We recently held an Innovation Forum where MBP team members pitched ideas to improve the way we do things. We wanted our team to challenge the status quo and they did not disappoint. They devised solutions to automate data entry, to streamline our schedule reviews, to integrate handy phone apps to communicate with our clients and share project data on our most remote projects, and even pitched a new service offering. They proposed research and development endeavors, many of which involved ways to improve data collection and analysis through GPS, 360-degree cameras, cloud-based data storage, and other technologies. While we saw our fair share of technology pitches, we also heard ideas on how to further promote our longstanding family culture, how to expose our younger team members to all of our services and project types, and how to develop readily accessible libraries of technical resources for our team using Lean CM tools. It was exciting to see many ideas which promoted both new technology and streamlined processes to improve not only MBP as an organization but MBP as a PM/CM leader. Plus, it reinforced what we know to be true: there has never been a better time to be in our industry as the speed of change accelerates at an unprecedented pace.
New technologies are being introduced almost daily and, for the first time in a lifetime, construction productivity in the building industry has increased. There is also more resolve and appetite for trying new things with an almost universal recognition that the traditional approaches are no longer working. Quite simply, the system has been broken for quite some time with most projects failing to complete on time, within budget or both. The construction industry needs to do more with fewer people and in shorter time frames. It is our single greatest challenge today. Now that the industry is ready for change, how do we bring about a successful transformation?
In a June 2019 article, “The drumbeat of digital: How winning teams play, ”McKinsey Digital reported on the result of a survey of 1,500 executives, in which they concluded that organizations that have cultures of “risk taking, customer focus [and] silo busting” bring about real change. These are organizations that are “adaptive,” “comfortable with change, learning all the time and swiftly responsive.” These organizations were change agents not because they undertook enormous, companywide initiatives but just the opposite: they implemented numerous “’light touch actions” that were low risk and low cost but yielded returns. And they didn’t stop. We believe that this describes MBP to a tee, and our Innovation Forum is just one example.
Our Vision is to be the company that is transforming the built environment one relationship at a time. Given where our industry currently stands, this goal is not aspirational, it is a moral imperative. This may seem a rather audacious goal for a relatively small firm such as ours, but it is rooted in fundamental positivity that we can do better, that each of us can make a difference, and that we can help break the paradigms that have held our industry back for decades. This positivity is ingrained in our corporate Values, reflected in our mantra – “do the right things the right way” – and begins with whatever we are working on right now, finding a way to do it better. This is as much an individual transformation journey as a corporate one: one team member, one project, one relationship at a time.
If you look at how the PM/CM industry has evolved over the past three decades in the way services are delivered and the value delivered to clients, you cannot be anything but optimistic about the future. MBP, like many of the successful firms McKinsey Digital interviewed, knows that transformation is not big and audacious but within our grasp every day. We resolve to transform by: