Construction Disruptors

Edwin Warui

Construction Disruptors: 11 qualities that revolutionary leaders have in common

Let’s be honest. No industry is immune to disruption. Likewise, construction is not what it used to be. Project owners are now expecting more from construction companies. As a result, construction disruptors are taking action to meet these changing needs.


For instance, Artificial Intelligence investment is predicted to reach $4.51 billion by 2026 in the construction industry.


But first...



What is a Construction Disruptor?


Construction disruptors are companies that are effectively challenging the status quo in the industry. These businesses are redefining construction by questioning how things are done, innovating, taking charge and creating something new.


At the heart of these innovative firms are transformational leaders. And no, they’re not geniuses or possessing special genes. They just have little-known qualities.


So what do construction disruptors have in common?



#1. Deeply Curious


Business disruptors possess child-like curiosity and are always asking how they can do things differently. Yes, some trail blazers never finished college. Others on the other hand have PHD’s from some of the best learning institutions in the world.


The similarity?


These people have a lifelong commitment to learning. Innovative leaders understand that knowledge is essential for noticing new prospects or even interpreting events as promising opportunities. By being informed you can differentiate between noise and possibilities.


All said, disruptors acknowledge what they don’t know and are open to learning. It’s how they take an idea from a different industry and implement it in construction.



#2. Reinvent Business Models


Revolutionary leaders understand that technology in itself isn’t the only source of transformative business innovations. It’s about combining new technology with a powerful new business model.


The aim is to eliminate organizational rigidity in their internal processes. As a result, people and resources are allocated to projects that need them the most. To achieve that, disruptors study a firm’s competitive landscape, recognize what needs to change and adjust.


The result?


A thriving business that understands customer needs better.



#3. Leveraging Their Network.


You are probably familiar with this advice:


“Your network is your net worth.”


As cliché as the counsel may sound, disruptors take it to heart. These trendsetters know they cannot achieve success alone. You need links with the right people. That Industry connections are vital. Consequently, the front runners attend meetings, conferences and workshops.


The aim?


People are the source of ideas and by enlarging your network, you receive diverse thoughts. Therefore, disruptors partner with major companies, start ups, or even construction technology companies and have them playing to their strengths.


Also, a support base is critical as you take risks. You need people who can be by your side as you venture into uncertainty.



#4. Future-oriented


In the global economy, change is constant. Similarly, it’s impossible to predict the future of emerging technologies. So what do disruptors do?


They anticipate consumer trends before everyone else. Pacesetters look towards the future and take responsibility for strategic opportunities and problems that will arise in the business environment. They understand that hope is not a strategy.


In fact, this is what these leaders believe in:

“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”- Steve Jobs



#5. Thriving in the face of uncertainty


Sometimes business leaders freeze when faced with unfamiliar challenges. Disruptors on the other hand understand that uncertainty is inevitable and offers a chance to grow. By facing the unpredictability head-on, innovators look at the possibilities, assess how the shifts will disrupt the markets, evaluate what are the risks and rewards of adopting the changes.



#6. Fast-follower


Some companies may prefer to wait until new technologies prove themselves in the market. But not disruptors. They don't believe in waiting until things are perfect. Movers and shakers forge ahead by taking the experimenting route because it can lead to breakthroughs.


And no, this is not guess work. It’s about speed and flexibility by implementing a data-driven approach to mitigate risks.



#7. Innovative


Construction disruptors are inquisitive, open to new things and challenge traditional approaches. They attempt new things faster than competition which increases the chances for early-bird breakthroughs.


To ensure rapid innovation, these leaders foster a creative culture and occasionally reward failure. In other words, everyone within the company is encouraged to share ideas and suggest solutions to problems.


Finally, innovators are keen not to make the future look like science fiction. Instead, they paint a picture of an ambitious, bold tomorrow that feels possible.



#8. Risk-taker


Construction disruptors understand the nuances of the challenge before them and take informed risks. To achieve that, these go-getters listen to their intuition, take heed of analysis paralysis, and are ready to make mistakes. They understand that failure is critical to growth and that it’s either you win or learn.


Ultimately, by confronting their fears, revolutionary leaders are willing to go through tough waters to achieve their vision.



#9. Determined


Construction disruption requires putting ideas into action and bringing people on board. Doing so requires courage because it opens up the prospect of facing criticism.  As a leader, objection is inevitable but the successful ones are those who stick around to see things through.


Disruptors know that determination is infectious. Similarly, they understand that they are not simply responsible for painting a picture of what the future will look like. But also guiding people into what lies ahead.



#10. Action-oriented


Disruption happens when one transitions from intellectual work to practical ideas. For instance, you can build a prototype or perform an experiment.


Achievers appreciate that you will never know a great idea until you try it. That a great-sounding suggestion could turn into a mess if implemented, and a bad-sounding proposal could be a gem if executed.


Simply, construction disruptors roll up their sleeves and learn along the way. It’s the best measure of your imagination because anyone can come up with ideas. Execution is all that matters.



#11. Team Player


It’s a myth that disruptors are lone workers. Even the greatest innovators didn’t achieve their phenomenal success alone. They had teams to help bring their ideas to life.


Front runners recognize that breakthroughs happen in collaborative environments. That the right team beats the smartness and the creativity of a single person hands down.



Bringing it All together


Disruption is an ongoing concern for a majority of construction business leaders. And it’s easy to believe that you don’t have what it takes to leave a mark in the building industry. No, innovation isn’t just for a select number of people. As evidenced above, you can do it too.


Creativity is not enough. And yes, it’s okay to challenge the status quo.


To be a winner you have to be willing to embrace change. It’s the secret sauce to construction disruption.


Now go out and do it.

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Construction Disruptors

Construction Disruptors