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Is Your Workplace Dope?


Evelyn March
EvelynMarch
Group Director
BST Global

Are you creating a dope workplace? And by dope, I’m sure you’re wondering if the slang is being used as an adjective, as in: very good.

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Harnessing Your Knowledge Potential

Darryl Williamson
DarrylWilliamson
Product Director
BST Global
I have spoken in detail with dozens of architectural and engineering consultancies over the past several years about their desire to harness the vast knowledge resident in their firms. For most of them, knowledge management is a very high management priority. And no wonder, since the A/E industry is confronted with ever-changing regulatory requirements, global competitive pressures, and the need to adapt to rising client expectations. Business thought leader Arie de Geus succinctly summarizes the great necessity in today’s A/E marketplace as: “The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be your only sustainable competitive advantage.” So then, how do you learn well as an organization? The most common response to satisfy this knowledge management need is to buy a tool or technology that can help gather and categorize your organization’s collective knowledge, thereby making it accessible and easy to leverage. Seems logical. But, purchasing a software package and expecting it to solve your knowledge problems by its mere presence just does not work. You will not become a highly effective knowledge organization simply by completing a purchase order. Over my next few posts, I will explain that leveraging the knowledge in your firm is not achieved at all by technology, but by a culture that meaningfully connects people. And, since I do not want to expose a problem and not solve it, I’ll provide insights into how you can achieve this in your firm. What is knowledge management? But, before I talk about the place and power of culture in an organization, in this post let’s take a step back and clarify what we mean by knowledge management and how it fits into the A/E industry. An intuitive way to think about knowledge management is to think about how we acquire and use knowledge personally. How do you come to know things? Well, you have experiences and you store them (learn), so you can recall or access them later (remember). What you learn and remember is what you know. Knowledge management is the same thing for organizations, it is processes for retaining, accessing, and interacting with what an organization knows. What defines knowledge in A/E firms? For A/E firms, knowledge can be broken down into three main categories: Qualifications: Including things like the educational background of employees, their certifications, and other credentials that convey to your current or potential clients that your firm has the knowledge to do the work you are promising. This is one of the essential elements of a project proposal, identifying the qualifications (requisite knowledge) of resources who would work on prospective projects. Work Experience: This serves as proof that your firm has relevant work history to complete the kinds of projects you are promising and that you have resources who have successfully worked on those projects. Work experience validates your qualifications. Moreover, work experience helps your management to know what work your firm does effectively (e.g. what work do we perform profitably and with few defects)? In other words, how did you perform on your projects? Practices: These are the methods and practices employed on your projects, and how those methods impact project success. Accessing these practices ensures that you consistently execute projects with the same level of knowledge and capability. Where does knowledge management fit in with my business? All A/E firms are obsessively focused on three things: money, clients, and employees. And rightly so, these are the pillars of a consultancy. Because of their importance, each of these are professional disciplines (i.e. accounting and finance, sales and marketing, and human capital management). Moreover, you have professional investments in these areas: you have leadership (CFO, CMO, CHRO), and you have business solutions in place for each (ERP, CRM, HCM systems). For the A/E firm, knowledge management must become another area of obsessive focus, and a fourth pillar. Knowledge management should be elevated to the same priority as all the critical processes in your firm, because for firms whose business is literally their knowledge, knowledge management is a critical process. Every time you engage with a client, your knowledge and experience fuel everything, from the renderings and documentation you create, to the projects you execute. You must have intentionality around knowledge. You need someone to lead it, and you need solutions to help you execute it. Follow along in the coming weeks as I dive deeper into the importance of knowledge management, and how you can successfully implement a knowledge strategy at your firm by developing an effective knowledge culture. Author’s Note: This is the first in a series on knowledge management as it relates to the architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting industry.

Move Over Millennials, Introducing Generation Z

Evelyn March
EvelynMarch
Group Director
BST Global
Just when you learned to spell Millennials without a spellchecker, there's a new group emerging and entering the marketplace: Generation Z. Also known as Post-Millennials, the iGeneration, Founders, Plurals, or the Homeland Generation. While the definitive date of when this group starts is still up for debate, the litmus test is if they can clearly remember where they were on 9/11. If they're too young to remember – they're a Gen Z-er. This group is growing up in a time where terrorism is a reality, they have felt the effects of a global recession and the debate over climate change is all they have known. Their households, neighborhoods, and friend list is as varied as Joseph's Technicolor Dreamcoat. What they define as normal is more diversified than any generation before. And they will be the workers of the future – the near future. As the trickle of Baby Boomers retiring continues, the emerging presence of Generation Z will begin to flood the market. So, what does that mean for employers? Forget the textbook answers Every generation wants to inspire the next to do and be more. Baby Boomers taught their Gen X children to go to college, learn more, and thus earn more. With age and education came wisdom. Generation Z will call that passé. Generation Z are privy to much more information at a younger age. Their porthole into the world is often exposed before they're introduced to formal education. Tablets, smartphones, laptops, television, videos, and wearable electronics are piping data into their brains making them historians far beyond textbook knowledge. The qualifier for knowledge of yesteryear may not work in the future market. Global yet local If there was one word to sum up the Gen Z approach to life, it would be hypersensitive. Living in an era where 77% of the generation have internet access, they are enlightened to global events. Whether the event is global warming or terrorism, they understand the actions abroad and they are well versed in the needs and attributes of their local environment. Where there was a desire to go forth and conquer in previous generations, Gen Z will want to stay close to home, yet have a global impact in their careers. In short, they're ready to change the world. Pluralists Historically, diversity has been defined based on ethnicity and gender. However, this Pluralist Generation challenges conventional wisdom as they accept and experience diversity on a micro level. Mixed race, single-sex households, and diverse religious affiliations are standard to them and expected in a single society. Because of their progressive acceptance, a new expectation of diversity will emerge. The Pluralist Generation will push for and expect micro diversity from their future employers. Re-education Ten percent of the apps on the Apple store are geared toward Generation Z. Re-education is essential to their wellbeing. They have an endless capacity to seek and retain data – that quest will not end after they receive their first paycheck. If your training and learning environment isn't continuously creating micro-learning opportunities, you may experience a revolving door of bored Generation Z employees. It's clear that this new generation will change the prototype of employee engagement. Shaped by technology, history, and economics we will soon employ a generation with unprecedented attributes. Are you ready? We'd love to hear how you're redefining your workplace for the generations here today and those expected tomorrow.

First Comes Diversity, Then Comes Inclusion

Evelyn March
EvelynMarch
Group Director
BST Global
In our micro-diverse society, many companies strive to mirror their peers, their clients, and the world at large. Creating a diverse work environment hones in on the cultural mix of experiences and acumens that team members bring. But after you've onboard this diverse community of talents, then what? The path to excellence I'm sure we all have a former teacher that made a statement that gave us an aha moment. Mine was my high school English teacher who memorably said 'Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.' That quote sums up the path to excellence and defines inclusion. Good companies market diversity and inclusion, great companies create a competitive edge by decoupling and then living the two. After bringing together a diverse staff, a company must define inclusion to forge the path to excellence. What's the difference? Inclusion integrated the myriad of individuals into one workplace – seamlessly and individually. Why is inclusion so important? People from diverse backgrounds challenge each other more. Challenge begets creativity. Creativity begets profitability. Getting it right first with diversity allows a company to peel back the corners of the world and how it may interact with your product through the eyes of your employees. Inclusive workplaces that create forums for individual contribution outperform competition and enjoy longer employee retention. The generations entering the workforce are raised believing it's unnecessary to downplay their differences in order to get ahead. They are proud of their differences and refuse to check them at the door. A Deloitte survey revealed that 86% of Millennials feel that differences of opinion allow teams to excel. Moreover, lack of inclusion can lead to a lack of engagement. And that affects a company's bottom line as disengaged employees cost companies up to $350 billion per year in lost productivity. Inclusion requires planning For many, inclusion is synonymous with chaos. But, it doesn't have to be. A forum for employee collaboration does require commitment and planning, but the reward is worth the investment. Align each position with the company's success. Every team member is essential. Understand where their insight is paramount and create the forum to extract their feedback. Create model leadership. Train your leaders to model ethical behavior. Accept input, admit mistakes, and express genuine concern for all staff members. Redefine ethics. Is your code of ethics a statement you expect from your employees or does it define what your employees can expect from you? Inclusion views ethics as bi-directional. Commit to training. First management, then employees. A corporate culture that creates standards on how to raise issues and resolve them and the consequences for deviation are setting themselves up for successful inclusion. If you're desiring the mix of employee engagement, reduced turnover, a clear picture on global outreach and increased profits – understanding your stance on inclusion may be your answer. Where do you stand on your inclusion policy? Let us know in a comment below.

Systems Integration Planning: Plan Twice, Cut Once

Eddie Shasek
EddieShasek
Project Director
BST Global
Have you ever felt like you are swimming in a pool of sharks? Take back control of your software integration project and feel like the customer again. It is a disadvantaged position to be reviewing a project plan from your software vendors trying to look for savings without being really sure if the cuts you are making are actually trimming fat, introducing risk, or destroying future shareholder value.  Below are some things to think about when reviewing a plan and deciding if it will bring value to your organization beyond the basics of software integration. Not all projects are created equal. The shortest and least expensive plan often has unexpected costs that accumulate well into the future in the form of rework and possibly re-implementation, depending on the severity of the oversight created in an overly accelerated process. Gaining upper management’s support with a short-sighted or smaller estimate may make it much more difficult and possibly painful to expand the plan and cost expectations later in the project when additional needs or risks are discovered. In addition to the unanticipated hard costs that could surface later, an under-developed implementation plan can also result in very damaging soft costs after go-live. A poorly planned project can result in attrition of employees, dislike of the new software, and loss of confidence in leadership at the front lines. To avoid these pitfalls, think about the following points when evaluating the integration project plan from your external software providers, consultants, or hired gun project managers: Does the plan allow time for data clean up? If the project is part of an acquisition, there is often overlap across the two companies of client and vendor data. Avoid Data Duplication - Data duplication can leave you with a messy system and diluted reporting. Set Boundaries and Ownership – If mergers are involved, the two companies could have worked together previously in a sub-consultant relationship. There could even be employee overlap in the data. Take action early - Data should be cleaned up ahead of any integration. Make a choice - What system is the master for duplicate data? Again in acquisition projects, allow time for process adjustments. How will you clarify processes to avoid marketing to same prospects, and maintain one face to common clients? Is there a clear milestone in the plan marking the end of configuration decision making? This allows for a stable system during data migration and process testing prior to training. Is the training within 30 days of the live date? Earlier trained knowledge will fade in your staff if it is not reinforced with use within 30 days. Have your payroll cycles been considered when scheduling the go-live date? Has the go-live been planned on a Year End? Year End is typically not a good time to open a new system due to accounting staff overload. Has a project governance process been established to ensure that the initial version of the joint system is not overly customized and that the implementation team is accountable to the milestones in the plan? Integration time is also a great opportunity to refresh and expand the knowledge of the existing staff alongside the initial training of the people who are new to the system. Leveraging internal experienced users for new user training to reduce consulting cost, and will help strengthen and expand the knowledge of experienced users.   Do you have an industry standardization M&A success story? Let us know in a comment below.

Creating a Culture Mix of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation – And Who is Responsible?

Evelyn March
EvelynMarch
Group Director
BST Global
Let’s face it, there are countless articles in print and cyberspace that gives insight to the growing concern of tenure and turn-over. So, what really motivates employees to stay? Companies are adopting and promoting their extrinsic rewards as a reason to ‘work here’. Great pay, great healthcare, flexible spending accounts. Some companies have expanded their offerings to perks like gourmet meals, endless snacks, and on-site baristas. The package of extrinsic tangible rewards are appreciable motivators. However, even with such great extrinsic motivators, companies like Google are still experiencing a high level of turnover. A survey on employee tenure for the companies on the Fortune 500 list showed Google at number 462 with an average tenure of 1.1 years. On the other side, an article in Business Management Daily featured Synergis Technologies and its 108 employees have been with the organization for an average of 10 years. What’s the secret ingredient in Synergis’ secret sauce? The company’s core value mantra includes innovation. Employee innovation that is. The intangible intrinsic motivation of creative contribution is what makes it a bit harder to part ways. Who moved the cheese? Years ago when industrialization had taken the world by storm, work was primarily routine and guided by policy and procedure. Under that model, the extrinsic reward system were the motivators of the times. Today’s workforce is asked to employ critical thinking and problem solving in their daily tasks. These scenarios are not easily definable in a written manual. The freedom to express one’s creativity – that will in turn catapult the company in the marketplace – is a healthy, highly rewarding intrinsic motivator. With this change in landscape, it is imperative to see that extrinsic and intrinsic motivations are dually important in achieving successful employee engagement. Who's on first? Reading from a tattered corporate playbook, Human Resources is usually the kicker pulled off the bench to score the extra three points that scores the win for employee engagement. Though excellent in developing the extrinsic reward program, are they the best players to develop the intrinsic motivators required to keep employees engaged? Reviewing several companies studying the other side of the coin, they decided the answer is no. While invested in providing the talent for the company, they’re not necessarily engaged in the intricate details of the delivered product. The group that has come to the rescue is marketing. The marketing team is responsible for understanding what your customer needs, and why you and your product are the best choice to fulfill. Creating a two-way branding schema strengthens the allure of the company’s brand to both the receiver and deliverer. Do your employees really know what you do? Quality Bicycle Products, a Minneapolis company dedicated to bringing innovative ideas to the biking community understood that it was important to align the internal and external messaging of its values.  To foster the idea that we need to change our environmental footprint to its 185 employees, QBP offers a $2 per day credit to employees living within ten miles who choose to bike, bus or carpool to work. The marketing of an eco-friendly alternative to transportation was also marketed internally. Employees now feel that they are the greatest contributors to the company’s sustainability endeavors. Nike is best known the slogan ‘Just Do It’. Consuming their brand gives you the power to persevere. Whether you’re a cashier or an engineer, your intrinsic motivation to deliver that message is conveyed through corporate storytellers that act as internal marketers. Its rich heritage is conveyed through the stories of how Coach Bowerman created better running shoes for his team by pouring rubber into the family waffle iron, and that was the birthplace of the iconic Nike waffle sole. These stories of innovation provide archetypes that employees can pull from to create their own motivation toward greatness. These are just a few. Others like Starbucks, Disney, and IBM have great stories around creating intrinsic motivation by including the external branding to the internal teams. Creating a Success Story Balancing the two motivators is really about timing. Intrinsic motivation is inspired, not taught.  During the onboarding, introducing your product to your employee as you would your customer excites the intrinsic mind to work toward achieving a purpose. Continual sensory feeding is necessary to reignite the motivated employee. As you change your branding strategy are your employees engaged? Are they invested in the latest and the greatest that the outside world sees? When logos change and branding changes, are the employees also engaged in experiencing the change?  Are you taking full advantage of your extrinsic and intrinsic reward system to create the best employee experience? What motivators do you use at your firm? Tell us more in a comment below!

A&E Mergers Best Practices: Driving Joint Success

Eddie Shasek
EddieShasek
Project Director
BST Global
The documents are signed, ownership has shifted…the challenge of joint success just got real. After ownership shifts the success of the joint entity becomes the mission. It is incumbent on both firms to quickly stabilize and start to grow in the new normal of joint operations regardless of how smooth or rocky the negotiation, due diligence, and closure process was. Plan → Communicate → Execute → Refine What is the game plan? Planning a program to address overall success vs just systems consolidation makes all the difference. It is way too easy to just dive right in to a straight data conversion project to get to one system. With this approach, one of the two entities will end up suffering major gaps in understanding and possibly even capabilities. It is better to first focus on a plan for the alignment of the corporate structure, processes and people; then let the system integration tasks follow that lead. In my next post, I dive deeper into Systems Integration Planning. Talk to me Every good integration plan must include a solid communication plan, including an outline of who will participate, when and how. Your people have to be on board for organization to reach its full joint potential. Ensure there is clear ownership of the communication plan for each company. Plans should address: What will happen when Communications should start with a summary notification to all people affected at all levels. Craft a unified message of what the objectives, major milestones, and general timeline are expected to be. Let your people know when they will start to feel their daily life, processes, and systems change. Participation of each entity and key roles Follow up with more targeted and strategically timed messages from various group leaders to specific audiences addressing concerns or anticipated questions relevant to that group. Internal marketing for a positive change As the integration project progresses, these messages may evolve. Because of this, each message should set the expectation that adjustments of timing, content, and decisions may occur throughout the process. The changes should be equally communicated, demonstrating management’s ability to adjust as progress is made. Don’t fall in to the trap of driving to a goal that is no longer appropriate based on new information. Be sure to brand the initiative and leverage many forms of communication beyond email to align with what is typical and effective in your firm. It is about getting the word out with no surprises. During a merger your people will naturally question how the changes affect their role. Be open to reduce anxiety in the organization. What is it that you do here? As previously mentioned, the systems consolidation should follow the lead of a process integration or at least follow a detailed analysis of overlaps and gaps in how the separate entities were run. In the process analysis be sure to: Identify overlaps and gaps early Identify adjustments by role and process Clearly define what the recommended process is going forward in the joint environment on both sides Identify how the systems integration project needs to enable the intended new process in the near and long term To build an integration plan that joins not only systems but also process, the fulcrum should be a business process catalog. This can be leveraged when identifying the general approach to each process area for each entity that will be integrated. Focus on elements of the process that are most likely to be disconnected. You must define: What roles are involved and the level of detail that is managed at each level? Is the process manual/paper based vs. automated workflow or even an email based process? Who has what access to data and decision making authority to execute the process efficiently? Is there a material difference in volume or other factor in one entity driving the process differences that cannot be adjusted? Leaving disconnects unsolved or dictating process will just result in the process unraveling in the future. Everyone involved needs to believe that the new way is the right way for joint business success at some level or it really won’t amount to much other than a shelf full of optimistic unused documents. There can be only one. Often there is a need to integrate the systems and data of the two entities on an accelerated schedule for joint reporting. This is commonly a contingency of the deal or an investor’s way to see progress on the efficiencies that are expected as the business costs are consolidated. One tactic that should be considered to take time pressure off of the implementation is to create a bridge reporting pack. Find ways to commingle the separate systems’ reporting data manually or via similar outputs from each system that can be summarized and collated outside the system on a temporary basis. This allows the proper amount of time that you need to follow good process when consolidating processes, roles, data, and systems in thoughtful steps. You are never really done. After go-live on your joint system with commingled data, the focus should shift to finding the inevitable data issues in the details of individual project, billings, or other records. Plan to have some project core team members transition into a temporary support group accessible to the new users. Resist the urge to add more functionality and customizations or to kick off a phase two of implementation for at least a few months. This allows for operational stabilization. Be sure to reserve some ad hoc time from your software vendor’s consulting or technical staff to be available on-call or even on-site to address any technical business interruptions quickly. Leverage the experience of your vendor at this time; they do this for a living. Understand your cost of down time and recovery plan should larger issues surface in the weeks following your go-live date. And finally, continue to ensure daily tasks are done prior to starting a second phase of implementation. Do you have an industry standardization M&A success story? Let us know in a comment below.

Embrace Digital Disruption

Javier Baldor
JavierBaldor
Executive Vice President
BST Global
The Internet of Things (IoT) is probably the most important technology trend affecting businesses today. But, how did it come about? And more importantly, what can you do about it? HOW DID WE GET HERE? As I touched on in my last post, IoT presents a tremendous opportunity for engineering consultancies. But, what is driving its momentum? A number of significant technology changes and enablers have come together to give rise to this trend. Cloud Computing. The Global Cloud Computing market is expected to skyrocket over the next four years, from $40.7 billion USD in 2011 to $241 billion USD in 2020 (Forrester). This Cloud movement, according to Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, is being fueled by rapidly falling processing costs and increasing cloud accessibility. Declining Technology Costs. Sensors – used in IoT technology to identify, locate, and evaluate items – are decreasing in price. The cost of sensors went from $1.30 USD to just $0.60 USD over the past 10 years (Goldman Sachs). What’s more, the cost of bandwidth is down by a factor of 40 times over the past 10 years. (Goldman Sachs). Smartphone Usage. Smartphones are a key player in IoT, serving as a personal gateway to this technology. In 2009, less than 1% of global internet traffic came from mobile devices. As of August 2016, mobile internet traffic soared to an impressive 46% of total internet traffic worldwide (StatCounter Global Stats). That’s an increase of over 5000%! Expanding Wireless Coverage. The development of faster, higher bandwidth and more intelligent networks is leading to an explosion in mobile technology adoption. By 2020, nearly 60% of mobile devices and connections will have 4G capability in North America, according to Cisco. Western Europe is just behind North America, with a ratio of 53% of 4G connections by 2020. WHAT WILL THE IOT ECONOMY CREATE? With billions of new mobile devices and connections being introduced each year, we are already seeing an influx in both personal and business data. Imagine this: five billion gigabytes (GB) of data were created from the beginning of time to 2003. That sounds like a lot of data, right? Well, that same amount of data was created every two days in 2011. And by 2013, it took only 10 minutes. (Big Data, Small World). This phenomenon, commonly known as Big Data, presents a challenge to traditional data processing applications, that will likely have difficulty processing data so large and complex. In order to sustain the amount of data a firm may produce, processing applications and technologies will need to be re-evaluated, or new ones created. And with the proliferation of devices connected to the internet comes security vulnerabilities. More connected devices mean more attack vectors and possibilities for hackers to target infrastructure and our personal information (Ben Dickson Crunch Network). Firms will need to evaluate their current security protocols to insure they are shielded from such cyberattacks. WHAT NOW? It’s clear to see – a new digital economy is upon us and ready to disrupt the engineering industry as we know it today. This hotbed of opportunity will invite new competitors from outside the traditional architecture and engineering industry to enter our world, bringing unparalleled competence in the Cloud, Big Data, Security, and IoT. Imagine powerhouses like Google, IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, or Apple marrying their technological expertise with the infrastructure prowess of traditional engineering consultancies to reshape our cities and infrastructure. There is a bold future ahead of us, and the impact of these changes will be far-reaching and profound. Ask yourself: what can you do to begin preparing for this transformative digital economy? What technology skill sets can you leverage, acquire, or partner with to position your consultancy for an IoT economy? It’s time to seize the opportunity. Author’s Notes: This is the fourth post in a series on major trends affecting the architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting industry. A version of this post titled "Digitale Disruptie" appeared in Dutch in a Witteveen+Bos publication.

Does Corporate America Hold the Key to Education Reform?

Evelyn March
EvelynMarch
Group Director
BST Global
We live in a time where shift happens. And it’s happening at an alarming rate. In 1900 human knowledge doubled every 100 years. In 1945 it doubled every 25 years. In 2014, it doubled at the rate of every 13 months. It is projected that by 2020, it will double every 12 hours! Every day, over 5.4 billion Google searches are launched. This is 100 times greater than the year 2000. The number of text messages sent daily double the number of humans that occupy our planet. The shift of knowledge is happening at an exponential rate. And our educational system is trying hard to fill the gap. From 2000 to 2014 the enrollment in undergraduate studies rose by 31%. Computer science, business, and engineering topped the list of studies – all the careers suited to conquer this shift in the paradigm. Yet according to a recent Forbes article, there are 4 million job openings that remain unfilled. While college campuses are revamping their majors to answer the jobs of the present and future, there remains a disconnection. Higher education prepares students for the hard skills to perform the job, yet employers are seeking soft skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and proficiency in writing to complete the job. Coupled with that, employers may be missing that one in every five people own a smartphone which changes the criterion for how one communicates. According to a recent article on CareerBuilder, 86 percent of active candidates begin their job search on a mobile device, and 70 percent of those want to apply the same way. Not optimizing the node of communication for recruiters can potentially result in a loss of bright talent. Is there a lack of collaboration between businesses and educational institutions? If the two partnered to better define the starting and ending points and amalgamated ideals to create the road to success, what heights can we reach? For centuries we have put the ownership of career preparation on the educational system without including the desired outcome. Think of it this way – no one sets out to make a marinara sauce without an expectation that the tomatoes they buy are full of flavor.  Or, purchases a pallet of bricks without complex plans that defines the exact outcome of the house it will build. The misnomer of not teaching human capital skills at the secondary school level and beyond is fast becoming the lynchpin that is slowing corporate profits. The hard skill of education has been exemplar in the cornerstone of creating gender equality, reducing poverty, fostering peace, and creating a sustainable planet. Adding the soft skills of communication, leadership, influencing, creativity, and professionalism creates the new educational currency that maintains economic competitiveness and creates prosperity. Education and human capital are essentially inseparable in the definition of success – making a company’s human resource contribution the profit driving game-changer. In the workforce, sharing and collaborating is paramount to success. Yet in the educational system, discussion and partnering is deemed cheating. We have to recognize this oxymoron and make the changes that can and will foster success. Businesses that are willing to step into the community and offer reciprocity of soft skills for hard skills at the earliest working age are seeing that they can possibly close the educational gap.  It is recognized that the generation following millennials will shape the data that is projected to increase two fold daily.  While providing the opportunity to learn hard skills, in exchange these businesses are gaining insight to forthcoming trends allowing it to set its own course of exploration.  Incorporating things such as team projects, open discussion meetings and idea sharing teaches the much needed collaborative soft skills that benefit both the company and the individual. For those entering the work force, this soft skill offering creates the necessary upward mobility that turns today’s employees into tomorrow’s leaders. Have you implemented a training program that successfully bridged the educational gap? If so, we’d love to hear your ideas!

Innovation begins with ideas.

Welcome to Ideas, a collaborative space for architects, engineers, and environmental consultants to discuss emerging trends and issues affecting the industry. Discover new ideas from industry experts, professionals, and enthusiasts, and share your own.

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