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Newsletter September 2018

Rejuvenation and Reflection for Leaders

At BRS, we have been having a lot of conversations individually and collectively around the importance of long term sustainability in our business.  That is, how do we ensure that we continue to love what we do, deliver great outcomes for our clients and continue to learn and grow along the journey while balancing the other important things in our life? This includes other areas like family, personal growth, mental health, wellbeing and fitness.

This may sound deep but we are seeing similar conversations taking place with many of our clients.  We have a very busy infrastructure market at the moment which means people are stretched, working very hard and long hours.  This includes leaders who are taking on more bids, more projects, more expectations from government and their clients and in the environment of constrained resources, high expectations and capability and capacity challenges.

The topic of mental health and wellbeing is an important discussion in making sure leaders figuratively place the oxygen mask on themselves in ensuring they are rejuvenated and energised to continue to do their jobs on their projects and in their organisations.

So what does rejuvenation and reflection look like for a leader?  How do you make the time to engage with activities that achieve this?  For us, we believe this includes some of the following practices:

  • Blocking out time at the start of the week to plan out your week, your priorities, making time to think as a key priority in your calendar;
  • It is blocking out time to work from home or a quiet area to get the important work done including time for yourself;
  • It is knowing that work will be there tomorrow which means you role model to your staff the importance of having outside interests and leaving work on time to pursue them;
  • It is using your phone as a work tool rather than being a slave to every email, interaction and social media which takes you away from what matters which is being in the moment with others that you care about;
  • It is taking regular days off where you can be completely free from work to truly rejuvenate;
  • It is planning out your quarter to set yourself up for success and reflecting on what is important rather than what is urgent and providing that direction to your team;
  • It is making time for your mental health, wellbeing and fitness requirements; and
  • It is working to live rather than living to work.

This means for us the trialing and consideration of new approaches to our work like a four day week to ensure our people have the chance to do the things outside of work that matter and enhance their work and leadership effectiveness.  It also means supporting our clients who are experiencing challenges around ensuring their businesses and people are focussing on long term sustainability as a key priority.

We look forward to more discussions with our clients around how we approach this important topic.  The long term health and wellbeing of all our people including our leaders is important. We need to make time to think about the small things that will make a difference to all of us in continuing to be effective in our roles over the long game.

Making your client procurement practices interactive

BRS has been undertaking a wide variety of commercial capability and acumen training with our clients recently.  It allows the opportunity for discussion around client organisations interactions with the supply chain during a procurement process.  This interaction with tenderers and your supply chain partners regardless of the procurement model chosen by a client is critical to ensuring you have selected the right team to work with to deliver your projects.  The challenge for a lot of clients is thinking through the best approach to measure a team’s potential, ability to work collaboratively with the client and their stakeholders and also balance this with the need to deliver outstanding outcomes.

The key to delivering the right team through a tender evaluation process is all about the design and execution of an interactive procurement approach.  This means interacting and talking to your supply chain through the procurement process as well as designing key activities, meetings and scenarios that allow you to measure teamwork, collaboration and potential.

This design prior to tender evaluation phase is critical in ensuring you don’t evaluate the team based on their written proposal but place real importance in the procurement interaction.  This means placing as much importance on the team evaluation as you do in the commercial and technical areas of award.

This topic will be a focus of future blogs for BRS as we consider this critical in ensuring that the right teams deliver the right outcomes for their clients.  This requires in some ways a slowing down to speed up by tender evaluation teams but we believe this is important in making the right decisions around the awarding of projects.    We will explore tender evaluation practices, best practice interactive tips and techniques along with providing guidance on how to truly evaluate team potential and collaboration.

Stay tuned for some exciting blogs to follow!

The need for capable and intelligent clients

We are always interested at BRS with the terrific work client organisations are doing to move to being a capable and intelligent client when delivering infrastructure projects.   It is critical to ensuring there is value capture and value for money outcomes delivered in the successful planning, procurement and delivery of projects.

We came across a wonderful example in the United Kingdom of excellent work in this area from the Institution of Civil Engineers with an initiative called Project 13.  The core message from this project is that the transactional model for delivering major infrastructure projects and programmes is broken. They believe it prevents efficient delivery, prohibits innovation and therefore fails to provide the high-performing infrastructure networks that businesses and the public require.

Watch the short video (link below) to understand how Project 13 is seeking to change the traditional infrastructure business model for the better.   In addition to the video, they have come up with tools, frameworks and guides which allow for client organisations to make the shift to becoming a capable and intelligent client.  It includes a diagnostic survey to understand where you are currently at and what you can do to progress your organisation in all the key areas.

We look forward to hearing of other examples of best practice like this from our clients.  For us, learning from others and adapting these learnings to your organisations is critical in ensuring true collaboration and teamwork is happening across our industry.

Watch the Video

Featured Case Study

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Client Relationship Review

McConnell Dowell

BRS were engaged by McConnell Dowell to undertake a thorough review of the relationship health with one of their major clients, the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA). The review consisted of a series of one on one interviews, a report identifying recommendations for improving the relationship and a facilitated workshop between the two organisations to generate joint ownership of the relationship.


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