The Construction Industry is Changing. Are you ignoring the handwriting on the wall?

Both inside the industry and externally, there is an almost urgent message heralding the massive disruption already taking place in the world of design and construction.

The latest entrant in the race to proclaim the end of the construction industry as we know it is none other than McKinsey & Company. Historically a management consulting firm that uses both qualitative and quantitative methods for evaluating business performance, the firm has numerous clients in both the public and private sector after more than 90 years of existence. Continue reading “The Construction Industry is Changing. Are you ignoring the handwriting on the wall?”

New construction technique uses Robots and 3D Printing

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich, a technical school in Zurich, reports on a fascinating project that several ETH Zurich professors are collaborating with some outside business interests on. It involves both robots AND 3D printing. At the DFAB HOUSE, four construction methods are for the first time being transferred from research to architectural applications. Construction work … Continue reading New construction technique uses Robots and 3D Printing

What is Agile project management, and why would I want that?

Agile (with a capital “A”) project management is a set of practices for moving complex projects along as efficiently as possible, with the primary goal of meeting customer needs through continuous innovation.

It is also a practice I’ve used on multiple occasions in a variety of contexts, and I’ll be honest — there is a reason the folks in software development swear by Agile for actually getting things done: It works. Continue reading “What is Agile project management, and why would I want that?”

Google’s secretive drone research and development program has unintended consequences

Google X — now just “X” — is a secretive skunkworks subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company that used to be simply known as Google. The company is famous for its “moon shot” experiments where big risks hopefully lead to big payoffs. But are the costs really worth it? Julie Bort, at Business Insider, reveals … Continue reading Google’s secretive drone research and development program has unintended consequences

TV’s Property Brothers launch new venture to explore the risky world of custom homebuilding

Property Brothers, Jonathon and Drew Scott, are jumping from the fire of the small screen into the frying pan of real estate development and custom homebuilding with their latest venture, Dream Homes by Scott Living. Lucy Cohen Blatter, of Mansion Global, has more in an exclusive interview with the brothers: Jonathan, a professional contractor, takes … Continue reading TV’s Property Brothers launch new venture to explore the risky world of custom homebuilding

Did a starchitect just “phone in” their design for a commission in LA?

Architecture, as a profession, bears quite a few similarities to the consulting profession. Chief among those commonalities is the “feast or famine” cycle — there always seems to be either too much work to handle, or nothing but the sound of crickets. The same paradigm applies to that exalted class of designers known as “starchitects.” … Continue reading Did a starchitect just “phone in” their design for a commission in LA?

“Once in a while you get shone the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right”

The brilliant and always insightful Valeria Maltoni recently wrote a blog post at her site Conversation Agent about the importance of “Engaging Multiple Perspectives to Expand Opportunities.” She opens with the following:

It happens in every industry, business, and (if we’re not careful) community—it becomes homogeneous over time. We gravitate toward people like us, and our conversations and worldviews start reflecting those of others. This reinforces a cultural phenomenon that goes by the name of bandwagon effect.
Continue reading ““Once in a while you get shone the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right””

Manufactured Magic: The story behind the story of Disney World’s $1-billion re-imagineering

Last week, my colleagues and I joined about 1,400 of our closest friends in the construction defect litigation industry at the Disneyland Hotel for a conference. It was my first time staying at the actual Disneyland Hotel. Nice hotel, but really unacceptably poor wifi, and the grounds demonstrate a myopic and blatant disregard for the … Continue reading Manufactured Magic: The story behind the story of Disney World’s $1-billion re-imagineering

7 Ways a Chief Innovation Officer can improve your company’s opportunities for growth

The Chief Innovation Officer (CIO, though not to be confused with “Chief Information Officer”) is a relatively new position in the marketplace created with the express goal of fostering innovation within a company. Innovation, though, rarely happens through shear force of will and poor management is often the greatest obstacle to institutionalizing the kind of … Continue reading 7 Ways a Chief Innovation Officer can improve your company’s opportunities for growth