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More Than a Feeling: Trust and Employee Engagement

Posted on March 1, 2017 in General Industry, Owners - 0

Think of all your dearest interpersonal relationships: your spouse, your children, your best friends. You trust these people. You trust in their ability, their sincerity, and their good intentions. Without that trust, those relationships would be transactional in nature and empty of emotion.

But what about your professional relationships? How can you build trust at work? A recent article from the Harvard Business Review says it starts with the brain.

How Trust Works

The feeling of trust can be traced back to a single chemical: oxytocin. Oxytocin is naturally produced by humans and animals, and it serves the evolutionary purpose of inspiring us to work together. Our ancestors likely needed it more than anyone!

Trust coincides with feelings of appreciation and recognition. This is why many companies introduce perks – parties and the like – for employees. But the sporadic nature of these perks mean that the oxytocin they release is equally short-lived. The HBR article explains that employees are most engaged when they experience a culture of appreciation. The resulting trust has a big impact: employees are less stressed, more productive, and actually take less time off.

HBR discovered that leaders can get those neurons firing with eight model behaviors.

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We Need Breakthrough Thinking in the Construction Industry

Posted on January 18, 2017 in Homebuilding, Owners - 2

Amazon is no stranger to stirring things up, and their newest invention is no exception.

Yesterday, I read an article about their first grocery store in Seattle – a pilot for now, but it’s really happening – with no cashiers and no lines. There’s not even a self-checkout: customers are tracked via technology that senses what they take from the shelves. When they’re done, they just walk out. Payment is processed automatically.

We don’t sell groceries, but we can learn from Amazon. Their efforts are an outstanding example of the type of breakthrough thinking we need in the construction industry. Supermarkets have lines, and beeping registers, and the candy next to the conveyor belt. That’s their paradigm. But what is the one thing we all hate most in the supermarket? Standing in that very line.

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Don’t Struggle with Your Conveyor Belt

Posted on January 10, 2017 in Owners - 0

Do you remember the classic episode of I Love Lucy, where our favorite comedienne got a job at a chocolate factory? The bosses kept speeding up her conveyor belt, and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t keep up. Lucy shoved chocolates in her mouth, her shirt, her hat. It’s a hilarious picture, but the feeling it captures is one of profound helplessness. Nobody would want to be in that position!

And yet, many owner organizations find themselves struggling with conveyor belts of their own. Capital spending is up, but staffing is at post-recession levels. I spent several hours today with the head of engineering for one of our owner clients that has, over the last 18 months, finally turned the tide in the war on the chocolate factory.

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Support the Working Mom in Your Family

Posted on May 11, 2016 in General Industry - 0

The stay-at-home mom is becoming increasingly rare. According to the US Department of Labor, over 60% of women with children under three hold down a job. This is compared to just over 30% in 1976!

As traditional gender roles disappear, mothers may find it difficult to balance the mom they want to be with the career they’ve earned.

Continuum Advisory Group President Gretchen Gagel recently wrote a book about that very struggle, 8 Steps to Being a Great Working Mom.

But what about men? How can we help the women in our life find their balance? If you’re a woman’s ally, here are some of the steps most applicable to you.

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What keeps you lying awake at night?

Posted on February 3, 2015 in Owners - 0 comments - 0

retro alarm clock ,concept insomniaContinuum Advisory Group recently released the second half of a qualitative study on key trends in the engineering and construction industry that involved interviewing 40 of the largest owners in the US. I also had the pleasure of penning a Viewpoint for ENR magazine about my return to consulting and the construction industry and the inspiration that put this study in motion. The Viewpoint can be viewed online here and for subscribers can be found in print on the back cover of last Monday’s edition of ENR (January 26, 2015).

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Congratulations to Jan Tuchman on the CII Carroll H. Dunn Award of Excellence

Posted on July 24, 2014 in General Industry - 0 comments - 0

photoWhat a thrill it was to see Jan Tuchman, Editor-in-Chief of ENR Magazine and long-time friend, awarded the Carroll H. Dunn Award of Excellence this week at the Construction Industry Institute (CII) Annual Conference. This award is the highest honor CII bestows on an individual, and recognizes someone who has had singular and notable responsibility for significantly advancing the construction industry. Jan has had a tremendous impact on our industry, and is devoted to two sacred trusts at ENR: to keep news and data flowing to help keep the industry vital and evergreen; and to keep the flame of ENR – a pioneer of business-to-business journalism published since 1874 – burning brightly. Congratulations Jan – I can’t think of a more deserving person in our industry!

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Groundbreaking Women in Construction – A Follow Up

Posted on June 25, 2014 in General Industry - 0 comments - 0

GWIC_TigheWhat a thrill to speak at the ENR/McGraw-Hill Groundbreaking Women in Construction (GWIC) conference in New York City this month. The audience, comprised of 350 passionate women in our industry, spent the day listening to amazing speakers and networking among themselves. It was a very positive day focused upon specific strategies and tactics to build the pipeline of women in design, engineering and construction.

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2014 Burns School RECM 75th Anniversary Gala

Posted on June 24, 2014 in Owners - 0 comments - 0

Advancing the business of the built environment… one student at a time.

Invite Evite Burns May 30cropContinuum Advisory Group was a proud sponsor of the 75th Anniversary Gala for the Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management at the University of Denver where new leader Dr. Barbara Jackson unveiled her vision of the future of the school.  Dr. Jackson, well respected veteran of our industry and proponent of greater collaboration, is creating a new revolutionary vision for the school where students will learn all aspects of the “built environment”, from real estate development, through project delivery and including facilities maintenance.  Dr. Jackson and her team have set a goal to “produce graduates who are prepared for an industry that has changeFinal- Life Cycle of BE 11.1.2013d dramatically in the years since the 2008 recession.” Innovative new degrees include a one-year masters in Integrated Project Delivery.

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Groundbreaking Women In Construction

Posted on June 5, 2014 in General Industry - 0 comments - 0


gwic_408x180I’m thrilled to be speaking at the ENR Groundbreaking Women In Construction Conference in New York City on June 12th as part of an amazing panel on Women’s Advancement Across Industries: How Construction Stacks Up. Fellow panelists include Anna Beninger, a Senior Associate with Catalyst and Deborah M. DeBernardVice President and General Manager for Contract Documents, American Institute of Architects, and our moderator is Cathi HayesBIM Business Manager, Leica Geosystems. We will all be sharing our experiences as veterans of the design, engineering and construction industries, and will specifically share thoughts on how we’ve carved out successful careers as women leaders.

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