As global economies prepare to reopen, I wanted to take a few moments today to share with you some valuable observations and insights revealed by talking to contractors from Canada and United States about the current economic crisis and what impacts it had on them so far, particularly in their operating models, management of innovation and adaptability to technological changes.
Contractors all shared with me that the crisis and its spatial implications (social distancing, confinement) had forced them to collaborate substantially more via electronic means of communication and between teams. These new dynamics brought them to rethink how their companies were interacting with tech, running things and also accelerated their digital transformation and implementation of collaborative processes, inside a workflow without barriers and between various internal and external stakeholders.
They also shared with me how they saw some of them were not ready for a crisis like this. Examination at this admission demonstrated that a lot of them were not close to the technological level they needed in order to manage the impacts of such a disruptive event, especially because they had a great resistance to change in their organizations (internal operating processes, business model). Many of them also shared how a recurrent question among industry leaders got answered in the light of the Covid-19 crisis: Why make changes when we are comfortable in our traditional model?
In terms of investments, technological expertise and support, companies were not sure on who to turn to for help in setting up digital strategies, penalizing greatly their capacities to expand efficiency, collaboration and operational excellence among their ranks.
At last, all parties in the construction industry seem open to listen and implement all the critical technological changes in their backlog. This crisis will make all of us much more collaborative and aware of the importance of technology and its catalyst role of uniting and empowering individuals, teams and all industry stakeholders.
My observations of the current crisis, and how the construction industry is reacting to it as a whole, seems also to indicate that we are on the verge of a major breakthrough. At this point, it is clear for me that not just contractors, but also all of their collaborators, theirs clients, technological project requirements and contractual methods, all of these key operational dimensions must undergo a rapid upgrade to allow the true barrier-free collaboration capacity the construction industry is so desperately in need of.
If you are ready to start this journey, reach out to me, the timing couldn’t be better.