Mike Pierce's blog

Pioneers in Aircraft Manufacturing Facility Design-Build

What was it like to design and build an aircraft manufacturing facility 100 years ago?

As Austin celebrates 100 years of designing and building world-class facilities for manufacturing, maintaining, and developing aircraft, airplanes and other aeroplanes, I wonder what it was like to do these projects 100 years go.

Craftsmanship - Taking Pride in Your Work

In June 2015, Mr. Yoshikazu Oshimi was promoted to the position of President and Representative Director of Kajima Corporation, Austin’s parent company. Mr. Oshimi has 30 years of experience within Kajima, starting in construction and moving into project management and then management. In his message, “My Commitments as President,” published in the 2015 Corporate Report, Mr.

The Meaning of 100 Years

Aviation Week and Space Technology (AW&ST), the magazine, okay – call it “the bible” of the industry, first published in August 1916. William Boeing founded The Boeing Company in 1916 as well. Also in 1916, The Austin Company began design and construction of its first (of many) aircraft assembly plants – one hundred years ago this year, the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company plant in Buffalo, New York. The precursor to Curtiss Wright.

Finding Success with the Perfect Partner

I attended a conference last week in Chicago and heard a speaker say that, “one of the secrets to life is finding the right partner.” Now, this was a bakery trade show and not a marriage encounter, but either way, the concept resonated with me.

Evoking the Passion for What Drives You

I returned from a business trip last week after visiting a food company that is planning a new project. My plane arrived in Cleveland at 12:15 am and it was 1:45 am before I finally crawled into bed, exhausted but unable to sleep.

In the quiet and darkness, I replayed the events of the day in my mind … preparing for the presentation, meeting the key players and getting to know them, touring their plant several miles away to see how they manufacture their product, understanding their needs and the problems they are trying to solve, identifying and aligning the services we offer that will best fulfill those needs and help solve those problems, and then communicating that message to those key players.

Building Relationship Equity through Continuous Feedback

Recently, Austin made the initial investment in a Client Feedback Tool. This is a tool designed to monitor a client’s perception of the quality of your services and results, especially as you reach project milestones. A critical benefit to this process is that it engages the team in measuring perceptions as they move through a project, instead of waiting until the end.

Thoughts on Starting the New Year ... with Emotional Intelligence

I find the Christmas Holiday a fascinating time of year from a business and management perspective.

A whole host of companies basically shut down (I bet their fiscal year doesn’t end 12/31). Many in professional services look at the year-end as a time to catch up, clean up, clean out and organize. It is a time for planning and preparing for a new year, a fresh chance at improving, and resolving old problems once and for all.

Lessons in Effective Communication

A few recent anecdotes:

I once managed a salesman who, whenever I started to discuss with him a performance issue and my dissatisfaction with it, would complain that I “never told him that before.” As though every discussion had to have a predecessor to be valid. So each of those discussions would end with, “Well, I’m telling you now!” And what started as constructive criticism took on a much greater edge.

It’s about attitude.

Thanksgiving … Giving Light and Hope to Others

Please bear with me a bit, this one’s personal.

A couple that I know – a great couple – fun, bright, attractive and successful when I knew them in my younger years, before I moved away, recently experienced a tragedy. It made me think long and hard about Thanksgiving. Its meaning. Its essence of our culture and mindset and how we look at life in the USA.

Sales and Emotional Intelligence – The “Wow!” Factor

Sales and selling is often a maligned profession. It’s as though the sales professional is out to “get” the buyer and brings no intrinsic value to the interaction other than a necessary evil. On the contrary, it is one of the most difficult professions and one that should be respected as more of a challenging job than a dirty job.

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