Mike Pierce's blog

Design and Construction Industry Outlook - Optimism Abounds

Two recent surveys indicate widespread optimism about the economy and our industry.

First, a McKinsey & Company survey of global executives points to a great amount of optimism. In this survey, when asked about current North American economic conditions compared with six months ago, 59% said they were either ‘substantially better’ or ‘moderately better’, while 30% reported they were about the same. When asked what they expect conditions to be in six months, 51% said they will be ‘substantially better’ or ‘moderately better’, and 39% said they would be the same. In short, only about 10% of North American executives surveyed said they thought conditions were declining.

The Importance of Not Just Meeting, but Exceeding Expectations

I am attending an industry conference this week. It’s a big, annual meeting of industry executives and we are getting updates on all the things the presenting organizations do for their members. Membership with these organizations is not a small investment and the cost to send people to this conference is also not a small investment.

Continuous Improvement Strategies that Defy Corporate Aging

The Editor for Smart Business Cleveland, Fred Koury, recently wrote “Efficiency is the end goal for every business…Never stop innovating ways to be more efficient in every aspect of your business.”

How Enabling Employees Leads to Sustainable Growth

Manager: “I’m concerned about our training budget. What if we invest in all this training and the employees leave?”

Executive: “I’m concerned too. What if we don’t invest in the employees and they stay?”

How We Plan for the Future

A few weeks back, I wrote that I was excited to spend the next few weeks with Austin’s senior management team, and after that, some time with this year's Leadership Development Program (LDP) team. I thought I would take this opportunity to report on those meetings.

Honoring Our Industry Heroes

Engineering News Record recently published their “Top 25 Newsmakers - Industry Individuals Who Made a Difference in 2013”. It is quite a sampling of people, and their contributions are reflective of the broad impact and diversity of our industry.

How Management is Like a Team Sport

I’m excited! 

I get to spend the next two weeks with great people with brilliant minds and tremendous character. This week, the senior management team of The Austin Company will meet, as we do three times a year, to discuss our progress as a company, key issues, and plan the future. This team is comprised of both new managers, and some that have 30-40 years with Austin.

Continuous Improvement and the 212 - The Extra Degree

I recently came across a sales and general motivation tool by Sam Parker (video link: http://binged.it/1i73vNr) that focuses on the idea of going the extra mile. The idea is that steam is a powerful source of energy (e.g. the steam engine), but if you only get the temperature to 211°F, nothing will happen. Those that make the extra effort to get it to 212°F are the ones who will move the engine.

Construction Industry Confidence and 2014 Forecast

Engineering News Record’s fourth quarter 2013 summation of construction costs and the confidence of market strength were released at the end of the year. The reports are optimistic and encouraging.

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