2019 AIC Constructor Conference: Understand Political Issues to Find Wish List Scope

In November 2019, I had the opportunity to speak at the 2019 AIC Constructor Conference in Philadelphia. The timing was ideal, as companies in the construction industry are focused on how to better connect with clients to grow their business. Fortunately, that’s exactly what we focus on at RESET.

My central message was this: companies need to understand the business and political issues that are often hidden beneath the surface. Once you unlock these issues, you can identify wish list projects and wish list scope that will lead to greater business opportunities.

What’s the Problem With the Traditional Approach?

This message resonated with attendees because many business leaders in the construction industry have been trained on a methodical approach of probing for new opportunities. It’s a clipboard mentality of marching through a linear list of questions to find opportunities.

The shortfall with this linear approach is that it doesn’t allow you to tap into “wish list” items. In fact, I have found that businesses miss 80 percent of what’s really happening with an owner by taking this approach.

What’s the solution? I recommend that leaders have emotional conversations to understand the hidden business and political issues, and then identify how these issues connect with the business.

Dig Deeper to Identify Wish List Projects

In addition to having emotional conversations with owners, it’s important to understand the motivations, thinking, and ideologies of these additional groups of people:

  • Stakeholders
  • Staff
  • Customers
  • Competition

Additionally, you can uncover new scope opportunities and wish list projects by understanding how these groups of people connect to the business model.

– For example, a construction company owner says he wants to build a new 350,000 sq. ft. industrial facility for a certain customer. If you took a linear approach to digging for scope, you might stop right there at one project.

But, if you talked to staff members, had a follow-up emotional conversation with the owner, and dug deeper into the business model, you might discover that the owner actually wants to use this project as a springboard for international building projects. The mission is not just completing one largescale construction project for one customer, but global expansion to reach untapped markets with multiple projects that could produce significant revenue.

Suddenly, the scope of potential work is much broader and there are significantly more opportunities because you unlocked the hidden wish list item. The key is helping the owner navigate the business and political issues that act as a deterrent to wish list scope projects.

How Do You Move Scope Along?

It’s one thing to identify wish list projects and attach your company to the scope of work. It’s another thing to help move scope along to bring projects to completion.

During the Constructor Conference, I had great conversations with industry leaders who are strategizing methods to bring construction projects along at a faster rate.

This is important because scope creation and finding a way to move scope along has become an international challenge. And, as you would imagine with the global political climate, there is a significant international challenge to move past red tape and bureaucracy.

My answer is public-private financing and partnerships. The P3 movement has been going strong internationally for a long time, and now it’s sweeping across the United States. Companies that tap into public-private partnerships have a greater opportunity to hurdle political and business issues that previously would have prevented wish list projects from getting off the ground.

Financially, concession financing that involves financial players is a proven method to expedite the process of moving scope along. Investors are attracted to these types of projects because:

  • Long & predictable cash flow returns
  • Demand will always be there
  • Monopoly characteristics reduce risk

Work With Us to Identify Wish List Scope

When you engage differently with clients to understand the business and political issues tied to the company’s mission and vision, you can unlock those wish list projects that represent new revenue opportunities for your company.

We are available to help you make better connections in the construction industry to find these opportunities. We call it The Connection Process that leverages connections to create faster, more sustainable revenue.

Contact our team today to see how we can help you have more productive conversations to find wish list scope. Additionally, if you attended my presentation during the 2019 AIC Constructor Conference, contact me on LinkedIn for a follow-up discussion.


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