Source: Shutterstock

The future is faster than you think and there’s one big prize at the end that will transform one of the world’s largest industries: construction.

Increasingly, construction companies are getting better at implementing technology programs and start-ups are stepping up to tackle the industry’s many challenges.

As all things digital continue to accelerate, which trends matter most to construction?

Having spent the first half of my career working on some of the world’s largest construction projects and the latter half working in technology with some of the world’s largest enterprises, it’s clear that the industry itself has come a long…

Source: Shutterstock

Maybe you’ve heard of the U.S. government’s plan to spend $2.3 trillion over the next 8 years on infrastructure. It’s an ambitious plan that will go a long way towards addressing urgently needed updates to the nation’s aging infrastructure.

Among its provisions are $620 billion for roads and bridges. Another $300 billion to bolster manufacturing. And the remainder for funding upgrades to water systems, high-speed broadband, modernizing the grid, improving veterans’ hospitals, and providing job training that upskill the workforce.

Source: Shutterstock

Think digital innovation has impacted all industries equally? Not so fast.

For those of us who pay attention to construction, a lot of online ink and in-person conferences have been spent on: 1) the size of the industry’s productivity gap; and 2) a huge opportunity for technology disruption to generate $1.6 trillion in new value.

A study by McKinsey Global Institute shows that the construction industry ranked second-to-last in digitization — ranking lower than over a dozen other industries and especially poorly on usage, which measures actual implementation of digital tools in core business processes.

Source: Shutterstock

Large organizations need to identify emerging technologies quickly and stay ahead of the changing tide. Some of the most successful companies in the world accomplish this by using entrepreneurial management and sustaining growth through continuous innovation.

For them, it means connecting critical roles and building teams that bring people together with different kinds of expertise.

But here’s a scenario that’s all too common: a company has the proper foresight and correctly identifies a disruptive technology early on. …

These are the results of a survey that examined technology programs at the Top 500 construction companies in the United States.

There’s hopefully something in here for building contractors looking to form a new technology group as well as startups looking to approach what can be an opaque and often unwieldy market.

As someone who’s helped form innovation groups at a number of ENR Top 25 companies, this survey was an informative look at just how far the construction world has come.

There’s many challenges and opportunities in an industry that’s ranked among the least digitized in the world. The…

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

Today’s enterprises contain hundreds of small applications that operate in an environment that can feel like software overload — a recent study by Okta showed that nearly 10% of businesses have more than 200 applications in their enterprise information technology ecosystem, with an overall average of around 130 applications.

This has been great for corporate innovation since it has allowed enterprises to take a more lightweight and diversified approach in their digital strategy. It has also trended with a healthy startup ecosystem that thrives on well defined value propositions to address specific business needs.

All in all, a good development!

Do you know what jumpstarts an innovation program? It’s not an accelerator or business incubator or lavish new research hub. It’s not design thinking courses or business model brainstorms.

All of those can — and have — been used to great success.

There’s an activity that’s more fundamental than that that the best innovation leaders do early. And it involves searching for a latent resource that exists within every enterprise and that will make or break your program.

I’m referring to identifying change agents. These are the employees who will provide impetus and sustain momentum for lasting organizational change. …

Photo by Lei Jiang on Unsplash

Covid-19 has changed many aspects of our personal lives. It has also changed many organization’s operating models and increased the emotional stress that frontline employees experience daily.

Neuroscience shows that stress corrupts our thinking brain and increases the opportunity for quality and safety mistakes as people are more distracted by the direct and indirect consequences of Covid-19.

Many technology trends that predate our current conditions were ready-made for widespread adoption. This is especially true for businesses and companies with large field workforces that have historically faced unique challenges when it comes to technology implementation and adoption.

As of now, daily…

Photo by Alesia Kazantceva on Unsplash

This is not an article about how early stage B2B startups should approach enterprise customers. Although this hopefully helps, there’s lots of good information out there already on that topic.

This article is about the other side of the coin — how enterprise customers can approach early engagement with promising yet unproven technology startups and how they can be successful in that process.

To start, let’s define “pilot success” here in a specific way: success is whether the pilot provides something newly valuable to you, the enterprise customer.

This can include the obvious: finding a new product that all parts…

Nate Fuller

Managing Director at Placer Solutions. Previously helped create Technology & Innovation programs for ENR Top 25 companies.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store