Maybe that would be a great concept to introduce to construction. Everytime I get into the middle of a project, there is a high amount of stress. Work being rushed to meet schedule, work being ripped out and redone, workers pissed off at the other guy, and then – the inevitable lull - waiting. Why is it there is never enough time to do it right, but always time to do it over? Wasted time, wasted material, increased frustration.
In a recent interview with members of a US green building council, we asked for a wish list for new employee skills. In the middle of the cloud of great policy changes and world “shoulds” came a simple truth. “We want workers to know how to work together.” Specifically? “To communicate changes, to offer helpful input, to think about how their work affects others.” So simple, nothing that a few cuppa’s wouldn’t solve.
I was probably one of the last few runners on the face of the earth who finally read McDougall’s “Born to Run.” The parallel story in the construction world – “Born to Build.” Practioners of crafts who take sheer pleasure and pride in their workmanship, in the smooth efficiency of their own tasks, and always thinking strategically how to succeed as a team. Mankind evolved by working together.
My hope for us all lies in pockets of builder evolution like the Team Hybrid, whose entire concept is based on the integration of the team. Or Jagoe Homes, who is planning to form a trade council, comprised of associates, suppliers, and contractors that will work on its own to monitor the builder with an eye toward smoking out waste, streamlining its operations, and lowering costs.
In each of us lies the opportunity for leadership to change our sphere of influence. And trigger the next team, who inspires the next (plural). The dots connect. Reviving the craftsmanship, the pleasure; reducing the stress. Three cups of tea at a time.