FMI | Construction & Engineering Industry Insight
Posted on March 28, 2016 by FMI CorporationDriven in part by regulatory pressure, ethics programs are gaining prominence within firms whose leadership have made it a priority, and further throughout the industry, supported by associations like the Construction Industry Ethics and Compliance Initiative (CIECI) and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). At FMI, we regularly explore what motivates engineering and construction firms to invest in ethics programs, and how they facilitate awareness and enforcement of ethics policies. Here are seven best practices that we’ve identified through our research: 1. Ethics starts at the top – the leader must champion ethics policies, practices and attitude. Mitch Haddon, president and CEO of ColonialWebb, implemented a values system and leadership playbook after a period of company growth. The leadership playbook details the exact behaviors that managers should exhibit throughout the organization, a cue for the entire staff. “Common sense doesn’t appear ‘common’ until you have it written that way,” he explains. “The playbook for leadership behaviors creates the value system at all levels.”
This post was posted in Consulting, Research, Center for Strategic Leadership and was tagged with ethics, ethics construction industry, construction, NRCI 2014 Q2, business ethics, construction ethics, engineering ethics, engineering industry
Posted on March 21, 2016 by FMI CorporationLeaders in the construction industry have long dealt with volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity ("VUCA") on a daily basis. In fact, VUCA is part of the industry's DNA. Today, though, the pace of change and the speed of information flow are transforming the global business landscape more than ever, escalating risk and vulnerability at all organizational levels. In the construction industry particularly, the failure rates associated with untested, uninformed decision-making have pushed executives to become vastly more creative, flexible and nimble when it comes to identifying and managing risk and solving problems. Unfortunately, many of today's construction leaders are ill-equipped to deal with their companies' many moving parts and are now seeking innovative ways to develop their leadership capabilities.
This post was posted in Consulting, Center for Strategic Leadership, Talent Development and was tagged with construction industry blog, CEO in construction, construction executive, construction leadership development, construction executive institute, leadership development
Posted on March 10, 2016 by FMI CorporationIt’s all around us. Doctors are looking at patterns of effective care; retailers are watching how customers move around their stores, looking for merchandising clues; and taxis are unsure what to do about Uber’s algorithm-driven pricing model. If the construction industry thinks the status quo will leave it alone, it needs to think again. At the very least, the industry must hire up-and-coming next-generation employees — individuals who are already living 100% in a data-driven world. They expect nothing different from their workplaces. Of course, there are other imperatives too, including: Profitability. Pennies add up to real profits. Construction is still notoriously inefficient. Why, for example, do mom and pop retail stores have sophisticated real-time inventory processes and technology, and construction companies rarely have any? That type of data control is basic for leveraging daily productivity and increasing profitability.
This post was posted in Consulting, Center for Strategic Leadership, Technology and was tagged with construction industry, construction industry future, data and construction, data construction industry, data increase profitability
Posted on February 29, 2016 by FMI CorporationWhether they are large public businesses or small, family-owned startups, successful construction companies have strong, positive cultures. These cultural roots typically start with a founder who has a vision of the type of company he or she wants to build. The CEO should be able to get his or her team “pumped up” – an effort that requires a lot of energy, but that should be on every leader’s actionable agenda nonetheless. In their leadership capacities, CEOs must also influence organizational cultures to grow in a positive direction. Too often, the culture in a construction company can become a losing one, especially in tough times. By inspiring higher levels of execution and celebrating individual and team successes, a CEO can raise the aspirations of the organization’s human resources. The best CEOs understand, practice, shape and lead with their company’s culture, raise their firms above mediocrity, and assemble many different people and talents. Taking the lead to shape the corporate culture can be quite a challenge anytime, but it’s even more important when the company grows to a multi-billion dollar organization.
This post was posted in Consulting, Center for Strategic Leadership, Talent Development and was tagged with construction industry blog, NRCI 2014 Q2, CEO, CEO in construction, ceo skills, cultural intelligence, ceo cultural intelligence
Posted on February 22, 2016 by FMI CorporationWhen companies go looking for a new CEO, they either turn to professional search firms or develop their best candidates within the organization. The company — often the board of directors and major shareholders — is looking for a very special individual who will not only have the capabilities to perform certain responsibilities, but will also fit the specific needs and culture of the organization the next CEO will be hired to run. While the CEO doesn’t (and shouldn’t) operate in a vacuum, the decisions he or she makes can mean the difference between the success and failure of the organization. In general, we find that many of the characteristics of the CEO are the same in any organization or industry, but there are some significant differences to consider for the construction industry.
Posted on February 15, 2016 by FMI CorporationBeing at the top isn’t easy. CEOs don’t always have other high-level executives who they can brainstorm with, confide in, and bounce ideas off. In this blog, we explore the four levels of CEO activity that leaders need to be thinking about as they face the many same challenges – regardless of their lines of work: Level One: This level revolves around operational decisions that, in most cases, are presented to you – the CEO – based on historical issues. For example:
- Someone is leaving the company, so what are we going to do about it?
- Someone filed a claim, so how are we going to handle it?
- We are competing for a big job — how are we going to name a project manager and win the bid?
Posted on February 8, 2016 by FMI CorporationMany construction leaders assume that leader development and succession issues have blown over since the recession put a swift end to the boom years’ war for talent. However, these issues have not gone away; on the contrary, they have become even more acute as a result of the Great Recession thanks to these four key developments:
- The demographics bubble of retiring baby boomers followed by a much smaller Generation X.
- The construction industry’s inability to present itself as a desirable industry for future generations.
- The impact of long-term unemployment, which has driven many young workers out of the construction industry for good.
- Owner and/or company capital bases, which have been reduced by the recession.
This post was posted in Center for Strategic Leadership and was tagged with construction industry, Ownership Transfer, Management Succession, FMI's Ownership Transfer and Management Succession 2013 Survey, Construction transition and succession plans, NRCI 2014 Q2, succession construction
Posted on January 28, 2016 by FMI CorporationBusiness strategy is a key determiner of how you will invest the limited amount of time, talent and treasure available to align your company with market opportunities. There are countless books and articles written on the topic of “strategy,” and a simple “business strategy” search of Amazon’s book offerings yields a staggering array of results. With all of these resources and clever ways to learn about strategy, why do so many firms in the construction industry struggle with this concept? The problem is that few books or other resources specifically address the complexities of the construction market – a high-risk venture where risk is concentrated in specific markets and occurs over tight timeframes.
This post was posted in Center for Strategic Leadership and was tagged with Strategy, FMI Corporation, construction industry future, strategic thinking, construction profitability, FMI's Mergers & Acquisitions Advisor 2014 Q1, NRCI 2014 Q2, construction strategy
Posted on January 21, 2016 by FMI CorporationWhile you had your nose in the numbers, your competitors were coming up with new ideas, creating targeted plans, and infusing fact-based market research into their annual business planning meetings. They’ve adjusted productivity practices, entered adjacent markets, and are meeting and exceeding their clients’ expectations – all while remaining laser-focused on developing their own talent (and poaching yours). The bad news is that your competitor’s market share is increasing while yours seems to have stagnated or even reduced. The good news is that there’s still time to get back into the groove and climb back up to the top. By developing leaders who can think strategically about the present and the future, companies can decrease the likelihood of being taken by surprise by industry disruptions and competitors.
Posted on January 14, 2016 by FMI CorporationWith the Federal Reserve Board raising fund rates, fuel at historic lows, and consumer confidence up, the U.S. economy is on track to continue creating jobs and improve wages in the year ahead. This is good news for a construction market that’s been waiting patiently for the industry to “catch up” to the national economic recovery. According to FMI’s Fourth Quarter 2015 Construction Outlook, raising interest rates has historically signaled a need to tame inflation, but the current rate of inflation is near zero. Nonetheless, the Fed feels the economy is strong enough now that reducing the money supply will help add confidence for savers and reduce the potential for future jumps in inflation.