Contributed by Neil O’Connor
Today I read a great blog titled “Let’s Fix Construction” authored by Cherise Lakeside. The Blog dealt with some of the excuses and sometimes valid reasons we encounter issues on projects and introduced an organization named “Let's Fix Construction. Their Website is LetsFixConstruction.com and I would encourage you to read it. This Let's Fix Construction blog shows that other sectors of our industry, specifically the design sector, are also embracing the need to adapt to a new and improved model. This is something that from a Contractor’s point of view I am excited to hear.
In the blog, Ms. Lakeside has opened what some might consider a Pandora’s Box. However, those with the ability to look at the big picture will see a path to a brighter future. Many of the phrases she opened her blog with are the result of the teaching methods of the Greatest Generation to the Baby Boomers. Boomers often when given a new task were basically put into sink or swim situations, thus it was easier and safer once you learned how to do something to not vary from it. We were often told “you are not getting paid to think.” Mentoring was a rare, if not nonexistent, concept for Boomers to learn by.
Today there is a brighter future for our industry, as some Boomers have had the foresight to break out of that mold and realize there are different and often better ways to accomplish a common goal and that with some training and mentoring the new generation coming up can have a higher success rate when given new tasks and roles. Those with the foresight are teaching that improved communication and out of the box thinking can often lead to Win-Win solutions.
The upcoming Millennial Generation has an opportunity to totally refashion the Construction Industry for the better with their innate desire to be part of a team. Many of our current issues with designing and building a project are often the result of one or more individuals or companies with a “my way is the only way” attitude. Please note this is a Boomer that is excited about the potential of the Millennials.
One of the primary concepts Ms. Lakeside promotes is learning about other facets of this industry. Expanding our understanding of how the work and thoughts of others may interact with the issues of our particular part of a project. Since time and resource limitations affect our ability to individually understand, all such possible interactions forming teams with a broad variety of experiences would appear to offer a viable opportunity to expand everyone’s view while reducing the anxiety of everyone trying to protect their “turf”.
Within the context of such teamwork below are a few concepts, which if implemented, could radically change our industry:
1. More time to work together will result in less cost.
It is said “time is money”. In our industry it is the lack of time that will always cost everyone more money. When a Design Team and a Construction Team (including Subcontractors) are given time to work together, especially with the advent of BIM modeling, the results tend to be far different and better than some projects of old. Fewer clashes, problems, arguments, workflow stoppages, and claims which will result in more savings for everyone including the owners.
Contributed by Cherise Lakeside
Yesterday was Halloween. It also marks the anniversary of a huge shift in my AEC career. One that I wish I would have explored sooner.
While many are celebrating ghoulish fun and shenanigans on this fun-filled holiday, I find myself celebrating today for an entirely different reason.
Five years ago I signed my name on the dotted line and officially became a member of CSI (The Construction Specifications Institute).
What? Odd you say? What kind of weirdo celebrates joining an industry association?
Yep, that would be me! Those that know me personally will not be surprised. They call me the #CSIKraken for a reason. Not only did I drink the Kool-Aid, but I went all in.
Honestly, since writing specs was a part of my job, it seemed to make sense. I had known about CSI for my entire career but other obligations had prevented me from having the time to get involved. As some of those time constraints faded away, I found that I could finally check it out. What the heck right? It was something new to do.
When I joined, I expected to learn all about writing specs. I mean really, that’s why I signed up. After all it is the Construction “SPECIFICATIONS” Institute right?
Why didn’t someone tell me there was so much more to CSI than just specifications? Why didn’t I know that I could learn:
Hello! Why didn’t someone tell me that CSI:
The sad truth is that I just didn’t ask. My bad! My loss! The silver lining is that I finally figured it out. Whew, that was close.
I have accomplished more in the last five years in AEC, education, leadership, public speaking and professional networking than I have accomplished in the last 20 years in many areas that are critical to my professional growth. The people who have become what will be my lifelong friends are just the super awesome icing on the cake!
These accomplishments are, unequivocally, due to two things:
So today, while I reflect on this five year journey and how much I have accomplished while still being considered just a baby in this organization, a few thoughts come to mind as I look forward:
So today I say – Happy CSI Anniversary to me! How lucky I am!
CSI is the best kept secret in AEC and I intend to change that! Be watching for me!
Let's Fix Construction is an avenue to offer creative solutions, separate myths from facts and erase misconceptions about the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry.
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