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Time of opportunity

London

Recent weeks have seen a wave of commitments from the government.

When taken together it appears that its desire to reform the way infrastructure is delivered and therefore provide the necessary projects and plans for a modern economy is at the highest it has been for nearly a decade.

The details coming from the Infrastructure & Projects Authority and Department for Transport combine with the chancellor’s Budget announcements  to clearly set the stage for something transformational.

Autumn Budget announcements of £1.7bn for transforming cities funding, integrating housing and infrastructure needs; five departments signing up to a presumption in favour of offsite construction for future projects and the commitment of intent and funding of £170M to a Construction Sector Deal demonstrates we have been heard.

Our industry now has a great opportunity – an impetus – to redefine the future as well.

So where do we go from here? Ahead of us we have the ultimate quality-based procurement exercise to submit our tender on the future industry business model design. The question is, how will we change, and how can the government change to enable this.

As an industry we need to co-ordinate our thoughts into a single voice and a single movement. If we seek a more collaborative, value-based culture between clients and the supply chain we must collaborate clearly in designing the change programme. This is both our biggest risk and our biggest opportunity.

What will this brave new world look like? The Infrastructure Client Group work programme is the locus for this activity. Project 13 provides a blueprint for a future alliance model where we collaborate across suppliers, across sectors and with the owners of, and investors in, our infrastructure. This continues to be a work in progress and you still have time to help shape it. Join the community to feed in your expertise.

To succeed, we will need to become world class at collaborating across organisations. We must value and promote each other for our unique personal and professional qualities. A supply chain of allies – companies that amass individuals who specialise in a particular subject – that can build a brand off the back of that in the same way as Honda is known for reliability or Rolls Royce for luxury.

In short we should enable the ultimate asset delivery team and support each other to be the best, not compete with each other into mediocrity.

It is clear that whatever the finer details of the blueprint, the future of our industry is going to be unlocked through collaboration not competition. Success in this will be underpinned by communication skills and diversity. Organisations already rich in both will transition much more smoothly to the new model. But it is by working together that we will succeed.

The government is providing us with a golden opportunity. Through cooperation we can grasp it and deliver the infrastructure that this country needs for generations to come.

 

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