Home > The Monday Musings Column > returning to Auld Reekie

returning to Auld Reekie

This week I will be flying up to Edinburgh to enjoy the BIFM Scotland conference and I’m looking forward to catching up with some old friends as well as making some new ones. There is some synchronicity in this trip in that when I arrive at the airport there on Wednesday evening it will be twenty seven years to the day, almost to the minute, since I first arrived there. On that occasion I arrived by road, being driven down from Aberdeen where were had run a training workshop that day. Edinburgh was the second stop on that tour with Glasgow on the third day before flying back South.

Since then I have been back many times and have worked in several parts of the city and its outlying area, at one time being such a regular visitor that I was on first name terms with the British Midland cabin crews. It is where the Berkshire Belle and I got together so has special personal memories, but it has also been the scene of professional highs and lows.

On my trip this week I will be speaking at the conference with “FM in the Boardroom” as my topic. Edinburgh was the scene of my working with a main board member of a certain financial institution on a facilities management project and so there is another element of synchronicity in that. As it turned out that project was both a triumph and a failure. A triumph because we designed a solution that met all of the requirements and had the capacity to go much further, but a failure because, with implementation imminent, another business decision scuppered the project.

By such incidents you can shrivel or thrive, but I have long learned to take positives from defeat and there is something about Edinburgh that inspires confidence. On another visit I, quite rightly, took a caning from my client, but on the journey out to the airport and the flight home turned my thoughts to a negotiation I was facing the next day.  There, against the odds, we pulled off the deal and I’ve always felt that, whilst I may have left Edinburgh with my tail between my legs, I also left with my head high and determined to make a success of the next day. The deal that I won was one whereby the negotiations were conducted in French, so perhaps something of the old alliance between France and Scotland flowed through and helped my cause.

So I am looking forward to this next trip and hoping that my visit to Auld Reekie will give me another boost as the following week I fly out to the US to work with a new client and, after a few days at home, am heading back across the Atlantic, this time to South America for another first contract to fulfil. I wrote the other week in FM World that I saw British expertise in demand around the world, and certainly my current personal experience supports that. We have a lot to be proud of and I am sure that the Edinburgh conference this week will be another indication that the recovery is under way.





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