Nick Leach, Sir Robert McAlpine’s Strategic BIM Manager shares his career advice
Nick has over 20 years’ experience working in the Construction industry and been involved in Building Information Modeling (BIM) technologies in the UK AEC industry for past 10 years.
He has been part of the British Standard Institute (BSI) business certification shaping work groups and various other industry BIM initiatives such as UK BIM Alliance Data requirements working group, Build UK BIM working group and Innovate UK PIF forum to name a few. Here are Nick’s top 5 career tips:
TIP 1: BREAKING BARRIERS
To make a difference, be proactive. Don’t be afraid to approach people in your organisation at all levels or engage with those externally, be that clients or your supply chain. Don’t wait to be spoken to. Strike up those conversations around how digital methods/techniques can benefit them. Take the initiative!
TIP 2: SIMPLIFY YOUR LANGUAGE
Key to getting your message across is to ensure the point you are making is in a language that is best for the recipient to understand. Using acronyms, abbreviations and very technical references can switch off the person or audience you are talking to – even if the content of what your saying is transformational. The ability to converse face to face is still far more powerful than through mediums such as email.
TIP 3: PERSISTENCE
Don’t let the nay-sayers dent your confidence. Look for the people and functions that are willing to work differently and are open to change – these need to be the wins you look for in the first instance. Look for ways to help them help you deliver the message. To see a change in traction, buy-in needs to be from top down and bottom up. By bringing the general masses on board you will build the momentum and impact needed to move an organisation forward. This makes it uncomfortable for the non-believers to not get on board.
TIP 4: SELF IMPROVEMENT
Keep up to speed with global developments around the digital agenda. Don’t be the person waiting to be updated by someone in your organisation. Keep ahead by attending industry events, workshops, networking and utilising social media. Find ways you can bring benefit to a team/project and, with the plethora of digital tools available, up-skill yourself. Always look for new opportunities to gain new skill sets to improve the way your business works.
TIP 5: WIDER KNOWLEDGE BASE
Whenever I recruit, I look for people with a wider knowledge base outside of BIM digital practices. A person with experience on site or even coming from a different role background can bring additional benefits to the team. I encourage all new recruits to invest time in understanding how other roles/functions work . I recommend this if you want to engage others when you want to drive the adoption of digital methods.