Project Communications: Writing with Empathy

Several recent communication issues with some clients have surfaced that have caused me to think about the common link between them. What I have found is that written communications take place with more focus on communicating what the writer wants to say, rather than being empathetic to how the intended reader will interpret the message.

One-Time Impact Fees: The Multiplier Effect, Part 1

By: Jonathan Gemmen, Location Consultant with Austin Consulting

Whether it’s a “shop fee” charged at the car repair center or “process and handling” charges on a mail-order or internet purchase, retail and distribution outlets have found ways of passing on their fixed and operating costs to their customers. Similarly, local governments and municipal utilities providers have found one-time, up-front ‘impacts fees’ to be an efficient way of raising municipal revenues.

Project Team Communication: How to Optimize Project Success

In mulling over a number of issues that are occupying the time and focus of company managers recently, the common thread weaving its way through each of them is communication – lack of, poor or misguided communication. I find it interesting that the thing we each do every day, communicate, can be at the core of what causes us problems most often.

Learning from Heroes: Memorial Day Reflections

Memorial Day Morning, 2014

Memorial Day is a day, a weekend, in which we typically kickoff summer. Parades, picnics and festivals are all celebrations of the coming months. Yet through it all, we should not forget the solemnity for which the holiday was created. The sacrifices others have made on our behalf to retain our freedoms and our way of life. It is why the United States remains the most desired place on Earth to live.

Importance of Transportation Information - Part 2

From Austin Consulting

Last month, our team made several great points about the importance of gathering good information when approaching any sort of transportation analysis. Data is the backbone of all of our studies. The presence of good information is critical to ensuring we provide the best results. With any project, the more information provided, the better the outcome. If we get data that isn’t up to par or that can’t be provided, then we have to make a lot of assumptions – and we all know what happens when we assume!

Purposeful Leadership: Reputation and Principles

Over the past week, I have come across articles about firms in our industry who are paying substantial fines for fraudulent practices. Unrelated to that, some colleagues from Atlanta were discussing the issues in the Atlanta school system, where a few years ago, teachers had test correction parties to alter answers on tests before they were run through the scanners, so that they could point to improved test scores.

5 Lessons for Managing People, Projects and Organizations

While I’ve written about some of these issues before, below is a compilation of some Lessons Learned that are important to remember in managing people, organizations, projects and tasks. These are a few things that I have learned over time. Hopefully, they will serve as a reminder to me, and will be helpful to others as a guide to their efforts to move people and companies forward.

 

How to Manage Organizational Disputes and Embrace All Perspectives

Every organization endures some friction amongst its staff. Even the most experienced and cohesive management team will encounter disagreement and dispute. It reflects human nature, and it is healthy for the organization to have some conflict.

An Empathetic Ear: How Listening Impacts Project and Customer Success

On every project, there is at least one person on the client’s side for whom this project is a career opportunity. If you think about it, each project we complete is a critical strategic initiative that a client company entrusts to the leader of the project. For some of our projects, it is a bet on the future of the company we are working for.

Importance of Transportation Information for Successful Site Selection

From Austin Consulting

Inbound and outbound transportation or freight costs are typically one of the highest expenditures for many companies. They are also one of the most important cost factors considered during the early phases of site location while determining the most favorable area for the new location. These costs are extremely complex to calculate due to the combination of transportation modes and the intricacy of the variables within each transportation scenario.

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The Austin Company

The Austin Company offers a comprehensive portfolio of in-house services, including planning, architectural design, engineering, design-build, construction management, and construction, as well as site location and operations improvement consulting, for commercial and industrial companies throughout North America, Europe and Asia. 

Founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1878, we continue to uphold our founder's Core Values and believe in providing, "Honest work, well done." Our facility solutions are developed and implemented to improve your operations and make them more efficient - the results you receive are more than just shade and shelter for your business.

In addition to services for the built environment, Austin offers value-added strategic planning services, such as site location, transportation and distribution consulting, and facility and process audits. Our Results, not Excuses® approach provides you with expertise and innovative solutions for your facility challenges.

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The Austin Company headquarters remain in Cleveland, with additional offices in Irvine, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Kalamazoo, Michigan; and St. Louis, Missouri; in addition to Mexico City and Leon, Mexico. Austin became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kajima USA Group in 2005 and is a proud member of the Kajima family of companies. Kajima Corporation is a leading global engineering and construction contractor. 

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