June 19

Helping Construction Businesses Grow Up – in Just 7 Minutes with Jason & Mary Sturgeon

Podcast

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What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How to deal with missing process in your company
  • Not to feel overwhelmed and trust your team
  • Putting accountability to people


More...

Related Links and Resources:

Jason and Mary Sturgeon host a weekly peer group for construction companies and it's called builder chat. If you go to www.arcadewayfinding.com/builder-chat , every Thursday at 1PM Pacific and talk about contractor things, and work through construction problems and company problems.

Also check out their personal podcast at www.arcadewayfinding.com/critpath/ were they talk about fun topics, light topics but also impacting and heavy-hitting construction topics as well.

Summary:

Jason and Mary Sturgeon are both ‘Principal Wayfinders’ at Arcade.

Arcade Wayfinding is an organization based, first and foremost, on finding the best, most magnetic ways to help construction industry people to make beneficial changes to their habits and workflow, and to better understand the nature of their work. We lean into a hands-on approach, so our training series focus on workshops, games, interactive activities and keeping people talking, laughing and engaged. One of our core beliefs is that if you’re not engaged, you’re not learning.

Here are the highlights of this episode:

1:26 Jason and Mary’s ideal Client: The ideal client for us would be someone who is good at their business, they're good at their trade, and they are good people. It's really important to us that they are good people, the people you want to sit down and have dinner with. And there are people that need a little bit of help.

Everybody doesn't know everything, and when you recognize that you are not an expert at everything under the sun, your first step would be to identify those resource experts and get them in your corners. So that you are better prepared to be able to deal with the challenges that life throws at you.

2:11 Problem both of you helps solve:

Mary: It's true that there are lot of little problems, but if you had to put it under one big heading, it will be missing process. We start building company out and we do the thing we do and we're good at it, we work with the people that we like and that works well. And at some point, the business will grow up to a point that we need processes to help us help our people get work done. Were a lot of construction owners is good in construction, but they're not good at process.

Jason: So, they're very good at their trade, they're good at their discipline, but when it comes to building process where training to that process, that's where it all breaks down.

3:11 Typical symptoms that clients do before reaching out to Jason and Mary:

Jason: The symptoms are pretty simple and we see them all the time. They feel like that they can't get away from the business, they feel like they can't take a vacation, they feel like there's no one around them that they can trust and delegate to.

Mary: If they don't do it, it doesn't get done.

Jason: And there is a sense that I wish we could just grow; I wish we could just scale. But you don't take a car that needs some engine work and make it go faster. You actually have to invest the time to make it run clean and then you can go as fast as you want. But we skip that step, it turns into frustration, friction, anger and turmoil within our team.

4:20 What are some of the common mistakes that folks make before finding both of you and your solution:

Mary: One of the first mistakes is that before they even start trying to solve the problem, they make the mistakes of thinking that they have a different problem than they have.

Jason: They feel like it's special

Mary: What people would tell us, their problem is, my team is not accountable; they don't have accountability. And they think that the problem is that they're hiring people who are not accountable people. And the truth is, accountability is an outcome, it's a thing that you have to build. You have to build the accountability machine for that to exist. They think that the problem is that people aren't accountable. And the real problem is that they haven't built a system that allows accountability. So, I think that's the biggest problem we see is that misidentification where they feel that their team is letting them down because of the team and not because of the process that's missing between them and the team.

5:36 Jason and Mary’s Valuable Free Action (VFA):

Jason: Well I think one valuable piece that we can all use a little bit of, is recognizing that, there's a saying that we have is "we don't grow up, we just get bigger." We are the same kids that we always were, and we understand that kids are not motivated by thick text books and people talking at them. It's important that when we engage with our team, one thing that they can do is actually trying to make their work fun. Actually, have friendly competitions that build a sense of team, the sense of togetherness. Help them micro rewards that get built in to everyday and every week of activity. That changes the culture from "well I guess I got to this again today" to maybe "hey, I'm going to win the coffee card today."

Mary: If you I could give one piece of advice in trying to build that processes, owners of companies feel that it's all on them; they have to create it, build it, implement it, put it out and it's overwhelming. The truth is, you usually have a team standing around you, and people in that team really have good ideas. So, bring them in. Even if you don’t know what you're doing, you don't even know how to get started, just bring together all your trusted people, have a meeting, sit down and say "what can we do better, and how can we measure whether we’re doing it better?" And if you start with that conversation you'll get there.

7:21 Jason and Mary’s Valuable Free Resource (VFR):

Jason: I will give you two. One is that we host weekly peer group for construction companies and it's called builder chat. If you go to arcadewayfinding.com/builder-chat, we meet every Thursday at 1PM and talk about contractor things, and work through construction problems and company problems. And the second is our podcast, it's “The critical path podcast” (https://www.arcadewayfinding.com/critpath/) were we talk about fun topics, light topics but also impacting and heavy-hitting construction topics as well.

8:13 What gets you up in the morning?

Jason: For me, any time we can bring that "a-ha!" moment to that Superintendent that has been in the industry for 30 years and never actually learned to read prints. The "a-ha!" moment for project managers who learned how to used Microsoft project for scheduling. That light clicks on, that holy cow, all of my projects could have been different. It's basically, the reason why I get up in the morning is to bring that "a-ha!" moment and help people get back in their lives and control.

Mary: It's sample of value for listeners; you should think about what gets you up in the morning. And make sure you are getting some of that in your day, because often we find that owners, whatever it is they love the most about the business, that's what they get the least amount of time doing. So, make sure whatever you love about your business, you're spending time there too, because it's important.

"You don't take a car that needs some engine work and make it go faster. You actually have to invest the time to make it run clean and then you can go as fast as you want" – Jason Sturgeon                                                           “So, make sure whatever you love about your business, you're spending time there too, because it's important” – Mary Sturgeon        

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