- Features | August 30, 2016
The Great Idea Swap
Over one hundred attendees from twenty-two companies were represented at MCA’s annual symposium (Fig 1). Attendees included owners, general contractors, subcontractors, and distributors. Contractors in attendance varied from electrical to mechanical, and included all stakeholders from executive management to foremen. They all collaborated on topics on increasing productivity and profitability within the construction industry. The group addressed three core concepts during the symposium:
- Risk reduction in the industrialized construction market
- Externalizing Work® - the costs and benefits
- Real world application of Agile Construction®
Among industry leaders was the CEO of Loyal Electric (fictitious name) who attended symposiums in the previous years when he first recognized that something needed to be transformed in order for his company to sustain and grow. Communicating this to his employees was a challenge, and providing all employees with educational opportunities in order to understand that there are better, more productive ways to work was a must. He knew that if he did not figure out a better way to do the work, then someone else would. He also saw that the available workforce to support the industry was diminishing and that he had to ensure the current talent worked to their fullest potential. A pledge to make a fundamental change in the way workers thought about their jobs was made.
Implementation of Agile Construction® relies heavily on employee participation on process design and lead indicators controlled by employees, leading to a better financial performance and market share. Full employee involvement throughout the system design is the basis of this methodology, which relies on the application of Toyota Production System (TPS) in various industries, including service and soft industries.
For a company to change, the leader has to change; for a leader to change, “The Operation Theory” of learning has to change. What led a company to success in its old markets may no longer apply nor be relevant in today’s – and future – markets. Continuing to play the game with brute force will only exhaust the people and resources when the fundamental rules of the game shift. Transformation can only happen when the new theory is adhered to by all participants.
When a company embarks on a journey of transformation, the journey is as much a reward as the destination. Once a company crosses the transformation bridge, continuous improvement becomes the overall goal.
This fundamental change pushed Loyal Electric to be more proactive and completely change its culture.
The company's transformation was a difficult one, but in the end has allowed it to compete in larger markets, while maintaining its relationships with longtime customers.
Calling it emotional would be an understatement, when the CEO of Loyal Electric stood in front of over one hundred construction executives, workers, project managers, and office staff announcing and celebrating his company's graduation from a long journey of transformation through the application of Agile Construction®. This year the CEO of Loyal Electric was not just an attendee, but w