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Ready, Set, Go?

Ready set goI was at Constructing Excellence’s Annual Conference on 23rd November 2016. The event, which was organised by my colleague Ben Pritchard, was at Lord’s Cricket Ground. The Conference theme was on learning from sport.

Loughborough University gave great examples of Transformational Leadership through inspiration and motivation. IBM showed how analysing unstructured data informs performance improvement. The Amateur Swimming Association shared their great work on diversity. Burges Salmon stressed that good contract forms do support teamwork. There were also powerful insights and lessons learnt from the London 2012 Olympics.

As always, you learn from the content and reflect on your own performance. We are active members of Constructing Excellence and really push for industry improvement. Our mission is to create value for all in construction. It struck me during the Conference that, as an industry, we readily admire other sectors without always celebrating our own.

UK sport does combine excellence in science and psychology to achieve world class performance. However, there are also examples of  under-performance. We need consistently great performance within and across sectors to increase our world presence.

Easily said, but how?

We must be more ready to explore and innovate. Businesses must be more future-focussed. We must build on our achievements and learn from our failures. Let’s establish a consistent method of capturing data, analysing it and sharing it so that everyone in the industry can benefit. Constructing Excellence , with BRE, should be the hub for individuals and businesses to shape the industry. We must agree a clear and compelling vision for the future and relentlessly pursue it. Constructing Excellence can be a community of like-minded people, not just a club for the few, who collaborate to achieve success. These people will be employed in blue chip companies through to one-person start-ups. Other sectors will come to admire us and then look for insights from us to improve their performance.

Constructing Excellence has a clear vision but how many members really engage with the core principles and message? If the route of direction is not right, let’s change it and then make it happen!

Is the ambition of a world-class construction sector achievable or realistic? I believe so and what is the alternative? Produce more reports or real action led by people, who are not interested in “Constructing As Usual” but demand “Constructing Excellence”. Society deserves it!

Anyone up for it?

If so, please contact me on or comment below. I look forward to discussing how we work together to make a difference.

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.

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