Trends in the Canadian Construction industry
Trendhunter.com’s Geremy Gutsche speaks to the Canadian Construction Association
By Mark Buckshon
Canadian Design and Construction Report staff writer
When ‘s Geremy Gutsche and members of the travelled to San Antonio, TX in March for the association’s annual national conference, they landed in a city steeped in tradition and history (the Alamo), combined with cutting-edge innovation and entrepreneurial initiative.
The association also captured the balance between tradition and innovation by selecting Gutsche to be the keynote speaker, where he shared examples (and warning stories) of businesses that had been at the top of the pack, but quickly failed because of innovations and technological changes that seemed unimaginable a few years earlier.
In his books and materials, he cites the well-known examples of Kodak, which developed the digital camera, Blockbuster Video (which could have purchased Netflix for a relative pittance), and Smith-Corona, which had the opportunity to enter the computer business but instead decided to focus on saving money by relocating its manufacturing to Mexico – as it developed a then-impressive electronic typewriter with characteristics of a modern computer laptop. (If you look for Smith-Corona now, you’ll discover a business that sells thermal paper rolls – its legacy typewriter repair business has been hived off to another organization.)
But what about the construction industry?
In an interview, Gutsche said successful people and teams are victim to three traps.
“The traps are that we become complacent, we lose that hunger we had when we were first out of school, ” he said. “We become repetitive. We do what happened before instead of trying something new, and we become very protective of our ideas.
“We assume we’re correct, we create fortunes, we attribute our fortune to that idea, and we’re not really as open to whatever the next generation or the next customer has to say.”
Then, how can the construction industry deal with these challenges? He said the challenge relate to the integration of projects and initiatives – where, for example, for a hospital, the “RFP is not just for a building; its actually to create patient care at a much different level.”
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