UK Sales: +44(0)20 3048 3701  Canada Sales: +1 (647) 239-9872

Co-operation or Confrontation?

I have just watched a recording of the 2014 Richard Dimbleby Lecture, which this year was by Christine Lagarde the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. Her talk, entitled “A New Multilateralism for the 21st Century”, struck a chord with me in respect of the discussion in the construction sector about the importance of collaboration.

In her lecture, Lagarde referred to the increasingly integrated world in terms of finance, economy and technology at a time when there is clear fragmentation in levels of power, influence and decision-making. She also mentioned the growing global demands to reconcile economic, social and environmental issues. There is nothing new in all this but what struck me was how eloquently she captured the need for collaborative leadership in the macro sense.

Over the last few years there has been much debate in the construction sector over the value, or otherwise, of collaboration and then further debate as to whether the key to effective collaboration is in behaviours or in process. We sometimes kid ourselves that the debate is unique to us but this lecture proves to me that there is plenty of learning to be gained from elsewhere and bigger challenges than we face, as a sector.

As always, strong leadership is what is required, to chart us towards a more valuable industry.

I commend the lecture to all those who are resolute in the pursuit of value through collaboration (a transcript of which can be found at

Brendan Morahan

Brendan Morahan is an experienced construction project and business leader.

He has led teams delivering annual turnover of £400m, and led business growth during economic downturns.

As Executive Board Director at Taylor Woodrow Construction, Brendan led a focus on value as opposed to volume, helping the company win BAA’s 10-year £6.9bn capital framework, as well as managing the successful integration of acquisitions into the group.

An experienced and committed proponent of collaborative working and long-term commercial relationships, he knows what can make – or break – the fortunes of a successful business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *