Mike Pierce's blog

How Perception Impacts Project Communications

Most issues that arise in the performance of professional services have their root cause in the communications that occur between the humans executing the work. It’s an interesting aspect of human endeavor in that the thing we all do every day is communicate. So, why is it that something we do every day causes us the most difficulty?

How the 4 Stages of Competence Build Awareness and Project Success

Abraham Maslow, the famous psychologist who created the hierarchy of needs, is also often credited with developing the stages of competence matrix.

The "Laws of Organizational Physics" - Part 2: Momentum

In my last post, I referred to the Laws of Thermodynamics. I discussed how the concept of entropy and the postulate that all things tend to chaos or disorder unless acted upon by an outside force, relate to organizational dynamics. Furthermore, that the processes and procedures in an organization represent the most efficient force for controlling those tendencies.

The "Laws of Organizational Physics" - Part 1: Energy

Remember back in your high school physics or chemistry classes when you studied the Laws of Thermodynamics? As a refresher, the Laws of Thermodynamics say, in very general terms, that all things tend to disorder or chaos, unless acted upon by an outside force. While I am constantly reminded of this every time I open the door to my son’s bedroom, I am also witnessing this principle in play when we do a root cause analysis of a problem on a project.

Some Thoughts on Thankfulness

A couple of recent anecdotes...

First, a colleague recently told me about an exchange he had early in his career. His boss, who was a West Point Graduate and served in Viet Nam, had a way of putting things into perspective. After a particularly tough negotiation with an unreasonable and sometimes unprofessional vendor, he complained to his boss how difficult the process was. His boss pointed out that no one was trying to kill him, no one was shooting at him or his colleagues, and at the end of the day he got to go to his family and home.

How to Get That “Ah Ha!” Moment - Broadening Perceptions through Collaboration

Coming out of a meeting with a number of my peers, I was impressed by the various innovative strategies and approaches that many companies are taking. We are all faced with challenges, including new technologies, a changing workforce (especially in engineering and construction), and the agility with which executives are walking the fine line between short term financial goals and long term investing.

What is the "New Normal"?

Back in March of 2009, as the financial and real estate meltdown was occurring, McKinsey & Company issued an assessment where they posited, “This much is certain: when we finally enter into the post-crisis period, the business and economic context will not have returned to its pre-crisis state.” Whatever the “new normal” will be, it will not be the same.

A New Strategy: Embrace Change and Simplify

Over the past few weeks, I have come across a number of talks and articles that promote the idea of simplification in our lives. Futurist author Jack Uldrich has written books on the topic of “unlearning”. In fact, he refers to himself as the Chief Unlearning Officer of his consulting company. He quotes a philosopher who said, “To gain knowledge, learn something new every day. To gain wisdom, unlearn something new every day.”

Always Selling. Always Competing.

Every day, we are consumed by the daily tasks of our lives. For those of us engaged in the design and construction of facilities that will be used to employ people, house equipment and run businesses, our work is complex, challenging and typically, unique. Nonetheless, our daily tasks can become routine and our focus may rest on the tasks, rather than the end result those tasks are organized to deliver.

Be Prepared to Sell: Are you ready to listen?

Good ListeningI recently attended a major tradeshow in Las Vegas, which in terms of potential return on our investment in the show, was probably one of the best I have ever attended. Many tradeshows are attended by the same people, who are there to see what is new, stay abreast of current market trends and do some old fashioned, face-to-face networking.

So, what made this show different?