- Features | February 7, 2017
Winds of Change and the Event Horizon
The “Winds of Change” is a discussion surrounding Agile Construction®, and specifically leadership of an Agile business. Agile is a business model that is capable of adaptation to meet changing needs, both in the short term and in the long term. Short-term Agility surrounds the needs to recognize and meet the needs of customers and vendors at the project, division, and overall business levels, while still maximizing the available profit opportunity. This requires effectiveness and efficiency throughout the business system. Longterm Agility comes from leadership. Leadership must recognize and respond to changes in the business environment. These changes are detected by knowing what to watch for in the “wind.” Rapid detection and early action based on these “Winds of Change” is effective leadership and the only way to ensure Winds the long-term success of any business.
THE WINDS OF CHANGE
Simply put, the Winds of Change are nothing more than the forces that will create an event, shift, or growth of the industry that results in a situation where historical success no longer guarantees the future. Future success is going to be dependent upon properly recognizing the event that is occurring and taking the appropriate action early on. In a business environment as competitive as electrical construction, you can’t survive being the last to undergo change.
There are three shifts that occur within our industry that are signaling the existence of the current event. The first is Industrialization. Industrialization of construction® occurs when the basic elements of how we manage our labor and our work begin to change. Our management practices can no longer be dependent on simply having good people who we trust to do their best and bring in profitable results. The customers of our business are beginning to expect more. They expect consistency on all our jobs. They depend on planning and execution that is perfectly engineered to provide predictable daily work for everyone on the job site. They also expect significantly improved communication, with no surprises, and it’s our job to ensure that result.
To meet these increasing demands, contractors are forced to understand the principles of Lean Operations and implement true Agile Construction® business models by using ASTM’s industry-standard work scheduling and productivity measurement methods, such as SIS® and JPAC®.
The second shift that occurs during a change event is Disruption. The Disruption is simply the result of early adopters having recognized the current event making changes to their businesses. In this way, the early adopters will begin to implement means and methods that fuel the customers’ expectations and start to establish a competitive advantage. When there are enough of these progressive competitors in the market place then we begin to see the third shift.
The third shift that occurs to cause the event is a Market Shift. The Market Shift is real when there are sufficient progressive contractors in the market that the overall industry results begin to show changing trends. These trends are most likely occurring in the form of increased productivity, rapid growth within the industry, and shifts in the types of work as