Whysall’s Words – Celebrating Excellence

Constructing Excellence

I was delighted to be part of our 12th annual Constructing Excellence National Awards earlier this month.  It is always a very special night for us as we bring together the industry’s finest talent to showcase excellence from across the country.  Everyone who participates has been selected as the best in their region, so the room truly represented excellence!

This is a significant year for Constructing Excellence as we mark 20 years since the release of Sir John Egan’s Rethinking Construction and 10 years since we reflected on that with Andrew Wolstenholme’s “Never Waste a Good Crisis”.  These provided the foundations for the Constructing Excellence Movement that we have today.

In 1998 we were an industry characterised by low margins, poor investment in capital and R&D and a skills shortage due to our inability to attract the best talent.  Moreover, procurement was simply a transaction led by price, not value, projects were unpredictable on time, cost and quality and much of the sector was extremely fragmented.

Have we seen wholesale industry change?! No. We still have a long way to go… However, the Constructing Excellence movement has continued to be a beacon of what our industry is capable of and can achieve. Our Members and those involved have led the way, demonstrating the tangible benefits of working together, collaboratively. Our awards and the excellence they represent demonstrate just what can be done and how far the industry has come but only in pockets. Our mission must be to build on this and make it the norm rather than the exception.

I remain really optimistic about the future – this year we have seen unprecedented investment in our sector through the Construction Sector Deal – there really is much to celebrate.  The three strategic areas of the deal have clear alignment with our own Vision of digital, offsite manufacturing and whole life asset performance – We firmly believe that the demand side of our industry, clients, need to create the environment for change to happen.

Better procurement, fairer payment, digital and manufacturing technologies are areas that we as a movement have been promoting for some time and this deal provides us with the opportunity to make change happen at a wide scale.

The focus on people, specifically around attracting new skillsets and diverse workforce into the industry is very much aligned with G4C, or Generation4Change, with its focus on changing the image of our industry.  Indeed, as I reflect on my own career journey and the important role that G4C played in helping me accelerate my personal development, I would encourage you all to get your very best talent to engage with G4C – I wouldn’t be here today without G4C. These are the people that get our industry – they are the ones thinking in different dimensions that we must ensure are retained in our industry and pulled through into positions where they can make change happen.

G4C now has regional hubs right across the country, so please get your young talent to engage.  Get in touch with Caroline, Robin and the rest of the team to find out how you can get your people more involved.

Our drive towards productivity improvement in the sector needs to be underpinned by data, we are therefore delighted to launch our new data benchmarking tool, SmartsiteKPIs.  This builds on nearly 2 decades of performance data and enables users to benchmark their project delivery performance.  Going forward this will underpin the success of the Constructing Excellence movement, allowing us to drive but also objectively demonstrate better performance.

I hope you feel inspired by our awards and if you are not a member, so inspired that you want to engage more with our movement. Please come and join the national organisation – as well as getting more involved regionally or with your local club. Being a member of Constructing Excellence:

  • Will give you a currency in the market a competitive advantage
  • It will connect you to leading practice from the UK but now also globally through our CE international network and now our partners the European Construction Institute
  • Finally it will provide a place for your talent to connect with others and grow into our industry’s future leaders

Constructing Excellence will play a major part in our industry’s transformation journey working across our movement to drive sustainable change. Constructing Excellence needs you and you need it.

On behalf of myself and my fellow co-chairs Phil Wilbraham and Mark Farmer, I would like to thank our regional centres for running such a robust and respected programme of awards, which culminate this evening.  Without their dedication and hard work these awards simply would not happen.  I would particularly like to thank Catriona and the team at Constructing Excellence North East for organising our national awards.  This is no easy task and the team work hard throughout the year to make sure tonight runs seamlessly and indeed with excellence. Very importantly I would like to thank our sponsors, without who’s support we simply could not run these awards.

I would also like to congratulate all of our winners and encourage you all to take part in the 2019 awards programme to demonstrate your excellence and success.