Sunday, March 24, 2013

(SMART)X Public Policy?

Nah.  That's just crazy talk, right?

The article excerpted and linked below explores the biotech revolution and the impact it has had, and will have, on the life span of humans.  The writer, Professor Mead of the American Interest Blog, writes extensively about the looming crisis brought on by sclerotic social policies put in place by short sighted politicians.  The lessons gleaned apply to the built industry as well and deserve careful attention.  The solutions Professor Mead proposes deserve attention as well.

The combination of rapid change with rigid policies and institutions is a recipe for disaster; we must embed flexibility into our institutions. Keeping an eye on the radical changes coming down the pipe is one way to remind ourselves that the goal of social policy today must be to plan for and accommodate change. The age of static institutions and stable bureaucratic organizations has gone for good, and we have to figure out what comes next.
The tsunami of technological change headed our way means that we need to do less to build durable, rigid systems. We need to increase our social flexibility and our ability to change as new opportunities open up. That generally means more reliance on market forces and price signals, flexible regulatory regimes and open ended planning models. We need to avoid locking existing institutions and interests into rigid systems [and] we must work harder to prevent vested interests from doubling down on the status quo.
While Professor Mead's analysis, in the linked article, tackles public policy vis-a-vi healthcare, the lessons and solutions proposed apply with equal force to the challenges faced by the built industry.  The (SMART)X Game Changer Series that Collaborative Construction has on the drawing board wrestles with theses issues in the context of the built industry.  Companies and individuals interested in exploring the best path forward are invited to participate in the Series.

Readers located in the Rocky Mountain region - or who have clients in the region - are encouraged to join Collaborative Construction and others in Denver, April 25 for the AEC TECH EXPO where a three part collaborative workshop explores the scope and nature of legal instruments that support simple, intermediate and advanced BIM requirements.  Participants, working together, determine the BIM deliverable required at each level.  Join us in Denver, and begin the conversation!

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

1 comment:

Brian O' Hanlon said...

James, nowadays we tend to just accept that 'professionals' exist in the supply chain for construction produce, because they are there, have always been there, etc. It is like having a machine, with parts inside it, and folk are now afraid to remove any parts in case they might be useful - but no one really remembers any longer, what each part was meant to do.

A good example of that in the British system, in 'bills of quantities', are things like PC Sums. They have been around since the industrial revolution. At some stage, they had some meaning that someone remembered. But nowadays, the term sort of floats around in there, no one quite knows where it came from, but it is just accepted.

Professionals have existed in the supply chain, for quite a long time. But sometimes, we tend to forget what original function they may have needed to fulfil.

I responded to Andrew's comment on this, at his blog entry.

Basically, the point that I was making is that sometimes the professionals, welcome the arrival of rigid systems, which they can become locked into. It goes counter to the original function of the professional in the delivery system for building projects - but in the short term view - the larger consultancy firms, can cling onto new regulations as a way for them to cut down on overheads and drive up profitability.

The idea being, that once a regulation has been introduced, one no longer needs an individual to be responsible, and to interpret circumstances and requirements. It becomes a box checking exercise.

Alan Burcope made an interesting observation recently I thought, of lectures happening at the moment in the United States, about the need to avoid commoditization of services offered by the architectural profession.

But once one digs a little deeper in it, and one observes exactly the kind of relationship that consultant firms develop with the rest of the supply chain - as I tried to allude to in my comment at Andrew's blog - you will see that what professionals talk about at seminars, and how they organise themselves in practice are two different things.