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Rethinking Construction

Put your passion to work.

In our view the built environment sector as one most dynamic and challenging fields to work in. It's a melting pot of different cultures, approaches, professions and backgrounds. If you get things wrong from a people perspective it has a serious impact on both morale and productivity.

We have a huge amount of experience in creating transformation within the built environment sector.  With this has provided a deep insight required to help the much-needed change identified in reports from Rethinking Construction to the more pressing calls in the Farmer review.

Construction is traditionally seen as a finite game; a race to the complete while making a profit. This short-term, survivalist approach inherently causes conflict as players all seek to maximise return from the pot, inevitably eroding value. Construction needs to create efficient projects that maximise value while working toward long term business sustainability.


Modernise or Die

While nearly everyone recognises the need for change, the cyclical, project-based nature of the industry change makes it challenging.

The same degree of radical transformation the industry has achieved in professionalism and health and safety now need to be applied to wider issues requiring insight and leadership.

As the government explores best practice, change has to come from within. above all else, the industry needs leaders who model best practice and challenge the pressing needs of the industry such as:

  • The antagonist/conflicting positions of stakeholders which serves only to reduce margin and slow the process
  • Low productivity
  • Poor and unrepresentative industry image that impacts on diversity and attraction of top talent
  • Lack of diversity in terms of thinking and approach - resulting in the cyclical process while the world moves on

From participant feedback, we know that the industry loves our pragmatic no nonsense approach combined with outstanding natural environments and experiential learning.

"Never have I had the privilege of working with someone that has been able to understand, digest and articulate a vision so personally, transformationally and so impactful.
Your character, humility, intelligence and energy has challenged me and most of the Sal alumni forever... may your impact ripple on long into our future."

Thank you, Scott - Willmott Dixon

Strong Teams are at the Heart of Successful Projects

Those working work in the construction sector know there's a direct relationship between team working and the profitability/timely delivery of projects.

We've been told time and again it's not the huge massive complexity, big numbers and low margin that's difficult, that's what the industry is good at. It's the bringing the huge diversity of people/stakeholders together to work effectively that's hard. Those that manage this create healthy productive projects and organisations, happy customers, margin and a strong pipeline of future work.

We work at all levels from new entrants, preparing and inspiring them to literally shape our future world to challenging Directors to create sustainable businesses in every sense of the word.

Our wealth of experience in the construction sector includes working with:

  • Laing O Rourke
  • Wates
  • Skanska
  • Bovis
  • EC Harris
  • Telford homes
  • Willmott Dixon
  • Scott Wilson
  • GSH

Strong Teams are at the Heart of Successful Projects

We provide an opportunity to step away from work, consider priorities and what is required in terms of personal leadership for the modern built environment sector. A big challenge for us is shifting people in management from doing to delegation; a real challenge when your naturally good at problem solving but essential to allow leaders the space to create change and grow others.

Programmes often include or may be entirely focussed on a business-related project, usually culminating in presenting to senior stakeholders. These projects transfer learning, drive change and add value way beyond the cost of investment.

Examples of business-related projects:

  • Developing skills training partnerships
  • Embedding technology on site
  • Effective site set up
  • Developing a high performing work culture
  • Achieving diversity
  • Stake holder alignment
  • 'Greening' construction
  • First time quality

Right now everyone recognises need and room for improvement; that's part of what makes it the industry so exciting.

We'd love to hear from you to start a conversation about creating change in your organisation.


All interested parties should consider and reflect on the impacts set out in this review of potential industry decline, not only from their own perspective but also hopefully prompting the desire for us to collectively create an appropriate legacy for future generations. I truly believe that being part of the engine room delivering our nation's built environment and by implication, economic prosperity, offers a massively dynamic and fulfilling career. However, continuing as we are is not an option if we are going to be able to make that claim in the years ahead.

Mark Farmer 2016