Delivering More Value to Industry

You may have seen the announcement letter and video heralding the upcoming Alliance amongst the Construction Industry Institute (CII), the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) and the Engineering and Construction Contracting (ECC) Association - if not, please see the reprint of our joint letter at www.curt.org/portal/knowledge-center and check out a video that showcases our plan at www.curt.org.

I'd like to add some personal remarks about why this Alliance matters to you and why I'm bullish about its potential to drive needed improvements in our capital projects industry.

First, some background. Twenty years ago, my wife Megan was part of the management group at Delta Air Lines that negotiated its global alliance called SkyTeam. Their vision was "to take you from anywhere to everywhere" - pretty catchy! The problem was, Delta knew that they couldn't do it by themselves and that they needed the diverse operational expertise of other airlines flying in different regions around the world. The negotiations to assemble the alliance were difficult, owing to different financial models, regulations, and ownership structures of Delta's partner airlines. Eventually, however, they got the alliance completed and it has been sucessful - for the airlines and their customers.

The lesson I learned from Delta was that any successful alliance must be based on trust - trust amongst the customers and management teams. Notably, the first person I reached out to when I became CII's Director in December 2015 was Greg Sizemore. While I didn't know back then what the future might hold, I knew that Greg and I shared the goal of helping our respective members to be more successful. In the years since, Greg has become a trusted ally and friend both to CII and to me, personally. Similarly, my relationships with ECC's Chairs and staff have also grown in the past several years. Today, my perception is that a good amount of trust exists amongst our collective members and leadership.

It's important to stress that the Alliance amongst CII, CURT and ECC is not a reaction to COVID-19 or any strained financial condition at any of the partners. Rather, the opposite is true - all three organizations are doing well and have experienced overall growth in recent years. In fact, CII has more than doubled its R&D program in the past five years, increasing by 147 percent. Like Delta, CII realized that we couldn't achieve everything that our members needed purely by ourselves. But, we might be able to put together an Alliance with our trusted colleagues at CURT and ECC to collectively provide the inventive content, products, and experiences that you need to have better and more predictable outcomes for every capital dollar that you spend.

What exactly do I believe this Alliance will do for you? Two words: access and diversity. Without at doubt, you will have unparalleled access to the state-of-the-art work practices, technologies, leadership development opportunities, and experiences. The Alliance could have nearly 300 organizations as members at its inception next year, providing a critical mass of, and access to, the thought leaders in every corner of our capital projects industry. The Alliance also rebalances the cost-volume equation in your favor. In a relative sense, we're able to leverage the precious human (volunteer) and financial (dues) resources that you provide to do even more for  you. As one example, the Alliance can use its scale to move a great idea from concept to reality in record itme and at reduced overall cost.

Which brings me to diversity and the value it brings to you. The multiple perspectives (i.e., geographic region, industry sector, amount and types of experience, age, gender, ethnic background - or any other perspective) that the Alliance can provide, will undoubtedly create more pathways and ideas to drive improvement in capital projects. For instance, one benefit of having CII based at the University of Texas is the access we have to a great diversity of thought about our industry and its role in society. Interfacing with the energetic and bright minds of people at a University continues to create immense value and breakthrough opportunities. I promise that your ability to engage in these conversations will be much better in the Alliance and that will increase your potential as a leader in our industry.

Even though we don't have all the details about the Alliance figured out yet, its promise and potential compels us to move forward. As we consider these details, I'm eager to hear your thougths regarding the Alliance and how it can best serve you and your needs. Above all, I continue to appreciate your support of CII and CURT. I'm confident that we're stronger together!


Date posted: November 17, 2020

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