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“The BST Global Innovation Series” Panel Discussion at Morrissey Goodale’s Western States Symposium

13 Jul, 2023
Javier A. Baldor Artificial Intelligence Unlocks Endless Industry Use Cases to Explore

Morrissey Goodale’s Western States M&A, Strategy and Innovation Symposium had a packed agenda during its Las Vegas event on June 7–9, 2023. Attendees learned about the trends converging to reshape the AE industry, and heard from CEOs of some of the industry’s top firms about how they view the industry now and where it’s headed.

BST Global hosted “The BST Global Innovation Series” panel as part of the event. To kick off the session, BST Global’s Chief Executive Officer Javier A. Baldor presented the audience with industry trends and highlighted the cutting-edge innovations that are reshaping our space. 

“I personally believe there is a significant opportunity and prize in the optimization, collaboration and technologies used to manage projects and teams within a consultancy, and I am excited to share some thoughts on this with you all today,” Javier stated.

He then focused on AI and big data, with three key takeaways on how to start embracing these advancements:

  • Embrace ChatGPT: This technology is ripe for advanced data analytics, better and more efficient project management by relieving project teams of admin/repetitive tasks, and superior and innovative design that could lower costs
  • Become data-driven: Unify and secure your data, then start applying AI to it to gather project and firm insights
  • Invest in machine learning: With the right data architecture in place, you can move away from historical data and look for predictive insights to fuel your business

After his introduction, Javier joined the panel of industry executives moderated by Sarah Thornhill of Morrissey Goodale to engage in a free-flowing discussion. The conversation addressed how these leaders foster innovation in their firms, and determine which new ideas to pursue and which ones to reject. The goal was to provide audience members with ideas on how to bring innovative products and services to the market.

Panelists included:

Discussion highlights:

  • How might firms innovate to meet firm needs?
    • John talked about using innovation to add value to the market. He shared that you can create innovation by looking at three big categories: firm configuration, product offerings and client experience. “A lot of people focus on innovating at the product level, but the AEC industry really needs to look much broader into all three categories to successfully innovate.”
    • K.P. agreed, “Customer service is such a big part of it. You can do clever things to satisfy a customer; you can do clever things to create a good experience. There’s just so much more work to be done.”
  • How do you nurture new ideas, so that they are not shot down prematurely?
    • Javier said that innovation is a mindset. “I’m a huge Steve Jobs fan and that whole notion of Apple’s ‘Think Different’ campaign that focused on looking at things differently and having that mindset permeate through your entire organization … you have to let ideas breathe in your organization and let the best idea win.”
    • John shared a similar mindset, “Let the seeds grow before you go weeding the garden … when you hear a good idea, you do have to really focus and allow for creativity. Also, it is important in your hiring process that you look for curiosity because that helps breed innovation.”
  • How do you look at the industry at large and then determine which innovation projects to work on?
    • Javier referenced a CEO presentation he attended in 2015, where a speaker talked about challenging the status quo. That notion combined with the inversion model (looking at how things could be vs. how they are) helps you open your mind to new possibilities. “Talking to hundreds of professionals about their real challenges is very enlightening and can help motivate you to change things. You’ve got to get out of your office and talk to your customers.”
    • K.P. agreed, “Your team will pattern you. If you are not curious and if you are not out there asking questions, your team won’t either.”
  • What do you ask yourself before you take on a project?
    • Javier shared that he asks two important things when considering a project: “You’ve got to ask yourself about what you should take on, but more importantly, what you should not take on. Then, ask yourself if you are set up for success. If the answer is ‘no,’ maybe now is not the time to take that on until you can position your teams to be successful. Do less and fund for success.”
  • What can leaders do to help cultivate innovation?
    • K.P. said to surround yourself with people who are creating things from scratch, who are creating something out of nothing. “It will change the way you think.”
    • John said we exist to serve our clients, “So if you are going to do something innovative, look to your clients to help guide what that is. Our clients lead the way.”
    • Javier shared there’s a real opportunity to think differently: “Let people work on the edge so that the corporate antibodies don’t kill the ideas before they have even gotten started. There’s a real opportunity to marry our domain expertise with new technologies and solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.”

BST Global also had a booth at the event that conference attendees visited to learn more about our innovative ERP, work management, resource management and predictive insights solutions.

BST Global appreciates the opportunity to participate in events like Morrissey Goodale’s Western States M&A, Strategy and Innovation Symposium, and looks forward to future engagements. Check out our Events page to find out where else we’ll be — we’d love to see you at some of our sessions!


Meet the Author


BST Global designs, develops and deploys the AEC industry’s first suite of AI-powered project intelligence™ solutions. Beyond our flagship ERP offering, we provide work management, predictive insights and resource management solutions to complement a firm’s existing ERP. More than 120,000 architects, engineers and consultants in 65 countries across six continents rely on BST Global’s solutions each day to successfully manage their projects, resources, finances and client relationships. With unrivaled industry knowledge, BST Global serves as a trusted partner to its loyal clients and remains at the forefront of innovation. For more information, visit