Rick Tison, Senior consultant and strategy practice leader at FMI in their latest quarterly report writes,
“The E&C industry is ripe for disruption. We’re facing a perfect storm of technological advancements, labor shortage, the challenges with productivity gains, and preparing for the exodus of industry knowledge from retiring boomers.”
The article entitled Strategy in the Time of Disruption frames the current situation about as succinctly as possible in one sentence.
Disruption, chaos, change, firms in the middle of succession plans, mergers, consolidations and acquisitions could be added to the list, but that might overwhelm an already crazy industry. Many of the leaders of construction industry firms are sitting there with “pinwheel eyes and a crenelated mouth” as my mentor, Willie Pena, FAIA used to say.
When major projects in the E+C industry take up to 25 years from concept to completion, smart industry leaders are deep into the planning stages to prepare their firms for the future. The biggest issue that most of them did not anticipate is the pace at which this all is occurring.
Futurists have known that the aging demographic and boomer retirement would cause us to have a skilled labor shortage. Even though they broadcast it widely, few in the “slow to change and slow to adapt construction industry” paid attention, preferring to do it the “same old way” that we have been doing it for the last 25 years.
Mike Holland, COO of the MAREK, recently quoted the stat that “10,000 boomers are retiring every day, and a large number of them are our senior experienced skilled craft workers and managers.” That amounts to about 4 million people in the US reaching retirement age every year according to the Washington Post.
What do you do in a time of disruption like we are facing? In his article, Tison tells you the four or five things you should do to prepare for the disruption. You can read them here.