A year certainly goes by faster than it used to. This past year? Even more so.
One year ago, a spur of the moment conversation with my friend, Cherise Lakeside, spawned my squirrel brain to kick into action. After discussing the continued ills of the construction industry for seemingly the umpteenth time, something clicked. We could continue talking about these issues, or, better yet, we could try and correct these issues. We knew we weren’t the only ones facing hurdles in the office or in the field. There had to be others. We had to do something about it.
Three hours later, I presented Cherise with www.LetsFixConstruction.com, complete with its first two blog posts, ‘The Fifth C of CSI: Collaboration’ and ‘Product Manufacturers: Are You Doing it Right? Construction Education for Product Reps’. In addition to the website I created a Facebook page, a Twitter and Instagram account and an official hashtag: #FixConstruction.
The concept was simple, share your gripe, but offer positive, left of center solutions to the problem at hand. We both recognized some of the shortcomings of the AEC industry – the aversion to technology adoption, the skilled labor shortage and communication issues among plenty of others. It was finally time to admit the problems, engage individuals to discuss them and publish proactive solutions for all to benefit from.
Response was immediately enthusiastic.
But we knew the voices couldn’t be just ours. It needed to be anyone and everyone in AEC who saw an issue and had a solution. Each person we asked were happy to contribute posts and offer their view. In this past year we’ve gained twenty-some contributors and have stayed true to our initial mission: to better the industry by sharing our knowledge, openly communicating & encouraging collaboration, all while being an unsponsored and unbiased platform.
We’ve received two best of construction blog nominations and in the process Mark Buckshon of ConstructionMarketingIdeas.com said ‘This blog is one of the most solid interdisciplinary resources for architects, engineers, contractors and specifiers I’ve seen in the business.’ Not too bad for a side project that launched over Twitter direct messaging.
We knew we struck a chord, but how could we go about spreading the word wider?
What if we leapt off of the screen and talked about the issues in person? The LIVE concept was born and Cherise took it under her wing to deliver the first ever Let’s Fix Construction workshop to her office at Ankrom Moisan Architects in Portland and the response was collectively favorable and appreciative. Add another workshop at a CSI Bi-Region Conference to reaffirm our belief that the live setting could work, and we were off. We added my voice to the mix and three more workshops were booked – two in Portland, OR and one in Eugene. With some on the fly planning and the capability to quickly change things up from one workshop to the next, the feedback remained upbeat.
With a year under our belt, it’s time to broadcast this message even further. We need to talk to more people, reign in more contributors, get in front of our bodies. With the addition of the Let’s Fix Construction podcast, which will be debuting soon, I know we’re on our way to reaching that goal.
Speaking of CONSTRUCT, we know the biggest challenge lays ahead of us in Providence on September 13th, with the Let’s Fix Construction interactive luncheon, but I know we’re up for it.
I also know I’m up for year two. A HUGE thank you goes out to our readers, supporters, contributors and especially Cherise for making August 15, 2016 to August 15, 2017 a year I won’t soon forget.
On this first anniversary, we are very excited to announce that CONSTRUCT has become an official partner of Let’s Fix Construction. Sylvia Wofford, Marketing Manager for CONSTRUCT, says “We feel this partnership will help spread the message of collaboration and resolution to problems that are faced in the construction industry. CONSTRUCT wants to help proliferate solution messages through this partnership.” You can read more about our partnership here: https://explore.constructshow.com/UtilityNav/News/Entries/53420