Success looks like different things to different companies. It might include using innovation to solve problems, achieving efficient collaboration, staying competitive by adjusting to the market, or adding and retaining qualified staff.

Embracing Innovation

Innovation isn’t absolutely necessary for solving problems, but it can help. In a problem-solving culture, companies need to find the right people and empower them to solve problems that exist. The right person will be interested in making things better and have the desire to tackle problems. They merely need to be given opportunities to flex that muscle. The key is to start with a problem that needs to be solved, then choose the innovation to address it.

Innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The desire to utilize it to solve problems needs to be part of a company’s fabric. There are usually naysayers who want to keep things the way they are. This is where a champion on the leadership team can help overcome objections and promote efforts for exciting growth opportunities. Changing the attitude of a stubborn person can go a long way toward getting others to support the effort.

If the innovation involves changes to deliverables, customers need to be carefully chosen for pilot or test projects. Depending on the innovation – for instance prefabrication – a pilot project can take years. As it positively builds upon itself, modifications can be made and workflows improved.

Efficient Collaboration

Companies are learning how important open collaboration is among different teams, particularly between field and office personnel. Strong collaboration needs to be an initiative supported by company leadership. Project managers, for instance, should be actively involved in visiting and talking with field workers to stay engaged with what’s happening in the field.

Technology can help increase one-on-one time with the field, but meetings in person are much better for producing “accidental” collaboration. Collaboration is nearly always more fruitful in person.

The entire company should share successes and celebrate them. While most people want to avoid difficult conversations, the company culture should welcome openness about what’s happening. Since you can’t expect to try something new without some mistakes, there should be an open forum for discussing and learning lessons from shortcomings. Once a company can determine what went wrong, it can figure out the improvements needed next time to make the outcome better.

Adjusting to Market Conditions

A successful business can diversify according to market conditions to stay competitive. Encouraging an entrepreneurial mindset among employees can help, focusing on:

  • Managing their customer base like a business under the umbrella of the larger company.
  • Managing relationships with customers and using their feedback to adapt and provide better services or products.
  • Celebrating individual successes, which contribute to overall company success.

Seamlessly Adding Staff

Many companies are being challenged to recruit and retain talent. When new employees are brought in, they may need skills training.

Some companies have internship programs that can develop talent. Even if the interns are not eventually hired, those opportunities prepare them for a career somewhere, while getting the word out about the interesting happenings in construction.

Bridging the Gap Podcast, episode 216 with guest Todd Grossweiler of Allison Smith Co. "Accidental Collaboration"
Bridging the Gap Podcast, episode 216 with guest Todd Grossweiler of Allison Smith Co. “Accidental Collaboration”

Tune in to episode 216 of Bridging the Gap podcast to hear about prefabrication and other innovations that can make good use of an entrepreneurial mindset.

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