By Mark Rounds, VP of Corporate Development
When I first started my civil engineering education in 1978, (I know I am dating myself) I had a required reading from a paper written in 1969 that contained the following story:
Three workmen were cutting stone for a structure and gave different answers to an inquiry as to what they were doing. One stated he was working for $4 an hour; one said he was shaping a rock; the other stated he was building a Cathedral to his God. Which do you think was doing the best job and which was the happy man?
(Ellis Armstrong, Civil Engineering – The Ideal Profession)
This story has stuck with me through the years. People are best motivated by themselves. And the best motivation is through accomplishing a greater purpose.
Yet, in construction, many craft workers are like the first or second workmen in the story: They show up to draw a paycheck or put work in place as directed by the superintendent.
At Vogel Bros., we are committed to exceeding our customer’s expectations. Our goal is to be our customer’s champion. To accomplish this goal, we need to do more than what is shown on the plans and specifications. We strive to understand the client’s dreams, desires, and wishes when we plan our construction projects. When we ask “What will define a successful project?” we are seeking a response that is more than just the basic answer of “on-time, under-budget and good quality.” We aim to understand in detail how the client will use the facility and what the ideal outcome is. Not only do we seek to understand the purpose, but to understand the owner’s ultimate vision as well. Understanding the vision gives our team a contextual foundation to make better decisions and provides a purpose that goes beyond schedule, cost and quality.
But we don’t stop there. Our goal is to transfer the client’s vision to the front-line craft workers. It is evident in the story that if the craft workers understand why they are building the facility, they will be intrinsically motivated to do great work. The result is a better building process that exceeds the customer’s expectations.
We have given the name VISIONEERING to this process. Our Visioneers excel at seeking to understand the client’s dreams and desires, and translating that information to all the construction participants, including our subcontractors and vendors. It is far more than building to plans and specifications; it is building for a higher purpose. This allows our entire team to understand not just what we are building, but why it is being built.