A Cautionary Tale

A cautionary tale for you.

Can you open the spigot?

Entering the last downturn I was working with one of the ENR Top 50 Subcontractors. As projects were cancelled and delayed we talked budgets and the implications for leader development.

The comment from the VP of People has stuck with me.

He said, “After 9/11 we shut everything down to save cash. But when the recovery came, we needed people, we opened the spigot and nothing came out. We are not going to let that happen to us again.”

We kept training and they were well positioned to take advantage of opportunities in the recovery. I talked to that same VP the other day and the thought-process is the same. “We know we will work off some backlog in the next few months, and things may be a bit slower later this year/early next year. That is when we will do even more training. We know a recovery will come and we will be ready for it.”

My question to you, my loyal reader, will you be ready too or will you be eclipsed by firms who are?

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"As a result of the session you delivered to my group, using “No Yelling” as the guide we have experienced an exceptional start to our 2009 construction season. Safety as usual is paramount, and our production rates have exceeded even my high expectations. There has been a positive shift in ownership from all that attended, which leads me to believe we could have the same success if we did the same kind of training with our front line labor force."

Bob Peeke
Construction Manager
Alberta Highway Services Ltd.