Redefining Industry Associations by Redefining the Industry: Celebrating 2016 at the Construction Institute

| November 29, 2016

by Nancy Wiegers Greenwald

 “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” — Peter F. Drucker
No doubt, you have heard about, read about, or been to programs where panelists talked about the challenges facing the AEC industry. You have most likely walked away from those experiences having learned something, but without an answer to the question “What can I do in my job to improve the industry?”

Shaking things up

During 2016, the members of the Construction Institute (CI) got busy shaking things up and creating ways of turning talk into action. Transforming the industry requires the thinking, energy, and experience of everyone in the industry. We began bringing groups together in new ways. In 2016, we introduced a new type of interactive program intended to generate action items around transforming the AEC industry.

In February, the CI tackled the issue of recruiting and training the next generation of leaders and employees, with a workshop designed to stimulate an honest and productive dialogue and to create a foundation for concrete answers to the question “Why Should I Work for You?”

On December 1, we tackled another challenge in a new workshop series called industryREdesign. Participants generated ideas that can be applied individually and collectively to change the bias of the industry from defensive to collaborative, answering the question “How do we create an environment that encourages deeper collaboration between firms?”

Generating excitement

Our signature Visionaries program, which captures cutting-edge thinking in the industry, was joined by the Women Who Build Leadership and Networking Summit in focusing on the industry’s future. The excitement generated is captured in these two quotes from attendees to the Summit:

“This event far exceeded my expectations. It was one of the most inspirational seminars I have been to in some time.”

“The choice of speakers and synergy between panelists was stellar. I returned to work with renewed vigor and purpose.”

Multi-disciplinary and multi-generational fluency

Our multi-disciplinary, collaborative, problem-solving approach infuses all of our efforts, from our programs, to our professional development workshops, to our writing. Our BIM Council is developing a Process Workflow and Model Exchange Map for a variety of delivery methods. Our board of advisors is creating a digital narrative to capture diverse viewpoints and experiences on issues like technology integration across project teams and best practices in dispute avoidance and resolution.

Expanding our university connections

The CI is a professional membership organization, but we are also a part of the University of Hartford. Our engagement and collaboration with the university enriches our educational and program content, connects us with the next generation of AEC and business professionals, and creates research and other collaborative opportunities for our members. In addition to our connection with the College of Engineering, Technology and Architecture, we continue to grow our collaboration with the Barney School of Business and the Entrepreneurial Center.

Collaborating with other organizations

The CI is itself an open space, inviting, collaborating, and engaging other industry associations in the process. We also offer our members’ expertise to create educational programs for other organizations. In 2016, we collaborated with, among others, the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA), the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT), the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS-CT and SMPS-NY, Westchester County), and created educational programming for the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities and the Public Procurement Association of Connecticut.

Join the transformation

2016 has been an exciting year at the Construction Institute. Join us to make things happen, to shape the future of the industry, and to set your company apart as one that embraces the forward-thinking collaboration that is the most effective driver of project success.[1]

Join us in 2017! Visit construction.org.

[1] R. M. Leicht, K. R. Molenaar,  J. I. Messner, B. W. Franz, and B. Esmaeili, “Maximizing Success in Integrated Projects: An Owner ’s Guide,” 2015 (http://projectdelivery.weebly.com/).



Nancy Greenwald

Nancy Greenwald

Nancy Wiegers Greenwald is executive director at The Construction Institute.


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