Photo credit: Melissa Hobbs Photography
At the recent Future of Construction Summit, Bluebeam hosted a roundtable that explored the challenges and opportunities facing the construction industry in the digital era. The key to success? Making disruption a mindset.
Embrace a disruptive mindset
The roundtable participants, a mix of business owners, contractors and construction engineers, agreed that having the right mindset is crucial for identifying opportunities and areas for improvement. By embracing a growth mindset and looking beyond their roles, individuals can discover new passions and approaches that can lead to personal and professional growth. Moreover, participants stressed the significance of taking the time to step back and gain a broader perspective. Looking beyond the construction industry itself and drawing insights from other sectors can provide fresh perspectives and inspire innovative solutions.
Throughout the conference, several themes resonated with the participants regarding disruption in the industry. Powerful quotes struck a chord: “Instead of complaining upwards, look downwards and inwards” and “Be the change you want to see in the world.” This emphasised the need for personal responsibility and proactive action.
Foster trust and transparency
Trust emerged as a significant concern during the discussion. Participants highlighted that trust can sometimes be compromised between companies and individuals due to the fear of risks and liability. Open and transparent communication is crucial for building and maintaining trust within the construction industry. Automation was seen to streamline processes, particularly in managing multiple plans and handling a large volume of comments. However, while valuable, automation should be balanced with personalisation to ensure effective communication, collaboration and maintaining personal trust.
Overcome challenges to embrace disruption
The roundtable also addressed challenges in embracing disruption. Scale was identified as a significant obstacle, as smaller businesses often lack the necessary resources to invest in technology. Fear of change, particularly among older directors, was acknowledged as a barrier to embracing disruptive technologies. Integration and compatibility between different systems used by builders were seen as challenges, along with privacy concerns and the constant need for uploading data across various applications. Tech exhaustion, stemming from the overwhelming number of apps available, was also mentioned as a hindrance to embracing disruption.
Embrace digital solutions
The roundtable participants brainstormed ways for smaller companies to embrace digital disruption. An intermediary to support the implementation of digital systems was suggested as a solution for small businesses. Centralised platforms were proposed to provide choices and guidance to small and medium-sized businesses, enabling them to adopt and integrate digital solutions effectively. It was emphasised that companies should focus on manageable tasks rather than attempting to tackle the entire digital landscape at once.
From the insights gained during the discussion, participants outlined several key takeaways to share with their teams. They emphasised the importance of strategic planning, project management and breaking down tasks into manageable “bite-sized chunks.” Additionally, participants highlighted the need to familiarise themselves with emerging technologies such as ChatGPT, harness the power of data collection and analysis, and establish clear success criteria to measure progress and drive change effectively.
Challenge the status quo
When asked about their No. 1 tip for embracing disruption, participants emphasised the importance of challenging the status quo and not being afraid to take risks. They encouraged their peers to learn from the collaborative spirit witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic and avoid reverting to old habits once the crisis subsides. By challenging ingrained behaviours and embracing innovation, the construction industry can continue to evolve and adapt to the changing landscape.
The Future of Construction Summit and roundtable provided a platform for industry professionals to delve into the concept of everyday disruption and its implications for the construction sector. By incorporating the valuable insights gained from this summit, businesses can proactively navigate the digital revolution and drive positive change within the construction industry. Embracing disruption is not just a choice but a necessity for staying relevant, competitive and resilient in tomorrow’s rapidly evolving construction landscape.