Innovation Voucher Provision

mb-m-and-c-1-blueThe Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is making Innovation Vouchers available worth up to £5000 for construction and built environment companies. Applications are due to open on the 10th of December and close on the 23rd of January 2013.

Fairsnape in association with IBE-Partnership is delighted to assist you  in preparing and submitting your application for Innovation Vouchers in the following topics that we offer as your innovation provider to improve your construction performance.

  1. Social Media – Awareness, Getting Started, Developing, Strategy and Policies, Measuring,
  2. CSR – Awareness, Developing Strategies, Integrating and aligning systems, Measuring.
  3. Sustainability (1) – Awareness, Strategy, Policies, Aligning / writing systems, Measuring
  4. Sustainability(2) – (Beyond Waste) – Awareness, circular economy, cradle to cradle thinking, healthy products innovation, measurement,
  5. Construction Carbon – Awareness, Strategies, Measuring and Improving, Application of wold class tools
  6. Benchmarking – (Beyond KPI’s) – Awareness, Strategy, Benchmarking Project, Measuring, Application of world class tools
  7. Business Strategy – (EFQM) Awareness, Improving overall and holistic strategy, facilitation, measurement
  8. Collaborative Planning / Last Planner – Awareness, Strategies, Training, Guidance, Facilitation, Application of world class tools
  9. Lean Construction Techniques – Awareness, Strategies, Training, Guidance, Facilitation, Application of world class tools
  10. Collaborative Working – Awareness, Strategy, Principles, Training, Facilitation, Preparation for BIM
  11. BIM – Awareness, Strategy, Policies, Preparation Plan, Facilitation,
  12. Customer Management– Awareness, Strategies, Training, Guidance, Facilitation, Application of world class tools
  13.  ISO14001 – Awareness, Strategy + Policies, Improving/Writing EM system + process, training, readiness for assessment
  14. ISO90001 – Awareness, Strategy + Policies, Improving/Writing QM, training, readiness for assessment system + process
  15. PAS 2030 – Awareness, Strategy + Policies, Improving/Writing Green Deal system + process, training, readiness for assessment
  16. Bidding – Awareness, Strategy, Process/Approach, Support,

mb-m-and-c-1-blueThis is a great opportunity for you to innovate and improve your effectiveness and efficiency, improve attractiveness to clients  and of course improve the bottom line at no cost to you. If you are interested in progressing further please call or get in touch to discuss.

00 44 7776 234702

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Living lightly on the earth: #LCBPC BREEAM Outstanding and Sustainability event.

Last Wednesday evening (18th May) saw the Lancashire Construction Best Practice Programme (@lcbpc) meet at the recently opened, BREEAM Outstanding Brockholes Visitor Center (@visitBrockholes)for a programme of speakers on a sustainability in the built environment theme.

Martin Brown, (@fairsnape) as chair of the club, welcomed delegates and introduced the speakers, pointing out the evening would touch on the three key elements of sustainability -ie the triple bottom line of environmental, economical and social, or fit for planet, purpose and people. 

Martin posed a challenge to the delegates – who at a senior / director role in your organisation is really driving sustainability and your transition to a low carbon economy? (See Carbon Diet for Boards)

Ian Selby (LWT) opened the first of three short talks from LWT with an overview of the Brockholes Center development, making the interesting comment that the Lancashire Wildlife Trust is now one of the leading environmental developers in the North West. The low impact design and the pursut of BREEAM Outstanding was key, aligned to the Trusts vision of ‘living lightly on the earth’

Clare Kenny (LWT) described the work of the LWT going forward, the need for fund raising, and the LWT Mosslands carbon capture scheme for business (naturalcarboncapture).  David Atherton (LWT) talked in more detail the steps necessary to gain the BREEAM Outstanding standard, suggesting that BREEAM Outsanding has added value but in itself is not value, citing a number of tick box items only necessary to get the standard, including the lit cycle track that when it met the unlit public track in a field plunges cyclists into darkness.

Leadership, committment and buy in are essential for success in sustainability was Joe Moxham (Carefoot) of Carefoot’s message in his overview of their three year road map, focusing on the measurement and reduction targets for construction carbon, water and energy use, through the use of constructco2

David Inman (@DIEMLtd) (Diem Ltd) highlighted the need for effective management of waste, from a legal and business and cost benefit perspective, and following the theme set by Joe, on the reduction of carbon achievable through waste reduction.

Successful sustainability management needs diverse thinking, was the theme for Chrissi McCarthy (@CChrissi)(Constructing Equality) who outlined the construction sectors rather poor performance on diversity issues and the benefits of profits and growth being seen in other sectors that have a higher level of diversity.

Martin summed up, thanking the speakers and returning to the LWT vision of ‘living lightly on the earth’, remarking at the similarlity with other organisations such as Patagonia  ‘do no harm’ (which, like LWT they also apply to their construction activities), wondering how built environment organisations in the UK could embrace and live with such visions. 

The event was video recorded by Dave Severns Jones (@severnsjones) (it was hoped to stream live but connectivity was not available), The recording, along with the slides will be available very soon.

The nest Lancashire Construction Best Practice Club event is on June 23rd with a focus on meet the bidder. 

Constructing Excellence Social Media Forum: Unlocking potential

Construction Excellence ran a Social Media forum on Wednesday with a view to understanding current use of social media within construction and what the industry, in particular, CE could or should do with social media.
Presentations from Paul Wilkinson, Jon de Sousa and Martin Brown provided context, examples and potential for social media within the built environment, including lessons from other sectors.
Pauls Presentation
Martins Presentation
These presentations were paced with useful and thoughtful discussion that covered the usual topics such as fear of information overload, trust of using and time.
However two main themes emerged: The need for guidelines for social media that enable its appropriate use, rather than control/prevent use. Learning from other sectors, we can implement social media strategies that will make individuals and the organisation comfortable with using social media for organisational good.
and
Construction boards, directors and other business leaders need to understand and unlock social media potential. As it is often being used across organisations without real understanding or strategy, leaders are not aware whether their reputation is being harmed or enhanced through social media mentions.
Boards are also all too often unaware of the vital business content (client, industry, leads, legislation, competitor) shared across social media applications. It is envisaged these will form the basis for further debate within an ongoing CE Social Media forum, and possible industry guidance
See also Pauls blog on the event here. Follow discussion on this topic via twitter using the #cesmf hashtag
** Coincidently the day before presenting to the forum, I penned my first blog for CSRWire Talkback, queued for publication on 7th April: Is your board all a-Twitter about sustainability? A Low Carbon Diet For Construction Boards – Using social media can help boards be better on sustainability Martin Brown says it should be, on Talkback.

Be2camp: be2awards BE2’s and construcTALKS

It is well over 2 years ago that a small like minded group of us* (in the UK, USA and Australia) started be2camp as a means of exploring the use of social media, web 2 applications and virtual worlds within the built environment sector. Since then we have grown to a community of over 500 members and received recognition as the Best Social Media Community in the Sustainability Now social media awards 2010
Hence it is with a real sense of pride and achievement that we can now organise, promote and host the worlds first social media awards, the BE2’s aimed specifically at the built environment.

Those of us who read and write blogs, use twitter, facebook and other ‘tools’ regularly come across the wow site, the wow application and occasionally the wow individual. Our be2camp awards will enable these ‘wows’ to be recognised, by nomination and ultimately by award winning.

Be2camp started out with a view to improving collaboration and sustainability through social media, so it is only fitting that the award categories reflect these themes.

Our site be2awards is now open for nomination, so please pay it a visit, register and nominate your favourite. Or indeed if your favourite has been nominated then endorse that nomination. From 18th Jan the nominations will close and voting commences.

Our awards event is on the 9th February at the Building Centre in London (and as with all be2camp events streamed live). Not only will we be announcing the award winners we will also hold ConstrucTALKS, a TEDx style set of presentations from high profile thought leaders. not to be missed.

  • Built environment blogger of the Year
  • Best sustainability blog
  • Best AEC social media blog
  • Best use of Twitter
  • Best AEC collaboration platform
  • Best AEC community, network or community application
  • Best use of Web 2.0 for construction products
  • Best location-based AEC application
  • Best ‘internet of things’ application
  • Best mobile application
  • Best virtual or hybrid event
  • ‘Old media/new media’ award
  • Best AEC PR campaign
  • Best AEC marketing campaign
  • Best education and learning award

*Be2camp Founders:
Jodie Miners Australia @jodiem
Pam Broviak USA @pbroviak 
Paul Wilkinson UK @EEPaul
Martin Brown UK @fairsnape 

Three reasons to give your PQQ and Bids an independent Health Check

 

One: Many PQQ’s and Bids ‘deselect’ themselves through errors and omissions. It is obviously far better for errors, omissions, questions not (fully) answered or formatting issues to be picked up by independent review rather than your client. Don’t throw away valuable points…

 

Two: Make your bid content the best it can be. Make sure your PQQ response is a killer, with compelling evidence, sparkling innovation and best practice awareness.

 

Three: Learning gained with one independent health check can be transferred to future bids, ensuring increased success potential

 

Independent reviews of your PQQ and Bids can be conducted through Fairsnape

 

Simply forward your responses prior to submitting to your client, giving enough time for review and your updating of the bid. In addition to Health Checks, other bid services are available, for example reviews of failed bids, PQQ training and coaching, bid writing and support, along with interview and presentation skills support. Get in touch to discuss more.

 

 


recession thoughts and tips

The recent excellent BBC Life on Mars series painted a harsh, dark and in many ways ugly portrait of life in Britain in the mid 1970’s. It was in that this environment I started a career in construction, a young trainee QS, working a ‘statutory’ three day week with fuel and power rationing (only able to buy petrol on alternative days depending on the first initial of your surname)

Since then I have experienced and survived the industry’s many cycles of boom and bust, times of recession and times of plenty, often caused by conditions outside of the sector itself.

It wasn’t until a later reading of Charles Handy’s Empty Raincoat that I understood I had developed a strategy for dealing with this cyclic industry. Handy sees the key to surviving change as being the ability to move from one sigmoid curve to the next before the current one peaks, or before the current one becomes a bandwagon and is no longer cutting edge. (see here)

In times of recession, innovation is the hallmark of successful organisations, and of people that survive. In my experience this means looking ahead, identifying the next emerging innovation/theme/idea, and getting rapidly up to speed. Over my career, this has led to moving from work to university, to becoming an expat, to moving from project management into planning, from planning to quality, to TQM, to collaborative working and business improvement, to benchmarking, to fm and then into independent support provision.

The move into planning serves as a good example. I was able to shelter the downturn at the time, being one of the few who could (or wanted to) operate a computer. We are talking 80’s here, the office had one pc shared between a secretary and myself. I cut my teeth on Pertmaster. Initially this produced crude gantt charts as a row of green X’s, but provided a much needed USP to winning work, and was the start of a short career as a computer based planner.

In the world of business improvement, quality, TQM and benchmarking, being part of a supportive network, and having mentors outside of the industry, proved incredibly useful, bringing new learning ideas in to the organisation

All this, I believe, improved the value I was able to add, in addressing the emerging issues that clients were facing. being ready to deal with this emergence meant that I was able to move as doors open, and explore new avenues. The lessons from each of these unexpected events has created a resilience that enables me to work in a number of sectors and areas.

So, here is a very personal guide to survival. It may not be the exact menu for you, but it will, hopefully spark a few thoughts and ideas that will help.

Be Enthusiastic: Recharge your batteries now, get out and do something wild. Appearing tired at work, and not hungry for change, is bad news

Be Ready: Identify the next emerging theme. What skills and knowledge can you acquire that will add value to you and the organisation. Get intelligence and use it.

Be Flexible: Have a plan, but also go with the flow as opportunities emerge. The built environment has a fantastic range of careers and jobs. Consider which areas are more recession proof. Currently these may be sustainability, or BIM (Building Information Modelling), or web based technologies. These are areas that will be more in demand post recession

Be Resilient: Think long term. Arguably its short-termism that has led us into the current mess. Develop a personal and organisational resilience plan that looks at improvement over the long term. Be better when we emerge from this recession.

Stand in the future and observe the industry in 2016/2019 – climate change will not be ‘put on hold’ during the recession – so do you have a route to zero mapped out?

Be Visible: Find a group you can network with, learn from and share with. For me in the past, this has included quality circles, benchmarking clubs or industry improvement groups. More recently, I am a part of many on line forums. Themed networks such as Green Drinks can provide similar opportunities. 

Get a profile inside and outside of the organisation. This is easy to do through web 2,(eg Linkedin) but what does your facebook, myspace, twitter really say about you?  What do you really find out when you google your name, or your organisation. 

Be helped and help: Find a mentor or work with a mentee

And read …  the Empty Raincoat for example

And help is out there.

Supportive resources I am involved with include:

• Mentoring courses (funded)

• Start up support. For example, through Constructing the Future we are offering a free set of modules for women in Lancashire considering startup business or self employment.

• Route to Zero. This is designed to help in the development of resilience strategies

• Surviving the Recession. This is a one-day Evolution-IP survival course for businesses in development

• Green training. It is useful to get a environmental top up to your qualifications (for example the Green Register or others)

• Construction Agency. This is a planned employee/employer agency service for Lancashire that uses RSS, mobile web and Twitter to ‘keep jobs local’ (To be launched mid / late March, but follow @cagency for updates)

For more on the above please feel free to email or twitter or leave comments below and if you found this post useful please share with others …. AddThis Social Bookmark Button:

from brightgreen: how to use environmental leaders

Last Friday Bright Green Talent posted this excellent five point guide:

Dreadlocks, demonstrations and duck ponds – What does today’s environmentalist look like?

What are the characteristics of these environmental leaders and how can you use them to drive your business forward?

1. Big minds: Environmental leaders have a history of excellence in everything they do. Graduating from the top universities, they are aspirational, yet practical. They are naturally drawn to complex problems that span science, economics and society.

2. Learners, not cogs: Don’t expect an environmental leader to become another cog in an organisational machine. They are here to learn and to make a difference. They flourish in small organisations, visionary
consultancies and larger organisations with a big mandate for change.

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