Modern Home Builder 2018 - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 11
few companies leading each presentation, but a lot of friendly
competitors in the room were busy having their own conversations about things like how to make costing more accurate.
For that brief period of time, the walls came down, nobody
cared who worked for whom, and everyone was focused on
solving shared problems and helping each other avoid common pitfalls.
Don't rule out a new collaboration just because someone's
nametag has a different company name on it. That person you
hesitated to introduce yourself to just might have the idea or
approach that will solve your most vexing problem.
You can also learn a lot from people who aren't even in your
industry. Stanford University hosts Center for Integrated Facility Engineering, an academic research center for virtual design
and construction of AEC industry projects. It's not just construction experts sharing their expertise, though - there's also
brainpower from companies such as Microsoft and Google, as
well as faculty members, researchers, students and experts in
civil engineering, architecture, computer science, business and
law. They're all working together to find new ways to deliver
high-value projects and achieve breakthroughs that will lead to
more sustainable facilities.
The last time I was fortunate enough to attend a CIFE event,
the group was working on using the Internet of Things to manage energy consumption within facilities - technology that
could benefit everybody in the room. This spring, they were
developing a data-driven feedback loop system for construction planning.
That's some serious cross-industry problem-solving brainpower, working together to advance the AEC industry as a
whole. While some of those people might compete in the outside world, in that room, they hold nothing back.
Other groups, such as the Global Design Alliance, also bring
forward-thinking companies together for collaboration and exchange of ideas. When people walk in to a group like the Global Design Alliance, it doesn't take long for minds to open when
you realize the shared vision of the group is to create better
built environments. They want to talk about what's working,
what could be improved, where they see trends and how the
AEC industry should go about adapting to change. The group's
collective vision is greater than one single person's.
It's pretty eye opening to look at the process you're used to
through the lens of someone who does things a little differently. You might confirm your belief that you're doing things the
best way, or you might find an idea that you can adapt to make
your processes even better. You might find your tunnel vision
widening, so that you can look beyond revenue and profit and
gain a holistic view of things like safety, or work-life balance, or
how to reward innovation inside your own organization.
Wouldn't that be worth stepping outside of your competitive comfort zone? Growth and innovation don't happen
in a vacuum. They happen because people make a conscious
choice to knock down boundaries, build relationships and
learn from each other. Going it alone is like trying to put
together a big puzzle when you only have half the pieces. You
may not even know that a missing piece exists, until you get
it from someone else.
Other industries have been doing this kind of thing for
a long time, with buzzwords like "benchmarking" and "best
practices." Once best practices get shared around an industry,
it raises the quality bar for everyone. Clients begin to take
notice and get excited, too. What was once one person's idea
becomes a movement, and then it becomes the standard that
clients know, trust and expect. That's how entire industries
grow and change. )
As the chief technology officer, Michael Boren directs the product strategy and technology vision for all of Beck Technology's
products and manages the departments responsible for software
development, quality assurance, technical support, as well as
customer engagement. As a 20-year veteran in construction and
technology, Michael has a passion for innovation and a deep
caring for revolutionizing the construction industry.
Volume 6, Issue 2 www.mhb-magazine.com