Refurbishment & Maintenance of Buildings

This is a really good case study, an even better Professionally created and presented short documentary on the subject, by some fabulous young Professionals and future Leaders of our Industry.

“Its the balance to the challenging debate on Future Leaders blog  . . .”

A must view opportunity . . .




Developing Future Leaders Discussion

Developing leaders of the future; “a few thoughts to stimulate debate”


I read an article some time ago and whilst with a great deal of interest, I also held quite a degree more of cynicism than the author on some of the subject matter touched upon, the theme of which suggested;

“It’s time to ask ourselves some awkward questions: are older leaders up to the job of reinventing businesses and customer experiences?
Here are the three characteristics the “high-potential leader” must possess

This is a key, core question as well as an awkward question on the future of leadership.

After I read the article I reflected on my personal experience and interaction with aspiring and future leaders of this generation. I have consistently noticed how many of future leaders who proclaim their ambitions overtly fancy their chances at leading large organisations. From my past and current roles as a long serving practitioner in industry as well as academia and education, may I suggest that to achieve this ambition they require more than “the skills” alone.

Positive, appropriate, and relevant behaviours strike me as a primary requisite, and hopefully without being too generalist or stereotypical at this stage, I have yet to bear witness to the positive leadership behaviours on a wider scale they state that they value actually being demonstrated by them.

From extensive and varied interactions across face to face training, lectures, seminars, workshops, conferences as well as formal and informal operating and meeting environments, and a proven track record of successful outcomes in leadership environments(“so I’m reliably informed” – some humility here),both in the UK and internationally I offer the following thoughts based on my observations:

1. Their level of understanding – this is quite good since they read, network, and social media interact until their eyes and thumbs bleed; so, knowledge is to be expected.

2. Their requirements, values, and expectations – When questioned and /or engaged and involved in research and interactive forums they most often hold what many would call “traditional” values, behaviours, and traits. Often saying that “Emotional Intelligence” and strong will as well many more recognised leadership competencies and behaviours being high on their lists.

3. Their application and the impact of technological advancement – this is where it becomes more interesting and intriguing and many of these future leaders suggest that those traditional values they hold so high up their list are rapidly diminishing and perhaps even becoming extinct.
“None of the above!”
This may seem extreme but it could be that the human behaviour based/ humanistic approach to leadership is becoming extinct – like the dinosaurs before it; some of these aspiring leaders even say, like some of those old leaders that they compare to those dinosaurs (who couldn’t do it but wrote very clearly about it!)
How and why is this happening?

The age of the powerful handheld mobile computer is in full play – text speak, social media platforms and all its formats, false news nightmares, LinkedIn de-professionalisation to name but a few. Many of these are used for the wrong reasons and to negative effect by the current generation and by future aspiring leaders. The speed and degree of their “Interconnectivity” is seemingly more important than interaction on a human and interpersonal scale (despite some small pockets of resentment at the loss of human interactions here and there).

Take a for instance; I have asked them questions on what leaders possess, what they want from and how they value leadership and their role models and I most often simply get responses that fit the usual criteria such as emotional intelligence …crucially, this is proffered by them as they stare into their smart phones and tablets. They consistently dis-engage in lectures (if/when they attend), workshops, conferences appearing unaware of what is happening round them. What interests them more is in keeping up to date with social media and others downfall – that seems to be more important. There is growing pressure in the higher education system as there are more reactions of criticism at the facilitator or medium and then look at ways to demand their money back or for another chance to engage because…Well, they were so busy.

A further significant point to note is regarding business Start-ups fresh from the university schools of entrepreneurship, who portray themselves as already on the Richard Branson and Alan Sugar trail to stardom, before even a month of their business registration is counted down. Have we become guilty of “over-inspiring” and creating models for failure? Or, are we actually creating aspirations with significant substance and resources in support to enable success? The latter would seem to be more appropriate and required in the current social-economic climate.

Reflecting upon the above experiences, I also considered what the theorists and great leaders of our time may do to address this… and it may be look towards tried, tested and trusted outcomes. I had a quick thought to suggest a simple equation that may help, in some small way, to help move this discussion to a different level or in a different direction.

Einstein in his Theory of Relativity created:

E=MC2 (Energy = Mass x speed of light squared)

My suggestion (for leadership):

L=EV2 (Leadership = Engagement x Visibility squared)

I hope that’s a useful perspective…then again, I may be classed as something of a dinosaur by future leaders…

Comments encouraged . . .

“BIM – A thought, or two . . .”



David E Morton BA(Hons) Arch. B.Arch(Hons) Dip.PPM Dip.Hsg. MSc. Urban UDG CIAT ARB RIBA PGCertAPL FHEA
Associate Professor Northumbria University Newcastle.

Richard Humphrey FCIOB, FCMI, FIoD, FinstLM, PGCertAPL, FHEA
Managing Director “Constructing Professionals Ltd”,visiting Industry Teaching Fellow Northumbria University; and Visiting Lecturer Salford University.

The impact of CAD on the construction world was huge; it allowed the accurate realisation of the brief through the Architects design, drawn in a format that allowed each design team member to take a slice of the design cake and serve it up into a different dish. The key here is that the information is from the same source. It is, hopefully, not replicated but used from the original GA drawings for other parties to embellish with further useful and user friendly constructional information. However, this is a perfect world scenario and the “real world” version of this is more akin to “A mad hatters tea party” where the original cake (architects drawings) is served up without checking who or what each design team member “really” needs. The end result is often a mixed bag of information that requires each design team member to disassemble the in formation they have been given and more often than not redraw some information in order to complete their own work packages. As the mad hatter surveys his rather messy table, with cake, tea and biscuits now mashed into the cakes… the contractor surveys his working packages wondering why items simply don’t fit together.

Enter stage left BIM, the saviour of this rather messy tea party; it is the holistic cake that will stand proudly at centre table from which everyone around it will be served.
Both the architectural and construction industry is undergoing a significant shift away from the use of two-dimensional CAD for design and towards three-dimensional, data rich, digital models. This type of approach is referred to as Building Information Modelling (BIM), is being used in some form by an increasing sector of the construction industry. A survey by McGraw Hill Construction found that in 2008, 45% of architects, engineers, contractors and building owners surveyed used BIM on 30% or more of their projects. That was almost ten years ago, so what’s happened during this time? Has the usage of BIM increased as was forecast? It has grown, but by how much? And will it to continue growing sharply in the coming years?
There lies the challenge for us all. As an industry we rely heavily on collaboration to achieve our common and communal goals, to build buildings to time and budget that are designed to meet a quality and enrich those that use them.

Remember BIM is not a tool but a process and we should not become software snobs akin to those who frequent coffee shops with certain well known “fruit” hanging on the back on their laptops. The main challenge that faces SME’s in the construction industry is to use the BIM tools more effectively. BIM is most definitely NOT the new CAD.