Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cultural Change v. Change Management

Historically advocates of change chafe under cultural restraints. In the built industry practitioners who understand the benefits of building information modeling (BIM) experience significant frustration when key decision makers block adoption and deployment of BIM. Advocates of integrated project delivery (IPD), and other innovative delivery  tools and processes experience similar disappointment.

Too often advocates of change fixate on the change and ignore the culture within which change must occur. Some change champions recognize culture must be addressed but fail address culture effectively. At Collaborative Construction we tackle cultural change right alongside the change wrought by the innovative tools and processes we help our clients deploy.

We come at both issues from a very different perspective than most in the industry.

First, with respect to traditional change management we have zero interest in change for changes sake and the idea of managing change for the sake of managing change is equally repugnant. From the beginning we've been willing to put skin in the game, agreeing to tie significant portions of our profit to project success and that attitude is antithetical to the concept of “managing change.”  When we help an integrated (BIM)X enabled team craft, negotiate and implement an integrated agreement we eagerly participate in the the pain share pain share compensation protocols our clients create. We accept a base fee that covers time and expenses and we tie our profits to the success of the project. In short we prefer to manage success, not change.

We bring that same long term view to bear on cultural change management. We believe in what we do and how we do it. We routinely tell clients we are here to teach you to fish, not to spoon feed you solutions. Adoption and deployment of (BUILT)X Solutions that support and enable BIM, IPD and lean business processes drives success. But that happens only when the culture supports those efforts. Often that means the culture must change. We support that.

At Collaborative Construction we seek to accelerate adoption and deployment of these innovative tools and processes and to accelerate associated cultural change. But cultural change is much harder than so-called “change management.” More often than not cultural change requires that an organization stop stupid. There are a lot of big time consulting firms that provide change management services, but many of the folks who provide those change management services are, to put it bluntly, stuck on stupid themselves. Thus the question arises, “Why on earth would you hire someone who is stuck on stupid to help you stop stupid?” You wouldn't, unless you are.... well you know.

So what we are really talking about is stopping stupid. And stupid, too often, is baked into the cake.... that is the culture.

When we first launched Collaborative Construction - and we were providing integrated project delivery facilitation services - we said we were "herding cats." But that's just a euphemism for "stopping stupid." And Stopping Stupid is absolutely necessary if you want to see innovative tools and processes like BIM and IPD broadly adopted in the built industry.

Many thought leaders in the built industry lament the fact that key decision makers inside and outside their organizations fail or refuse to adopt BIM, even though BIM makes complete economic sense. From the perspective of BIM Kool Aid Drinkers - including yours truly – logical broadsides destroyed specious arguments deployed against BIM. But it's not the BIM Kool Aid Drinkers that need to be convinced. It's the skeptics. The bean counters. Those decision makers who seem to be stuck on stupid.

So how do we stop stupid?

You hire Collaborative Construction and work with us to implement real change.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV

Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446

Collaborative Construction Website

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