TOENJES Q: We want to improve the communication skills of our executives and some of our managers. I once heard about a large construction-management firm that took the unorthodox approach of hiring a theater company that offered communication-improvement services to business, in addition to the usual. That struck me as an innovative idea because it might be cost-effective. First, do you think something like that is a good way to save money or is it skimping? Beyond that, what is your assessment of executive communication skills? What ideas do you recommend to seek improvements? A: While the theatre certainly is
My contracting firm has generally resisted leasing construction equipment in the past. We always bought because times in recent years were good or average and we always knew we’d have the equipment we’d need for projects.
Learning about trends that will affect customers and finding new options that meet their needs is a good strategy for future success. TOENJES Q: I read about wind-farm construction in a recent article. I think they’ll do little to meet America’s energy needs, but I don’t want to be closed to new ideas. I am thinking about upgrading our skills to pursue opportunities in emerging markets, but don’t want to waste time on something that’s only a passing fad. Which emerging markets do you think will be strong in the years to come and why? A: You are right in
Q: I am a military vet. My father and grandfather served in wars. I want to help returning vets from Iraq, even if they are disabled. Are there any organizations training vets for jobs in construction? Is there anyone I can turn to who places vets in jobs? What can I personally do? I think they deserve more than a good word. I want to give them a good job. TOENJES A: A creative new program has been put in place in the last 24 months to help make the connection between the need for employment of returning veterans and
Computerized systems can help keep track of equipment location and use, prevent theft, and even track it if thieves manage to steal. TOENJES Q: We’ve walked onto construction sites in the early morning to see our equipment missing or vandalized by thieves who tried to steal it. I am aware of electronic devices that track equipment, we’ve put up cameras to monitor sites and I am even aware of a database of serial numbers, photographs and reported thefts of equipment. But it seems the thieves are always finding a way when they’re determined. (Why don’t they use that ingenuity on