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60 Seconds With...Geoff Prudence

19-05-17, 09:33

BIFM has introduced a new direct route to its most senior grade of membership following a successful pilot that has seen the appointment of eight new Fellows.

The new pathway aims to encourage the sector's most accomplished FM professionals to become ambassadors of the Institute and is open to those who have made a significant and sustained contribution to the advancement of facilities management over the course of their career.

Here, Geoff Prudence, Director of Facilities and Infrastructure at University College London and one of the first to progress through the new Fellows pathway, shares his experience of the application process and what becoming a BIFM Fellow means to him.

Q. What made you choose FM as a career?

A. I didn't really. It grew out of working in buildings in the 1990s in what was often referred to as 'premises management'.

Q. What do you wish you'd known about the industry before you joined?

A. That there really is so much opportunity, if you want to go for it.

Q. What does it take to be successful in FM?

A. Customer focus, leadership, risk management, good awareness of business, FM services and, above all, people skills.

Q. What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

A. Working with people, making a difference.

Q. What aspects of your job didn't you expect?

A. There is something most weeks, but that's the challenge.

Q. Who's influenced your career most and why?

A. My wife actually; for her total support of my work commitment, all the long hours, studying and additional industry activities.

Q. What's your greatest work achievement?

A. Leading transformation through people, my recognised building services and FM strategy/industry work, but personally, starting as an apprentice and progressing through qualifications and experience to a Director and Fellow of leading professional institutes.

Q. Why did you apply to become a BIFM Fellow?

A. As a fellow of other institutions, it made sense for me to apply as I have been an active member of BIFM since 2000 and want to be even more involved at a senior industry level in the future.

How would you describe your experience of the new Fellows application process?

A. I found it a thorough but fair process with guidance and support along the way.

Q. What do you feel you can contribute as a BIFM Fellow?

A. I want to be active and bring my industry experience as an ambassador for the benefit of the Institute and industry as a whole.

Q. Why is it important to inspire more FM professionals to become BIFM Fellows?

A. We need to develop and build on the senior professional capacity and experience available not only within the Institute but within the industry.

Q. What value does increasing the number of Fellows bring to BIFM?

A. It brings increased professional recognition and an accessible resource to support BIFM in raising standards, leadership and developing others.

Q. What are the advantages/benefits of becoming a Fellow?

A. As well as the accreditation, the opportunity to engage and contribute with other Fellows in moving things forward and supporting the Institute.

Q. What is your advice to anyone considering applying to become a Fellow?

A. Go for it! If you think you meet the criteria and have the experience, find out more and start your application today. And if you are successful, please be active as a FBIFM!

Q. What are your predictions for the FM industry in 2017?

A. Leadership, real collaboration and use of technology, if we are to achieve its potential.

Q. Describe yourself in three words.

A. I will let others be the judge of that!

Q. What was your first job?

A. An apprentice with British Rail.

Q. What's the best piece of advice you've been given?

A. Be yourself.

Q. What's the skill you'd most like to have?

A. Predict the future - wouldn't we all!

Q. What's on your desk?

A. Just a laptop (leading agile working by example).

Q. What are you passionate about?

A. Doing things right, the best we can.

Q. Who's your business hero?

A. There are many across the years and even now, but I guess it was Sir John Harvey-Jones in the 90s who influenced me more than anyone on leadership, change and the need to be authentic and engage with people at all levels.

Q. Describe your perfect day away from work.

A. Family and music. Maybe a cold beer or two.

Q. What's your favourite quote/motto?

A. "I don't do late!"

Q. What's the best/worst quality in a leader?

A. Authenticity/Lack of trust.

Q. What can't you live without?

A. Family.

Q. What are your career ambitions?

A. Be the best that I can be.

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