(978) 979-1223


Silver Lake Legal

Construction, Insurance & Business Attorney Boston

IPD/ Lean Construction Project Counsel Leadership Style

Construction teams are positioned on the frontier -leading the change in the way work gets done.  A capable Project Counsel can create the setting.

Presaging changes coming to construction, Bill Drayton the founder of Ashoka gave a Stanford Business School podcast Here is my summary of his talk.

On a team, there is not one person telling everyone else what to do.  On a team, everyone is a player; you can’t be on the team if you don’t get it.   Evoking and enhancing hybrid value systems – is a new critical leadership skill.  Modern leaders are supportive without taking over.

The old game was efficiency in repetition.  Assembly lines and law firms are examples.  Managers were choreographers of specialists.  People got stuck in the old system.  CADD eliminated repetition in architecture.   Repetitive functions are going out the window. 

Corporate strategists now recognize that when you see a wall there is a huge productivity breakthrough opportunity.  Now, instead of stable walls each piece changes constantly.  Collaborative entrepreneurship is on the rise, resulting in fluid, open teams of teams. Now teams are constantly rearranging.

The central skill, in creating the new hybrid productivity systems, is knowing how to pull people into working together and having relationships to access the best inputs. People who engage others to be joiners will win.  Everyone can be empowered to promote change.

Everyone needs to master a set of skills so they can be players, in the new environment working together in this fluid open way.  Young people will figure out this is the game, if you want to be powerful.

Education is one area where the collaborative style is being taught.  Successful schools have lots of clubs and groups, ad hoc teams to support causes or interests.

Young people hate being treated as the last colonized group in the world.  Their revulsion at being forced to obey is almost equal to the power of their hormonal instincts.  Rather than being told by the adult in charge, people need permission to see problems as opportunities.  You’ve got a problem you solve it. 

Empathy is a foundational skill. In the past, when a child encountered another who made them uncomfortable, they responded with aggression.  Mary Gordon created a program to bring infants (with their Moms) into class rooms of 1-3rd graders.  The baby wears a shirt that says Professor and the class is tasked with finding – What is the baby thinking? What was the baby feeling? Kids are being taught to grasp and practice cognitive empathy rather than instinctively marginalizing people.

The workplace rules are changing too, recognizing that people lacking empathy will disrupt the functioning of teams. 

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Charles W. Cobb

Attorney at Law


320 Nevada Street Ste 301,

Newton MA 02460




(978) 979-1223

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