Innovation is a big topic in FM. Clients asks for it, and providers promise it – often in a seemingly unending cycle.

But what is innovation? How do you identify it, how do you measure it, how do you assess the benefits?

This key concept in facilities management – increasingly central in recent years as both clients and providers have felt the pressure to sharpen their performance – remains elusive. Innovation is easy to talk about but much harder to deliver. Yet when truly innovative ideas emerge and are put into practice, the benefits are clear – whether they are measured in terms of lower costs, greater efficiency, improved employee well-being, reduced impact on the environment, or in some other value-adding way.

What can we learn from the leaders in innovation – those who have made it work, introducing new ideas to deliver change for the better? And what insights can we gather from the latest academic and research work being done in this critical area of business?