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Strategic Leadership – How vision and construction could combine to transform Guernsey

brendan-morahan-Strategic Leadership

Why Strategic Leadership?

Strategic leadership is important in the successful delivery of any difficult or meaningful project. The bigger and more complex the project the more critical is this high level function. In the development of a project with a high degree of uncertainty – whether it is developing a construction scheme, starting a new business or formulating a major change programme – effective strategic leadership is vital to success.

I was recently invited to speak at the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce in St Peter Port, the capital Guernsey, on “How to stimulate Guernsey’s economy through construction”. I had the talk videoed, which you can watch below. My research for this talk highlighted to me that, although the economy of Guernsey is still in a mild recession, there is still significant wealth locally. They also have an unusual political system, which, in the past, has led to difficulty in getting a consensual agreement to complete strategically important projects.


What is the value created through construction projects?

Through my research I was unable to find a clear strategic plan for the island and, in particular, there was no widely understood and compelling vision. Now I am a great advocate for construction being a force for good in any economy. In the UK it has been established that for every pound invested in infrastructure the Government receives £2.84 in tax revenues, albeit over the next 25 years. However the benefits of construction are not just tax revenues or the cash flow to the construction industry but also the other social and environmental values, which can accrue through a carefully developed strategy under the correct leadership. Social and environmental value is often defined as the added value the community receives during and after the construction activity. This could be through employment, skills development or in implementing a wider social agenda such as diversity. Clearly in the context of Guernsey this could mean attracting new residents and retaining existing islanders through providing local employment and upskilling the workforce.

Is strategic Leadership an enabler of value creation?

The crux of my talk was that none of this can happen unless there is strategic leadership and some quality project definition capability applied to the endeavour. The island needs a new vision and the will to make it happen.

What happens next is over to the islanders of Guernsey but I know they will need a powerful advocate who can work with the key stakeholders to develop the vision and strategy and formulate an exciting development plan for Guernsey. What is then needed is the capability to deliver the plan that offers the best balance between economic, environmental and social outcomes, which everyone on the island can get excited about.

The talk was designed to be thought provoking around the issues I have discussed above. I would be most interested in receiving your considered feedback individually or through the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce.


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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