A recent survey found only one in five surveyed construction firms met the criteria of being ready for the future, according to KPMG’s Future Ready Index. The defining characteristic that makes them ready? Innovation.
Future-ready construction firms have hard-wired questioning into their work culture. Innovation grows from questioning and from recognizing change.
A tried-and-true method can fail when some aspect of the task changes. A material that’s always worked well across conditions can suddenly stop working when conditions change. Making it okay for their people to question the ‘way it’s always been done’ opens the door to new insights. Such firms have taken the fear of change out of the equation and instead are concentrating on what is happening right now.
Making it okay for their people to question the ‘way it’s always been done’ opens the door to new insights.
With an innovative culture and a stated vision for their technology journey, future-ready companies keep a keen eye on change. And the future is all about change.
Companies ready for the future place a top priority on recruitment. Talent pipelines ensure their employees will find opportunities to move up when they are ready.
Pipelines also keep a supply of recruits at their door. You can see a talent pipeline’s impact at the activity level. It’s not just about having somebody ready to work. It’s about having a skilled and highly motivated person available when they’re needed. Leading companies also place a high priority on maintaining a diverse workforce.
You can build your talent pool by first tending to your current employees with a workforce development plan. Then, tap into all recruitment channels and use methods that rely on technology to find and qualify recruits. The next generations are tech-savvy and expect companies to be innovative. They are also keenly interested in flexible career options.
Dedicated Technology Teams
With a questioning culture and the right talent, companies can improve future readiness by creating teams to act as incubators in finding all the sweet spots for new technologies. Senior leaders who already specialize in specific company operations have their fingers on the pulse of what’s working and what’s not. As they build their ‘solutions’ teams, they tap into the employees’ tech-related skills and interests to bring in new tech solutions.
These teams also map the tech path to the future by identifying and testing new technologies directly against problem areas.
Rapid Test Fail Pass
Future-ready construction companies don’t shy away from testing new technology. In fact, most use pilot test programs to see what different tech can do for them.
They also are not afraid to fail but prefer to fail quickly and then move on to the next trial. A failure today shows the strengths and weaknesses of a solution. It also suggests the conditions under which the tool would be successful for your company.
A failure today shows the strengths and weaknesses of a solution.
With that information, a company might shelve a certain technology for now, only to return to it later when it could work out for them, or the new technology introduces expansion plans.
Leading Edge Tech Investments
A top initiative setting leaders apart from the pack is the adoption of integrated project management reporting systems. If you use Procore, you’ve already had a taste of this advantage, but there is more.
Those firms ready for the future are making big investments in building information modeling, drones, augmented and virtual reality, and smart sensors. They are also marrying artificial intelligence with project management tools to use big data across projects to find critical issues.
But this technology adoption is not a no-holds-barred effort. Leading companies investigate and adopt new technologies using a framework to manage any downside risks from failure.
Whether it’s expanding geographically, into new sectors, or into service, leading companies view expansion as a major part of their vision. Expansion plans always come with new requirements as well as revenue projections. Those two factors help to support adopting new technologies.
Getting future-ready isn’t something that happens easily, and the leaders admit they’ve spent years and lots of money in the effort. Following their lead requires commitment, vision, and a willingness to embrace change as a business tool.