There are all kinds of personalities in the AEC industry, and change affects each one in a different way. When we consider the culture around the industry and the differences among the sectors, it’s important to be prepared to adapt when the next technology advance comes along – as it surely will –  before lagging too far behind. Disruption can be – and often is – a force for better.

If the tendency in a company is to go along with the status quo and bypass opportunities to implement new tools and technology, that can eventually hurt the company. Forward thinking leaders regularly explore and invest in tools to help meet business goals, as well as the people to use those tools.  Yes, implementing new technology causes varying degrees of disruption, but often that can be motivating rather than alarming.

Every organization has its visionaries and influencers, as well as people who are content with the way things are. That’s okay, because there is strength in diversity. And the change agents in your company may turn out to be someone you weren’t expecting.

Projects, and the expectations for their success, are often high stakes in the AEC industry. The challenges that stretch a company will make it more resilient. Good leaders learn how to build back better when facing adversity.

Technology in the next ten years will look markedly different than in the past fifty. Everyone in the industry is facing that, so it’s good to develop an implementation strategy that keeps your company running efficiently, including a plan for efficiently onboarding new employees. Some ways to tailor technology adoption and make employees’ jobs and lives easier include:

  • Be mindful of different learning curves. Discover each employee’s learning style, and make adjustments to accommodate them.
  • Understand that each person comes from a different place of experience.
  • Utilize the wealth of knowledge your people offer.
  • Capture and optimize everyone’s strengths by combining them.
  • Enable employees to share their unique talents. Mentorship can be bi-directional; we can all learn something from each other.
  • Foster respect for all the different roles in a company: successful projects are built by teams.
  • Use incentives to motivate teams.

Using technology to meet your business goals hinges on multi-tasking and quickly adapting. Strategically, look at updates in terms of your business goals. The right technology will enable your company to get a return on your investment.

Some smaller businesses, for instance trade partners and subcontractors, may have the misconception that their company is too small to invest in technology to improve processes. However, consider that smaller organizations can be nimble and pivot faster to adopt technology. They can look internally and realize how technology tools can benefit them. Such mindsets and shifts can be transformational for the industry when there are pockets of adoption. Prefabrication is an example.

Even though you’ve been making money doing it the “old way,” resolve to introduce new tools that will make the company more productive and efficient. Sometimes company leaders hesitate to adopt new technology because it seems to imply that they’ve been doing something wrong. On the contrary, they should commend themselves on doing what was right for the business climate at that time. Nowadays, you need to consider the benefits of technology tools to get your company to the next level at this time. When you attach profit numbers to disruption, you can see how it makes more sense.

Check out episode 1 of Season 3 with guest Bianca Holtier Coury of Eagle Point Software for more on this topic.

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