Professional development for £2 – Standing on the Shoulder of Giants by Chris Payne

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

professional developmentDuring a recent visit to London, I was traveling by train to meet a client. I paid for my ticket and was given among the change, a £2 coin. A number of British coins have writing on the edge and on the coin I had was written the words, “Standing on the shoulder of giants”. Thanks to Google, I found out that the quote is attributed to the English physicist and mathematician Issac Newton who once wrote to a colleague using the expression “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants“. While variations of the expression are attributed to earlier sources, the quote on the £2 coin is a direct reference to Newton. When I read the quote, it made me think of the giants that have helped me advance in my own career. Like many within the facilities management industry, my own career began elsewhere and veered into FM through a combination of chance, good fortune and timing. Along the way have been a number of giants that have helped me learn, develop and grow.

IFMA and the FMCC

This was the motivation for me to join the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) two years ago and why I work with some very talented people within the Facilities Management Consultants Council (FMCC) to help me see further and clearer into the future of the industry. As IFMA’s 2015 Council of the Year as well as winners of IFMA’s 2015 Professional Development Award, the FMCC work tirelessly in promoting professionalism, competency and capability within a diverse and complex industry. The FMCC’s focus on professional development is also reinforced by the Kit Tuveson Scholarship Award, which was won this year by Stephen Brown, (a valued member of the FMCC’s Strategic Action Group) and is a reminder to all of us of how many giants we have collectively been able to stand upon the shoulders of to see further and clearer into the facilities management landscape. With World Workplace 2015 just around the corner (, this is another chance for those attending to gaze further and deeper into the industry. For those of you who are unable to attend – like me – social media will help to fulfil the thirst for knowledge in some small way. Just keep tuned into the FMCC blogsite at or follow the Twitter hashtag #IFMAWW15 to view some of the highlights. This is an exciting time for facilities management, and there are a great many giants for us all to stand upon the shoulders of. Need a hand up?

Chris Payne

Chris Payne, CSS Consultancy & FMCC STAG Member as Social Media Coordinator

Chris works in a consulting capacity to help facilities management providers embed more efficient ways of working within their delivery contracts. With a strong focus on innovation, he contributes to improvement activities through the development of frameworks, software systems and technology to capture and incorporate new ways of working that saves cost and enhances operations.
With over 25 years of experience working on the built environment, Chris has comprehensive insight into the construction and maintenance of facilities within a number of industry sectors, including: social housing, critical environments, defence estates, food processing and commercial office space. In recent years, through the successful delivery of consultancy projects, he has helped clients secure more profitable work by moving beyond standard delivery approaches to find new ways of adding value to facility end-users and occupants.
Based near Glasgow in Scotland, he travels extensively to support an international client base.

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