“There is one thing worse than change and that’s the status quo.” – John le Carre
It’s easy to get comfortable with what your team or company is doing, especially if you’re successful. Why change a recipe if it’s working? But, to be seen as innovative and at the top of your game, you have to evolve and change over time. This means your processes too and sometimes even the way you do business. Change can be scary and risky but staying complacent prevents any potential breakthroughs of future success. So, what happens when your company settles for the status quo?
You Aren’t Seen as Innovative
Technology is the most obvious way for your preconstruction team to innovative. It is important for your team to be seen as innovative because it means you’re willing to change to keep up with your clients’ needs and expectations. Long gone are the times when you’re building plans with a pencil and paper and project budgets with calculators. Take Apple, for example, they are the biggest technology company in the world. Are they doing things the same as they were when they released their first iMac in the ’90s? Absolutely not! Their technology isn’t even the same as it was 6 months ago.
We aren’t advocating for changing technology every 6 months for your preconstruction teams, but you do need to stay on top of it. If your competitor is doing estimates more efficiently than your team is, isn’t it worth considering a change?
Quality is Lacking
Don’t you want to be seen as the best? The status quo isn’t seen as the best. It’s seen as good enough and not anything more. When you were in school, a C was average, it was passing. Maybe in some classes, we were ok with that but not in every class. We all wanted an A! You wanted the grade to show for your hard work. In the same way, your preconstruction team goes through so much effort just to bid for a job, you sure as heck better win the project. Guess what? You are probably not going to win the project with a C-quality estimate. I guarantee you another company is jumping through hoops to find the best subs while you are just using the cheapest one you could find.
Afraid of Risk
Not taking a risk means being afraid of change. Risk is a normal part of a business. Sure there are ways to minimize risk but if you are experiencing zero risk all the time, chances are you aren’t implementing changes that can help your team. We live in uncertain times. Haven’t we all learned this in the last two years transitioning to remote work and complete project shutdowns? You have to readily adapt to circumstances that you might not be able to predict.
No Evolvement of Leaders
One of the most detrimental things leaders can do is get complacent. Construction is one industry you could be in your entire life (and even then some). Some CEOs or Directors of Preconstruction think they know all they need to know. They see no point in learning new trends or even new ways of managing a team. Since success has come to them and they’ve been at their positions for quite some time, why change? For one, the construction industry is not what it was 20 years ago! Your team probably isn’t even what it was 5 years ago. According to Harvard Business Review, almost half of 1,000 employees report they’ve never seen their leaders challenge the status quo. You need to learn new leadership skills and how to collaborate across teams. Design-build and integrated project delivery (IPD) were not even types of construction project delivery 20 years ago. If you’re used to working by yourself, it takes some change on everyone’s part to work cohesively as a team.