Center for Strategic Leadership
Posted on March 15, 2017 by FMI CorporationToday’s global engineering and construction (E&C) industry is changing rapidly. Barriers to global trade have been reduced significantly, enabling capital, labor, goods and technology to flow freely across borders. This has increased business opportunities exponentially across the globe. However, globalization has also vastly increased the complexity of the E&C business environment. Changing customer demands and new funding mechanisms are driving industry players to diversify and seek mergers and acquisitions in new markets around the world to gain access to new expertise and project opportunities. This new global context presents unique leadership development challenges for companies in the construction and engineering fields. Grooming leaders who can look beyond traditional, domestic borders and adopt a global mindset takes time and requires an entirely new learning approach.
This post was posted in Center for Strategic Leadership, Talent Development and was tagged with Global leadership, globalization, Operational excellence, construction blog, construction global, global construction
Posted on March 8, 2017 by FMI CorporationThey say that construction and engineering are male-dominated fields, but is that really the whole story? To answer that question, we believe that leaders must look well beyond counts of employees from different demographic groups and gain holistic views of their organizations. For example, diversity metrics include measures that capture the characteristics of the workforce (e.g., the percentage of the workforce that is female). And while race and gender are the two demographic characteristics most focused on in the workplace, diversity is defined as the differences and similarities that include, for example, individual and organizational characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences and backgrounds. Put simply, not all demographic characteristics are federally-protected classes, but states, municipalities and organizations may choose to protect a broader set of demographics.
This post was posted in Consulting, Center for Strategic Leadership and was tagged with engineering blog, construction blog, women in construction, diversity construction, inclusion construction, international women's day, women construction, women engineering
Posted on February 24, 2017 by FMI CorporationThe fact that most construction firms are struggling to find qualified people is old news. To be sure, much of the blame for the labor shortage problem can be laid at the feet of the Great Recession, when job demands changed dramatically and many downsized workers left the industry for good. The trouble is, these workers have yet to be replaced with workers of equal or better skills. So what can be done? The industry has responded to the challenge by treating it as an “asset” problem. Applying the same principles they would to a construction project, employers have brought a hammer-and-nail solution approach to something that requires more thought and consideration. Companies are putting big dollars into training programs focused on sharpening employee skills and competencies. But just how effective is all of that training?
This post was posted in Center for Strategic Leadership, Talent Development and was tagged with Attracting people to construction, employee retention, employee development, Training investment, FMI Management Consulting, Human Resources, oil and gas market strategy, construction blog, millennials in construction
Posted on November 1, 2016 by FMI CorporationWhile there are no cookie-cutter solutions for ownership transfer, there are some viable strategies to consider when it’s time to successfully hand over your company’s ownership to the next generation. As baby boomers move into retirement and millennials continue to make their way into the workforce, the issue of ownership has become acute among many of the nation’s engineering and construction firms. If owners cannot find the talent to manage their firms following their (eventual) retirement, they will lose the ability to dictate how ownership will be transitioned. With these dynamics in play, it is increasingly important for owners to start planning early and focus on the long-term development of the next generation of leaders.
This post was posted in Consulting, Investment Banking, Center for Strategic Leadership and was tagged with Ownership Transfer, Succession planning, construction, NRCI 2014 Q2, construction ownership transfer, construction succession management, fmi icons, fmi industry icons
Posted on October 26, 2016 by FMI CorporationIn their book “Execution, the Discipline of Getting Things Done,” authors Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan focus on a single element of successful companies that is so often overlooked: the ability to execute. And while some engineering and construction companies would say execution is their core strength, others would argue that many of them fail to do this well. To borrow from the book, execution is the main reason companies fall short on their promises. It is the gap between what a company’s leaders want to achieve and the ability of their organizations to deliver it. The superlative companies in our industry have linked together three key components—the people, strategy and operating plans—that provide the details of execution. Many company CEOs would like to “think strategically” and let other managers do the dirty work of executing the plans. More often than not, however, the best performing companies are those where the CEO takes a passionate role in execution. To achieve the latter, here are the seven behaviors that matter as you learn to lead others to create a culture of execution:
This post was posted in Consulting, Center for Strategic Leadership and was tagged with executing strategy, FMI's Mergers & Acquisitions Advisor 2014 Q1, construction, NRCI 2014 Q2, business execution, execution in construction, execution in engineering, execution business
Posted on October 10, 2016 by FMI CorporationIn today’s team-based, fast-paced work environments, the ability to communicate effectively over several channels and provide ongoing feedback is key to success. Feedback makes you aware of how you are doing and what you can do to develop and improve. It builds trust in your relationships. The topic of feedback is hot in today’s marketplace. Employees are eager to know what is expected of them, how they are doing, and what they need to do to receive greater responsibilities and rewards. Employers are also eager to implement feedback tools and systems so that they can determine how they are doing in the eyes of their customers and employees. Best-of-class organizations also use feedback to help identify areas of success and developmental opportunities for their upcoming leaders. Here are five reasons why:
This post was posted in Consulting, Center for Strategic Leadership, Talent Development and was tagged with leadership, construction industry blog, team building, oil and gas market strategy, engineering blog, construction blog, agile leadership, feedback in workplace, feedback construction, feedback team development', 360-degree feedback, feedback leadership, team development, construction and engineering
Posted on September 29, 2016 by FMI CorporationThe race to cultivate and transition leaders into executive positions is on. Is your company ready for the challenge? With 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, the construction industry is in a race to fill vacant leadership seats with candidates who are as competent as they are agile. Defined as the power to move quickly and nimbly while thinking on your feet and acting decisively, agility helps leaders tackle the challenges of today’s business environment while also thinking about the bigger picture and planning for the future. Based on extensive observation, research and practice around leadership, FMI has determined that Peak Leaders—those who exemplify what it means to be a leader—exhibit eight key behaviors. This framework can be used to identify, support and develop agility in your own leaders:
This post was posted in Center for Strategic Leadership, Talent Development and was tagged with leadership, strategic leadership, Leader selection, construction leadership development, leadership development, engineering blog, construction blog, construction management, construction leadership, leadership style, construction field leader, agile leadership, agile construction, agility, agile, talent development construction
Posted on July 20, 2016 by FMI CorporationWhen done well, assembling a peak-performing board pays off in dividends for engineering and construction firms. Companies throughout the engineering and construction industry are seeking innovative solutions to the myriad challenges they face in today’s competitive business environment. Leaders are confronted with talent pressures, changing technologies, increased competition, demographic shifts, economic uncertainty and various other seemingly random obstacles on a daily basis. To find solutions, leaders are considering a long list of options, including re-examining the way they recruit, onboard, train and develop their people; hiring talent with unique skill sets; re-examining their business models; forming new partnerships; joining peer groups; and finding ways to cut costs and increase productivity. Through it all, one powerful asset is often overlooked or not fully utilized: the board of directors (even more specifically, the use of independent outside directors as members of those boards).
This post was posted in Consulting, Center for Strategic Leadership and was tagged with construction industry blog, NRCI 2014 Q2, engineering blog, construction blog, peak performing board, board of directors construction, construction firm blog
Posted on July 14, 2016 by FMI CorporationBy Bob Uhler, The Uhler Group As the leader of an enterprise, your principal job is to assemble a team of synergetic executives who blend in a way that most effectively meets your organization’s short- and long-term goals. Not everyone should play the same role, for example, since assignments demand different leadership skills and responsibilities. Asked to reveal his organizational management philosophy, ex-New York Yankee manager Casey Stengel once said, “Keep the five guys who hate you away from the five guys who have not made up their minds.” This reply—while probably tongue-in-cheek—would probably still hold true today, particularly within larger organizations where the executive management players fall into three different categories. They are:
This post was posted in Consulting, Center for Strategic Leadership, Talent Development and was tagged with NRCI 2014 Q2, construction management, construction leader, construction leadership, leadership style, management style
Posted on July 13, 2016 by FMI CorporationFor many firms, financial regulators, and homeowners, the most recent housing bubble and subsequent Great Recession blindsided their confidence, cutting short an era of unprecedented growth and good fortune. But some people were prepared. Some even sounded the alarm. How was it they saw the downturn coming? Knowing what is going to happen is quite different than preparing for an eventuality. In a new era underpinned by sustained economic uncertainty, business leaders are learning to insure themselves against unpredictable futures. Keeping an eye on movements and events—both within the industry and beyond its bounds—can lessen the surprise factor. Put simply, leaders need to be a few steps ahead of the game. By looking at a range of possible outcomes and scenarios, and by developing a strategic response for each, companies can reduce the shock of industry shifts and minimize crisis-mode decision-making.