Opinion: Lack of talent at the top is hurting construction

Grant Prior 4 months ago
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We keep a keen-eye at the Enquirer on appointments at major contractors and projects.

And they reveal a not-so-merry-go-round of talent at the industry’s biggest players.

Of course most managers on the carousel do a decent job.

But it’s pretty hard to fall-off even if your performance leaves a lot to be desired.

The same old faces and CV entries crop-up regularly when new directors are unveiled.

It means construction bosses are now like football managers.

A lack of new entrants means a closed shop of candidates for vacant roles.

Positions are often filled from a band of construction directors whose main selling point is that they’ve done the job for a while – rather than how good they are at it.

We hear a lot about site skills shortages.

But the talent drought at the top of major companies is just as alarming.

And those recruitment chickens have been coming home to roost recently.

Some of construction’s biggest names have suffered lately and the people in charge are surely a massive part of that.

“Over-optimism” is the new blame buzz-phrase when it comes to contractors explaining mistakes on bidding and project delivery.

But growing boardroom bonuses based on performance – real or just spreadsheet based – has seen the “over-optimism” culture spread from the top down.

The industry needs a new generation of leaders with different ideas fit for different times.

We still talk about changing the industry based on reports like Latham and Egan which were written before smart phones were invented.

Construction needs to trust younger people in more senior roles to bring a fresh perspective on some deep-rooted problems.

The old-guard isn’t working too well so it’s time for a change.

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