Every Friday, we select a few articles from the week that we think are worth your time as a construction financial manager (CFM). We look for compelling articles not only about financial topics, but about business, technology, and life, that challenges you to think about your role as a CFM in different ways.
Too Few Construction Jobs, or Too Few Workers?
Employment in construction reached its highest level since February 2009, according to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), but this presents its own challenges. The growing demand for construction has highlighted a shortage of skilled workers. “The recent acceleration in construction spending may soon level off unless the sector can draw in more workers with the right skills,” an AGC press release notes.
Not all states are feeling the boom, however. According to the Tampa Bay Times, New York eliminated 4,500 construction jobs in July alone, and Ohio lost 12,800 construction jobs in the last 12 months.
Employment at architecture and engineering firms has notably grown 3.6 percent in the last year, which may indicate preparation for future projects. The AGC calls for more educational programs for career and technical services to ready workers for growing demand in construction.
Cultures That Prevent Change at Work
Not everybody likes change. It’s a natural and common trait, albeit one that often stands in the way of progress. Jane McConnel explains her findings at HBR.org from 9 years of research on the things that stand in the way of organizational change.
Her findings are fascinating, though perhaps not surprising. McConnell argues that digital transformations enable a more horizontal and democratic flow of information. Any employee, therefore, can become a star and upset hierarchy. At the same time, IT departments fear that new technology will render them less valuable.
McConnell examines 280 companies by asking employees to rate the presence of different characteristics in their office culture:
- Strong, shared sense of purpose vs. weak, inconsistent sense of purpose
- Freedom to experiment vs. absolute compliance to rules and processes
- Distributed decision-making vs. centralized, hierarchical decision-making
- Open to the influence of the external world vs. internally focused and closed to the external world
How would you rate your office? Read McConnell’s piece to learn about the interplay between workplace obstacles and culture, and how you might enable transformation at your company: