Most people have a limited interpretation of job site collaboration, one that is focused only on being courteous and friendly to one another but otherwise everyone is in their own box.

The view seems to be, “I’m OK here in my role, and you stay over there in yours. If we each do ours jobs, everything is cool.”

Real collaboration, though, means the openness to share ideas throughout the project. That might mean mutual input on the order to do things or spur of the moment problem solving when situations arise.

You might ask yourself, when was the last time I had something like that on a big construction gig?

Our experience has been that people are better at collaborating internally than externally (between organizations). That means we each tend to collaborate fairly well within our organizations, delegating and collectively creating solutions. But when it comes to dealing with other companies, though, that willingness seems to be minimal.

It’s a shame, because some of the more complex jobs could really benefit from a meeting of the minds.

Taking Efficiency For Granted

The other observation that comes to bear all the time involves the way those in the industry see efficiency.

Even firms that focus on continual improvements to their process end up missing the big picture it can create.

Efficiency gains can make construction firms lazy in one of two ways:

  1. They become so reliant on the efficiency gains that they feel like they can cut corners in others and still “break even”.
  2. They chase their tails, thinking that if the efficiency gains allow for more to be completed in less time, then there’s even more time to do even more. There’s logic to that, but it creates burnout.

But the larger concept that both those head spaces miss is making that efficiency part of what they’re selling.

What value has this created? Are your firm’s efficient tactics far more efficient than your competition’s? What does that ultimately allow you to do that others can’t?

(Something more complex than “we can do it faster”.)

Where can they go next? Is there an aspect of your service that enables a next level goal?