Ready for Build Me Up?
By Tom Emison, Strategy and Innovation Advocate, KA
Around here at KA, we get to thinking sometimes. Some of those sometimes we hit upon a brilliant new idea of staggering genius.
This is not one of those.
No, this blog is just a good idea; a bit overdue probably. I’m your author, Tom Emison, Strategy and Innovation Advocate here at KA. Welcome to our monthly blog about innovation, or as we call it KA Ingenuity (more on the difference between those two later). Each month, we will build you up with stories, examples, and tips to sharpen your ingenuity edge and spark a little something inside ya’. Other innovators from KA will co-author blogs, too. Our audience is any innovator in the architecture, engineering, construction, and real estate marketplace. An organization named Built Worlds has a good description of the Built Marketplace here.
The Built Marketplace is a gigantic part of the US economy. Some estimates are about 13%, or about $2.6 trillion/year in 2019. This includes anyone involved in real estate development, property management, asset management, architecture, engineering, construction, and subcontracting. It also includes all of the suppliers of products and services to the Built Marketplace, including risk management and insurance companies, tech businesses, and so on. If you work or play anywhere in that big space, our content is going to inform, challenge, and inspire you.
We will address innovations we see on topics like multi-generational talent management in the Built Marketplace. And BIM. And pre-construction ingenuity. And cybersecurity. And field superstars. And Lean. And strategic risk management. And trends toward modularization, prefabrication. And… you get the idea. Relevant to you – that’s what we’re after.
We will keep it non-theoretical. You’ll learn about these topics from me, other KA innovators, and our business partners. We’ll cover topics with practical advice, real examples, and we’ll do so at a quick tempo. Straight talk seems in order, fair enough? I will not be the only author, since ingenuity runs deep at KA and in our industry. You’ll learn from others here, out there, and we will keep it real.
Our industry is not only big, it’s complex and really hard work. We could all use a little inspiration somedays, don’t you think? So, you can expect that our examples, advice, and stories will ignite ingenuity in you. Can you feel that fire glowing inside? Yes! That’s the fire KA can kindle! Build Me Up! is for you.
Ingenuity – Sort of Like Innovation
Buzzwords, jargon, and clichés – not our deal at KA. So, do not expect to read about corporate innovation in the traditional way. To us, a better word to describe our approach is ingenuity – that uncanny, resourceful, and repeated knack we have in our industry to innovate in very practical ways. You’ll learn more about our Ingenuity Philosophy at KA and how that happens daily in our real estate portfolio, on construction sites across the Upper Midwest, and in Kraus-Anderson Insurance Agency.
Bonus – Podcasts
Two weeks after each blog, we’ll deliver a podcast on the same topic. We’ll include interviews with key KA personnel and business partners. We’ll add more color commentary. Perfect for a quick commute, over a snack at your desk, or in the job trailer. They’ll run 5-15 minutes.
Why Now? Why KA?
Two good questions. Why now? Because the Built Marketplace is undergoing a revolution. At times, there is near hysteria out there on topics related to innovation. A lot of talk about disruption, breakthrough innovation, game changing, and so on. Most of it is frankly noise and industry buzz. But, some of it is just ingenious. KA is at the close following edge to these innovations. To us, innovation is not about reinventing the entire $2.6 trillion Built Marketplace. It’s about practical – applied – Midwestern ingenuity that benefits our clients, our business partners, and positions KA for the long haul. Call us rationale and sensible, not idealists. So, the answer to “Why Now?” is because we think it’s time for straight talk on innovation.
As for “Why KA?” we admit to being a little modest. Our heritage is not to boast. So, we are not claiming to have all the answers. A lot of what we learn and then put into practice here we get from our many business partners and from taking the occasional risk on a new, great idea. We like framing the questions and driving collaborative solutions. It’s in our culture here to ask good questions. We look forward to building you up because we care about you and our industry. That’s “Why KA?”
- April – Pre-Construction Ingenuity
- May – Celebrating Field Aces
- June – The Rise of the Construction Technologist
- Multigenerational Innovation in the Built Marketplace
- The Accountability Junkie
- The Lean-To; or Lean 2; or Lean, Too
We are also open to your thoughts and requests. Got a topic you want us to cover? Let us know and we’re on it! That’s all for now. Submit your requests. Give us topics. We think this blog is a good idea – a bit overdue!