** As published in Construction Executive

What is your strategy for human capital? At some point the conversation always comes back to people. Do you have the right people? Are they in the right roles? Are they energized to be efficient and profitable? Of course, many people will agree and in the next breath say that people are essential; but too simplistic. There are other factors to running and growing a business.

** As published on AESC Bluesteps

You’ve seen these types in the workplace, right? Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey) from the movie Horrible Bosses. Katharine Parker (Sigourney Weaver) in the film Working Girl. Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) from the movie Wall Street. Some executives make Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole) from Office Space and Michael Scott (Steve Carell) from The Office look like a blessing. Examples from movie and television aside, we have all witnessed some form of destructive leadership. How do you identify early warning signs? And is there a remedy?

Identifying and understanding the various factors that influence culture is the first phase of revitalizing or reshaping it within an organization. Why do we need change? What are the success factors? What are reasonable expectations? What are the common pitfalls?

In the spring of 2016, TRANSEARCH hosted a 15-person roundtable for local Human Resource executives in Chicago.

** As published on AESC Bluesteps

Succession planning. We think about it all the time, right? No? Never? Unfortunately, that’s the reality in many businesses – particularly smaller or family-owned companies.

According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), “Succession planning is a means for an organization to ensure its continued effective performance through leadership continuity. For an organization to plan for the replacement of key leaders, potential leaders must first be identified and prepared to take on those roles.”

**As published in Electric Light & Power

When we step back and review companies in the power sector, at first it’s difficult to come up with a concrete list of success strategies that broadly apply to all players. After all, what do investor-owned utilities, independent power companies, and capital providers (funds, banks) in this sector truly have in common other than their focus on energy.

**As published in Construction Today

In many ways, construction companies should select from the pool of talent within their organizations. When promoting an internal leader, the individual knows the work rules, he or she intuitively understands the culture and is a walking source of institutional knowledge. The internal candidate understands the hot button safety issues, the personality quirks of the team and the organizational discomfort with specific policies unique to a construction company. In essence, the internal leader is a known quantity. He or she has a well-defined cost, and possibly modest expectations for increased compensation due to the impending promotion. Certainly, the morale of others may rise as evidence of promotions becomes suddenly real. At least that’s the ideal.

**As published in IndustryWeek

Does the traditional, conservative, “me-too” approach of many manufacturers hold them back? What sort of incremental changes could a traditional manufacturer implement to foster a more progressive culture?

Manufacturing as an industry has seen tremendous change over recent decades, both in the U.S. and abroad. No longer as heavily reliant on manual labor, manufacturing shops are more highly automated, and many organizations have focused on lean, six sigma, and continuous improvement initiatives. Culturally, manufacturing has seen change as well, though the degree varies from organization to organization. What IS the traditional, stereotypical culture of manufacturing? 

**As published in Construction Executive

People who design and construct things are a different breed. There is no factory, no store, and they often work out in the open and all kinds of weather. Cutting corners in construction entails risk. Misjudging one task could mean threatening the safety of people or the integrity of the project. Success hinges on the decisions and actions of the team and each team requires leadership.