       Communication

Communicating facilities management objectives and goals to stakeholders, internal and external, is extremely important. By relating these objectives to the larger organizational mission, the CFO is able to present their ideas in ways that resonate with decision-makers and demonstrate their right to a seat at the executive table.

5.       Involvement

Finally, it is important for a CFO to build relationships inside and outside the organization. Leverage networking opportunities through the industry associations, and internally, regularly meet with stakeholders in order to understand their needs, getting out in the facilities to raise his or her profile and that of the department.

Looking for more information like this? VFA is running webinars through 2014 on all things facility management. You can keep track or see what webinars are upcoming on our webinar page. All webinars are free to attend, so why not check a few of them out?


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