Harmonious balance in the hard and soft

To be a successful tennis player, you need to possess an arsenal of hard, powerful ground strokes and a soft touch around the net. To be an effective salesperson, you need to be able to switch between soft selling and hard selling depending on the client.

COMMENT, Business

To be a successful tennis player, you need to possess an arsenal of hard, powerful ground strokes and a soft touch around the net. To be an effective salesperson, you need to be able to switch between soft selling and hard selling depending on the client.

The entire concept of good cop/bad cop is based on the precept that criminals relate to either the hard or soft approach. My point is simple: practitioners in these fields are successful when they understand and approach the ‘hard' and ‘soft' of their jobs as complimentary forces within one entity.

Within facilities management, both hard services and soft services are integral disciplines. You cannot talk about energy efficiency and green buildings without addressing hand dryers and landscaping.

Likewise, your understanding of building maintenance is a bit short-sighted if you turn a blind eye to pest control. Moreover, asset management is a moot point if you refuse to consider your employees and staff as important and valuable assets that need to be protected.

You cannot have one without the other and, as such, Facilities Management Middle East cannot choose to cover only soft or hard services-there needs to be balance. Just as yin has yang, Butch Cassidy has Sundance, chocolate has vanilla and day has night, the FMME team will endeavour to provide that same balance to its readership.

To that end, this month's features focus equally on MEP maintenance and colour psychology in the workplace. We've got architects talking about the importance of FMs and structural engineers talking about the status of LEED development in the Middle East. FM is a massive- and massively integrated-field and thus requires input from those deeply entrenched as well as those on its periphery.

Sallust, the ancient Roman historian, once said of Rome, "Small communities grow great through harmony; great ones fall to pieces through discord." I'm a big believer in the idea that balance begets harmony and until I'm replaced, the FMME readership is my Rome, and I'll not let it fall to pieces by way of unbalanced coverage.

Jeff Roberts is the editor of Middle East Architect and
Facilities Management Middle East.

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