You probably just disagreed with that title. At least you tell yourself that you do. Unfortunately, talk is cheap my friends. We tend to say and think a great many things…but our true feelings are always borne out in our actions.
This week we are going to dive into the wonderful world of…resources! If you are a member of CFMS you have access to a great many resources. If you are not a member…WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR…it is free. We will highlight many of them, even provide some detailed usage instructions. However, before we get to that, let’s talk a bit about how we tend to use resources.
Many times, we seek out resources when someone tells us about it. We’ve mentioned previously about time in the church facility world (spoiler alert, there is never enough). So being told about the next coolest thing is the main way we get the information. Our vendors show up to show us the latest and greatest, we hear about something in a blog, we attend a conference and see something…you get the idea. At this point, all these resources share a common trait. They are utterly useless if all you do is acknowledge their existence.
It is safe to say that we are advancing technology-wise in many ways. With that comes the ability to disburse information via methods unheard of merely 20 years ago. From eBooks to webinars to interactive forums…we can share and learn just about anything. The hard part is taking that knowledge and applying it. It is necessary to do more than digest, it must be put into use or it is just “empty calories”; and just like empty calories cause us to be inefficient, gathering knowledge and not applying it leads to inefficiencies as well. Those inefficiencies lead to ministerial opportunities lost.
So, what do we do? First, we must consider what type of resource we need and when. Remember, there are tons out there, you do not need all of them at once. Consider your biggest concern right now…now that you have it, find three resources that address it and are the easiest for you to process. From those resources develop an implementation plan to fix (or at least attempt to fix) that one issue. A staircase consists of many steps, but it still is the easiest to put one foot on one step at a time.
Second, take the time to evaluate the success of the process gleaned from the resources on that first concern. Get it right. Do not worry about all the other concerns that are still there at this point….it has been messed up for a while, a bit longer is not the end of the world. Unless it is a life-safety issue, and then that is always going to be the top concern.
Third, take the time to share the resources and the process you learned from it with your supervisors and your peers. It is always good to let others know what is going on, and it will make it easier for you when you tackle the next concern. Your team will understand why you are looking for helpful resources.
Fourth, develop a system to categorize and store resources as you collect them; make them available for future research. When you find sources, many times you can sign up for mailing lists. They will keep sending them during a time you do not need them, so store them so you are ready to utilize your library when the need arises again.
Fifth, repeat steps one through four as necessary for your concerns. Developing your own resource/research library can make your life easier. Again, the crux of the matter is you must take that knowledge and use it for it to be effective. If you need to try and figure out how long it should take to clean a space, find a calculator that can help (I bet you can guess where you can find one!). Want to be a better energy steward, learn the ways how (Webinar anyone?). I can almost guarantee that there is a resource to assist you in any issue you may face as a facility steward. And if someone took the time to figure out a way to make your life more efficient, why not take them up on it?
By: Nathan Parr, Facility Specialist at Cool Solutions Group