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Ready to Disrupt? Or get disrupted…

Are you comfortable with your everyday actions working in the AEC industry?

Do you ever think, “The way I’m doing this cannot be the best way of doing this task?”


“I’ve done it this way for years. I don’t need to change because this method has served me well over the years.”

There is something happening that is quite amazing right in software,  and it is affectionately called, “DISRUPTION”. Companies are challenging their business ideals by attempting to break their business model on one side of their business IN ORDER to enhance their business in another area.

You may be thinking, “Why would anyone want to break their own business model?”

I will tell you why by asking another question –

Would you rather break your own business model or have your competitor do it for you?

There is a family of 4 from out of town traveling through the state that pulled up to a gas station in your city. They are filling up and mention to another patron that they were thinking about moving. They wanted to know what the area was like, especially what the people are like in this city. This patron asked the father of the family, well sir, “What are the people like where you are coming from?”

Each person from the traveling family chimed in. They said, “They gossip”, “the people are dangerous and stubborn”, “we have murderers and thieves”, “and the economy is just in a bad state.” The mother in the family lastly mentioned, “the people are terrible and we never liked our neighbors”.

The wise ol’ patron said in reply, “Well, the people here are exactly the same.” He calmly goes back to pumping his own gas and and continued to go about his day.

This wise patron understood that your environment is Truly determined by your perception of it. He knew that if this family came to your city, that they would not be contributing to the environment, but, rather, sucking the sheer life out of it. Thier perceptions would not change solely based upon moving to a new environment.


Now, what does this have to do with construction?

Thanks for asking!

I’m sure your perspective of construction is not as negative as the lovely family passing through your city, BUT, here are some Easy ways you can start improving the perception of the construction management industry.

#1) Check yourself!

Check your own mindset towards the industry. Are you excited? Are you challenged with developing the best ways to start making improvements. Or are you stuck in the rut of, “This is the way it’s been done in the past, and it works.” or are you ready to disrupt?

#2) Always keep learning.

Stay on top of new trends.  Why don t be track trends for technology, by not on processes, best approaches to training, why not teach leadership training to the lowest on the totem pole.

Pick an organization to follow – Buitworlds, Lean Construction Institute, Connex.  As a matter of fact, in order to foster this type of conversation, I’ve started a LinkedIn group called Cutting Edge Construction, and feel free to follow me on twitter where I post about collaboration, lean construction, disruption, and co-working. Please share if you know of lots more in the comments!! 

#3) Share information with your internal team.

It is important to get buy-in from your team including your boss, employees and especially C-Level executives. Internal company buy-in will build an energy so that your company can create the right positioning to partner with the right people. Information share builds awareness, awareness brings competency, continual action breeds  action, and action creates a mindset shift.  A mindset shift amongst a team causes a cultural change.

#4) Test and Track your advancements in order to improve on them.

The Build – Measure – Learn loop is the fundamental methodology of the  The Lean StartupAlthough this book is about software startups primarily, the same methodology can replicated here.  Test the things you are learning, measure the results getting feedback about the effectiveness of your test, and learn from the results.


If you test, there is a likelihood to fail. Let’s be real. So let the stakes be as high as you can get them.

“The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty that you can comfortably live with.” – Tony Robbins

#5) Affect your community.

It doesn’t matter if you are an owner, architect, contractor, or legal advisory! you must expect more from your project teams and peers.

Believe in higher expectations. In the Americas, why have the expectations only changed for healthcare, education, pharmaceutical and major tech companies,  and not changed with others?

Even manufacturing companies haven’t implemented lean in construction.

Do you want to change perception of industry?  These are a few small ways you can influence?!

  • try… true collaboration
  • try… valuing each skill from each person, down the last planner
  • try… collectively assuming risk
  • try…gaming software for designing spaces
  • try…barking up a different tree

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About the author, Brittanie

Construction Management professional and enthusiast. I'm always researching ways to positively impact the construction industry by implementing best practices and innovative ideas, and implementing collaborative approaches.

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