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Make the most of infrastructure opportunities by embracing change

Graham Reid

Now that we are truly entrenched in 2015, I cannot help noticing a prevailing sense of change in the air.

The government’s commitment to investing in significant national infrastructure projects, giving a much needed boost to the economy, the upcoming General Election, the mergers that grabbed the headlines in 2014… Our industry and the world in which we operate is rapidly evolving.

For our businesses to succeed and to continue to positively contribute to our own development and that of wider society, we need to accept, embrace and make the most of the opportunities that come with these changes. As Charles Darwin, the forefather of evolution, said: “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”

The process is nothing new. Building on what we created in the past can lead to a better future. What we should learn from history is that collaboration triggers the cutting edge solutions that can tackle the challenges we face today.

In our own industry there are myriad forces at work testing the status quo. The increasing demand on our current infrastructure - energy, property, roads, rail, water - to allow for projected population growth is sparking innovation and creativity on the scale not seen since the Victorian era.

The skills shortage and war for talent are accelerating improvements in our workplace. Our focus on encouraging diversity in the science, technology, engineering and maths sectors, at school level through to the boardroom, is a significant positive step for our industry.

Advances in technology are transforming how we engage with each other, as well as when and where we work so that flexible working can now be the norm for the enlightened employers and employees. It has also been the catalyst to developing state of the art concepts and tools, such as building information modelling, that are compelling us to work collaboratively and in a more transparent manner with all delivery partners.

The mergers that took place in 2014 will no doubt continue to influence 2015 and beyond. I see this as a natural and positive evolution in the business cycle.

For example, Hyder’s merger with Arcadis brought together outstanding talent within two organisations, presenting more opportunities for all our people and greater services for our clients. Being true to ourvalues and applying them consistently will perpetuate the high performing culture that will lead to the continued growth, success and security which will benefit everyone.

Amid all this change, some things remain the same - whether you are a contractor, a consultant or a supplier, our aim is to deliver the best result for our clients. Working together in collaboration is one sure fire way to meet their needs, even in our changing world.

  • Graham Reid is Hyder UK managing director
  • Produced in association with Hyder

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