Mike Pierce's blog

Continuous Improvement and the 212 - The Extra Degree

I recently came across a sales and general motivation tool by Sam Parker (video link: http://binged.it/1i73vNr) that focuses on the idea of going the extra mile. The idea is that steam is a powerful source of energy (e.g. the steam engine), but if you only get the temperature to 211°F, nothing will happen. Those that make the extra effort to get it to 212°F are the ones who will move the engine.

Construction Industry Confidence and 2014 Forecast

Engineering News Record’s fourth quarter 2013 summation of construction costs and the confidence of market strength were released at the end of the year. The reports are optimistic and encouraging.

All in the Family: Recognition of Employee Service

Every year, Austin takes time to recognize the service and tenure of our employees and especially recognize those that reach milestones of 5, 10, 15 years, etc. Each year, we look in awe at those who have been with Austin for 35, 40, even 45 years, and we have two employees this year who reached the 40-year mark. That is a long time with an organization and I believe it speaks to the character of both the employee and the organization.

Level Headed: A Must-Read for the Engineering and Construction Industry

Over the holidays, I read a great book that I highly recommend to anyone in or getting into management in the engineering and construction industry: “Level Headed” by J. Doug Pruitt and Richard Condit, subtitled “Inside the Walls of One of the Greatest Turnaround Stories of the 21st Century”.

Making the Most of Your Year-end Activities

Each year, as we approach the end of the year, there is a definitive change of pace for just about everyone in the engineering and construction industry. Some projects underway are accelerated to achieve certain year-end goals. Others are delayed until funding is available after the first of the year when the new year’s budgets become available.

How Perception Impacts Project Communications

Most issues that arise in the performance of professional services have their root cause in the communications that occur between the humans executing the work. It’s an interesting aspect of human endeavor in that the thing we all do every day is communicate. So, why is it that something we do every day causes us the most difficulty?

How the 4 Stages of Competence Build Awareness and Project Success

Abraham Maslow, the famous psychologist who created the hierarchy of needs, is also often credited with developing the stages of competence matrix.

The "Laws of Organizational Physics" - Part 2: Momentum

In my last post, I referred to the Laws of Thermodynamics. I discussed how the concept of entropy and the postulate that all things tend to chaos or disorder unless acted upon by an outside force, relate to organizational dynamics. Furthermore, that the processes and procedures in an organization represent the most efficient force for controlling those tendencies.

The "Laws of Organizational Physics" - Part 1: Energy

Remember back in your high school physics or chemistry classes when you studied the Laws of Thermodynamics? As a refresher, the Laws of Thermodynamics say, in very general terms, that all things tend to disorder or chaos, unless acted upon by an outside force. While I am constantly reminded of this every time I open the door to my son’s bedroom, I am also witnessing this principle in play when we do a root cause analysis of a problem on a project.

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