Reflecting on 2023.......

Hi everyone, 

In just a few days 2023 will leave us, and 2024 will be upon us. During the time between Christmas and New Years some of us are taking a much needed break, some are catching up on things and getting ready for the New Year, and some of a little bit of both. 
Me, I am in the last category mostly, but one of the things I try to do is note a few of the highlights from the year, both from a professional and personal viewpoint.

So here were the big things from 2023:

The Man in the Arena...

Let’s face it folks…no matter your role in this this business…. it’s tough. A rewarding business but a tough one. This week has just been one of those weeks – that whatever could go wrong went wrong. At times I felt like I had everything back under control and not ten minutes later I'd feel like the guy on the bottom of a rugby pile. One of those "Why am I doing this to myself" kind of weeks! 

It Isn't Easy Being Green

Kermit the Frog was right...."It's not easy being green". 

Every one of us was "green" to some degree when we got started in this industry. Fresh out of school, wide eyed, bushy tailed, excited, nervous, unsure what to expect. But hey - we were armed with our education, job offers, our hard hats on, steel toes laced up, and drafting machines squared up, as we entered into our respective architectural, engineering, and construction fields. Ready to conquer the world as they say right!?

Then BAM! There we were...dropped into in the real world...smacked in the face with reality....and on our own to navigate the ever changing world that is the AECO world.   

So, what drove this topic you may ask? 

10 Random Thoughts.....

The CSI Conference is always a whirlwind. A fun whirlwind though....seeing old friends and colleagues, making new ones, educational sessions to go to, topics to follow up on, networking, networking, networking, I need a happy hour....more networking, dinners, lunches, breakfasts...and somewhere in there some sleep. 

So it takes a few days to decompress, organize all the new information, follow up with all the new contacts one has made....and then sit back and think about all of it. 

So as I made my way home on the plane back to Cincinnati, I thought back at the three awesome days that is the CSI National conference...thought about what I learned, what I heard, what we need to work on as an industry....

Here are some of the things that popped into my head....

  • No matter your depth of experience, one can always learn something from their peers. We are all students, we are all educators. 
  • CSI is THE place for AECO professionals, where else can you find in one place - folks who make the product, provide the product, design and specify the product, and build the product? Nowhere except here! 
  • It is refreshing, and inspiring to see and speak with so many young professionals who are attending CSI events.
  • Nothing is more nerve wracking than presenting to your peers...on the flip side there is nothing more satisying than being congratulated and told job well done at the end!
  • A wise man once said - "Everthing you want is right outside of your comfort zone".
  • A wise woman once said - "Your brand is what people say about you when you aren't in the room".
  • I missed my CSI colleagues who weren't able to make it this year....fingers crossed ya'll get to Houston next year!
  • Leadership is not a specator sport. Encourage. Inspire. Be authentic.
  • The digital future of this industry is something to be in awe of....but scary at the same time.
  • Greek proverb -  "A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit”. It is up to us to help build the industry work force of the future. 

Now that we are all back and settled down - what random thoughts did you come away with? 

Continue reading

Plan the Work and Work the Plan

Well, hello again everyone, hope everyone is well.  My apologies for length between columns, hopefully I can make up for the lost time here this month. 

The main purpose of a punch list is to identify project items that need to be completed or corrected right?  But we should also use those items in future applications, so we do not repeat the failures of the past.  In this industry we barely have enough time and money to do it the first time – it is imperative to do it right the first time.  And one of the things as industry professionals we can do right the first time is the project schedule. 

The "Why" of CSI

Last week in Nashville, CSI folks gathered for the first time in over a year to network, learn, and celebrate the achievements of our peers at the 2021 CSI National Conference.  And while it wasn’t like conferences in the past, it was still a great time, and for those CSINext members that were unable to attend you were greatly missed! 

Welcome to "The Punch List"

Hello everyone and welcome to “The Punch List” … finally!  I could toss in the usual excuses for not getting this column started long ago….you know like being overloaded at work, being consumed in completing graduate school, “honey-do lists”, labor shortages, and a global pandemic…all of which are true….but truth be told…I just hadn’t gotten around to it. Sounds like a job site excuse right?  Well with this first entry that is all about to change.