Episode Description

Are you setting your company up for an innovation superpower? Join host Todd Weyandt and guest Tauhira Ali as they talk about how everyone’s looking for a way to get connected, the impact diversity and inclusion has on construction innovation, how to live up to our values, and how to approach perceived differences in one another with kindness.  

Tauhira Ali is a highly skilled technology strategist with more than 16 years of R&D and product design experience. As NECA’s Executive Director of Industry Innovation, she gathers insights from end users, industry experts, and tech providers to deliver awareness, education, and implementation strategies to specialty contractors. These efforts serve to empower contractors to strategically leverage technical innovations and industry trends to drive process and productivity to increase market share.

Todd Takes

1. It has been a year where the entire industry and world had the shared pains of experiencing a pandemic together. This created a unique moment for empathy. I believe it allowed the industry to take a step back, be even more intentional and people focused. Tauhira challenged that we need to “be a human” and think about what it is like for someone else, whether we are thinking through the person that needs to be trained on new software, the person in the field or the person with a different background and perspective. She shared that we should be focused on the person that is doing the task and putting the spotlight on them. 

2. This brings up the question, how do you effectively reach out and learn? The answer may be easier said than done; but it is by having conversations and truly listening to the other person. Diversity and inclusion are about getting different perspectives from all vantage points. This includes race and gender, but also, like Tauhira said, it is about different mindsets, education, backgrounds, specialties, etc. There is a tremendous innovation power in having different voices, backgrounds and perspectives represented at the table. This is when teams truly thrive and reduce the blinders that you may have. 

3. Finally, Tauhira used a great illustration by referencing the improv line of “Yes, And”. It takes a healthy amount of curiosity and an environment to productively challenge others to grow and thrive into the future. Find ways to make things better by working, talking, and listening with others. 

This episode is sponsored by Autodesk’s BuildingConnected. With a centralized bid management solution, you can manage all incoming bids, submit proposals, and track win rates. Connect with builders on the largest crowd-sourced construction network so you can find the jobs you want. Win up to 25% more work and save up to 8 hours per week with BuildingConnected.

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