for April, 2017

A Framework for Developing Agility

Posted on April 19, 2017 in General Industry - 0

Looking at organizational agility is like looking at a spider web. The first level of observation is an entire, beautiful creation, a single unit. It’s just there; you don’t think much about how it was actually built. But look closer at the linkages and threads, and suddenly it seems impossible to create.

Micromanagement of your organization is both impractical and undesirable. You can’t build every corner of it yourself, but you can build the builders. We think our three strategies below – based on the results from our 2016 CURT Owner Trends Study – can help.

It’s important to note that this framework, like the agility it aims for, is not absolute. Your organization has its unique idiosyncrasies. But these should get you and your builders moving in the right direction.

Scanning and Planning

Successful interviewees for our study have one thing in common: vision. While day-to-day operations and lean processes are important, they keep their eyes on possibilities. Kim Flowers (former VP of New Generation Projects and Construction for Southern Company) highlighted Southern Company’s  scenario planning team, a group of people who envision and plan for hypothetical futures. If one of those futures comes true, Southern Company is ready to act.

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E/C/F and the Bottom Line: Measuring Your Impact

Posted on April 4, 2017 in General Industry - 0

The purpose of owner E/C/F (Engineering, Construction, and Facilities) teams may seem obvious: build stuff so that business happens. You wouldn’t be wrong, in the same way that a computer’s purpose is to “do math fast.” The strategic benefits of that team can be harder to identify. Continuum Advisory Group recently completed a study to uncover these benefits and interview people changing the relationship between E/C/F and the internal clients they serve. Above all, we want to show others how. In our new blog series, we’ll be exploring the results of the study in greater depth. Each blog post is focused on one of the eight identified themes from our interviews with 35 diverse corporations.

In a previous installment, we discussed proving the value of your capital program, specifically as it refers to the bottom line. Today our focus narrows from the impact of your program as a whole to the impact of individuals. Because not only should you know their impact, they should, too!

The Devil Is In the Details

Our interviewees emphasized client inventory of your capabilities. Your internal clients may not even know what to ask of your department, so you may have to answer the question before they ask it. It’s your responsibility to let clients know what you can do.

More specifically, it’s important to go beyond the general. “We’re flexible” or “we can adapt” are mere generalities. If you have a guy on your team who can explain complex concepts in elementary terms, advertise him! If there’s a woman who can make stubborn contractors listen, let people know about her! Putting your capabilities in succinct, easily understood terms will sound much more useful.

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