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We were delighted to award Steve Green (MCIOB CQP MCQI MaPM) the Achiever of the Year award this year at The CE West Midlands Awards on the 1st June.

Steve works with the National Frameworks Team at Bowmer and Kirkland, with over 45 years in construction. Having worked for both International and Regional Contractors in Commercial, Design Management, Procurement and Business Improvement roles, Steve has a wealth of construction experience from a multitude of perspectives.

Steve’s journey with CE started in early 2002 whilst working at Thomas Vale Construction , where Tony Hyde was always a staunch supporter of CE and the collaborative working philosophy. TVC sponsored Steve’s diploma in collaboration and integration in construction, where Steve was awarded the CIOB certificate of excellence for the most outstanding performance on the course.

Steve initially represented TVC on the Herford and Worcester Constructing Excellence (HAWCE) committee where he remains an active member today. Then when Andrew Carpenter was brought in to revitalise CE Midlands, it was at the launch dinner in 2018 that Steve suggested that there was a need for a Quality and Compliance thought leadership group. This was driven by the findings of the earlier Edinburgh Schools Inquiry and the more recent Grenfell Tower tragedy. This was established the following year chaired by Steve and continued to until 2022, when it transitioned into the Building Safety Group to raise awareness and share best practice in support of the Building Safety Act. Recently, following his semiretirement Steve has handed the chair over to Richard Cymler of Ball & Berry

Alongside his CE commitments Steve sits on several working groups including the Technology and Error Metric groups for the Get It Right Initiatives (GIRI) and the Evaluating Quality group for CQI Consig. Having undertaken the GIRI Train the Trainer programme, he has a clear understanding of the root cause of error and where technology can help. Within CE Midlands Steve also authored their Guide to the Adoption of Digital Quality Tools in Construction, to help support those looking to adopt digital quality tools for the first time.

Steve is also one of the course tutors on the CE Midlands Diploma in Collaboration in Construction, delivering the Quality & Compliance module. Steve is passionate about connecting up the dots, both within and across businesses, to deliver a collaborative approach to quality to enhance the industries reputation and drive efficiencies

I was lucky enough to attend Digital Construction Week this year. It is a show that has grown in size and maturity since my last visit pre-covid, when I might have characterized it as a series of solutions looking for problems to solve.

Today it is a busy show of vendors offering exciting products to solve problems where the focus is on value and return on investment. A number of things struck me:

– The diversity of services offered and the recognition these had to provide value to the ultimate customer.

– The emphasis on collaboration and the recognition that working together will achieve much more much quicker.

– The number of women, both presenting and attending.

– Large companies championing innovative start-up companies who are working within their teams to help drive cultural change.

– An embedded and implicit recognition that technology must support a net-zero journey

– A focus on people, and not technology.

The is all good news as it provides all our businesses in the Midlands with opportunities to improve our client services, whether that is reducing project risk, providing broader services or increasing productivity. The challenge is that construction technology is moving so quickly that there is a very real danger that companies that do not invest, or seek to collaborate with those who are, may be left behind. The key is to understand the value you can provide, where it sits in your ultimate client’s value chain and how you can best enhance, broaden or deepen your value. From the evidence at Digital Construction Week, technology can and probably will play a huge role.

My final plea to members is to invest in Cyber Essentials Plus. Regardless of how big or small your business this is fast becoming an essential standard to achieve if you want a part in any construction supply chain. This is a Board issue and Boards must review the risks to their companies. Cyber Essential Plus will not make you invincible, but it will reduce the risk to you, your customers’ and your suppliers’ of a cyber-attack.

This month Martyn Jones challenges us to be “curiouser” and “curiouser”. To channel the relentless curiosity of our four-year-old selves – now often buried deep within us – to ask those never-ending “Why?” questions. And “How?”, “What?”, “When?”, “Where”, and “Who?” too.

To be curiouser and curiouser about why so many of us still stick to the traditional operating system and price competitive tendering? Why are we commissioning buildings now that will require retrofitting within ten years? Or, why in a recent LeadersMeets survey, we scored our level of trust at just 5/10.

We need to be more curious about the future of our cities and towns, and how we design and build them so that they are more liveable, quieter, safer, healthier, more friendly, walkable, bikeable, and greener. Curiouser and curiouser about the nature of the materials and processes we use to create the built environment. And about our strengths and the areas for change and improvement.

And more curious still about our future and the opportunities and challenges presented by the new Digital paradigm, and whether its effect on us will be more impactful and more beneficial than any of the previous five paradigm shifts.

Is there a business case for curiosity? Well, most of the breakthrough discoveries and remarkable inventions and innovations throughout history – from flints for starting a fire to self-driving cars – have something in common, they are the result of curiosity.

When our curiosity is triggered, we think more deeply and rationally about decisions and come up with more-creative solutions. It helps us to read and adapt to uncertain market and wider conditions and seek out opportunities.

And some observers reckon it leads to more learning and hence more innovative, more adaptable, and higher-performing organisations. With heightened curiosity organisations are more likely to perform better as they share information more openly and listen more carefully. They can work together more effectively and seamlessly, conflicts are more creative than heated, leading to better results.

Curiosity encourages us to put ourselves in other peoples’ shoes and take an interest in the ideas of others rather than focus only on our own perspectives. The empathy generated, which is closely related to curiosity, inspires more-trusting relationships, integration, and collaboration.

And here’s another benefit: Curiosity generates alternatives and we are less likely to fall prey both to confirmation bias (looking for information that supports our beliefs rather than for evidence suggesting we are wrong), and the stereotyping of people and roles.

How then can we become more curious? First, by stopping crushing curiosity and actively shift to promoting it. Here are some suggested strategies that we can deploy.

We can hire for curiosity by recruiting “T-shaped” people: People, of course, with the deep skills that allow them to contribute to the creative process (the vertical stroke of the T) but also with a predisposition for collaboration across disciplines, a quality requiring empathy and curiosity (the horizontal stroke of the T).

Clients and their advisors can take a wider more innovative industry perspective by appointing more curious consultants, main and specialist contractors and suppliers. And leaders across our supply chains can model curiosity by being inquisitive themselves and by approaching issues with curiosity rather than expediency, habit, or tradition.

We can emphasize the importance of learning (developing competence, acquiring skills, changing behaviours, mastering new situations, and so on) by framing work around them rather than direct performance goals (such as focusing on lowest price and blaming others).

We can encourage people to explore and broaden their interests and foster their curiosity: Giving time and resources to tackling head on the reluctance of some leaders to invest in employee learning for fear that they will jump ship to a competitor taking their expensively acquired knowledge and skills with them.

And how about having “Why?” “What if…?” and “How might we…?” days at pivotal points in the design of buildings and production planning? Presenting opportunities. Including time, to ask “Why is this so?” to get to the heart of issues.

In most organisations, project teams and supply chains, we often receive the implicit message that asking such questions is an unwanted challenge to convention and authority, adding risk to already risky construction projects, and in doing so giving credence to the proverb that “curiosity killed the cat”.

Of course, there can be dangers in unnecessary investigation and experimentation, but maintaining a sense of curiosity is crucial to the fresh thinking and creativity that we now need, and the most effective leaders look for ways to nurture curiosity to unlock discovery, learning, and innovation.

The latest LeadersMeets survey of behaviours around collaboration in construction shows that our level of trust was rated no better than 5/10. So, this month Martyn Jones asks us to ponder whether a community-based approach is an effective way for us to build more trust.

The proponents of community-based approaches argue that we are social animals who function more effectively within a social system that is larger than ourselves and which binds us together for the greater good.

It means caring about our work, our colleagues, those we serve, the quality of our products and services, our partners, and our place in the world – geographic and otherwise. And in turn being inspired by this caring.

A community can be created where talented people are loyal to one another and their collective work, where everyone feels that they are part of something extraordinary, and their passion and accomplishments make their community a magnet for talented people. Surely something to bear in mind given construction’s inability to attract enough talented people.

So, what’s “communityship” then? Management guru Henry Mintzberg defines it as combining community with leadership. He sees it as occupying a pivotal position between individual leadership on the one hand and collective ‘citizenship’ on the other.

He goes on to explain that communityship needs leadership, but not the egocentric, heroic, exploitive form that has become so prevalent in the business world. It requires a more diffident form of leadership that might be called engaged and distributed leadership, exercised by committed community leaders, who are personally engaged in order to engage others in exercising their initiative.

Mintzberg considers Kotter’s top-down, eight steps for transformational change to be inappropriate in this approach and rejects the notion that organisations should be rebuilt from the top down or even the bottom up. Rather, community-oriented leaders need to see themselves as being in the

centre, reaching out rather than down. Being facilitators of change and recognizing that much of the change must be driven by others as they determine for themselves what transformation is needed.

How do we start rebuilding trust in construction using a community approach? How do we get from organisations as collections of human resources to communities of human beings? How do we transition from heroic leadership to engaged and connected management?

First, stop the practices that have undermined the trust of our clients and suppliers, and also our trust in each other. Only by acknowledging the causes of our measly 5/10 score for trust can we fix the problem. It means shedding much of their individualist behaviour and many of our short-term, self-serving practices in favour of those that promote engagement, collaboration, and trust.

As this needs to be developed from the middle out it is probably best undertaken by small groups of committed managers as they can be more effective than overbearing leadership or individual training in creating strong communities.

The greater sense of community can take root as the managers in these groups reflect on their shared experiences in their organisation. Using purpose and values they can ‘think beyond where we are now’, finding the time and space for reflection and contemplation on what is best for the end users of our products and services, commissioning clients, suppliers, and the wider communities we serve.

The insights generated by these reflections can trigger small initiatives that may develop into big strategies. In this approach, our organisations can learn their way into a new culture with more gratifying strategies based on the small ventures that emerge from the initiatives.

As these pioneering teams seek out and shape the transformations that they think are needed, they become examples for other groups in spreading communityship. With the encouragement and support of senior leadership, such approaches can become contagious, particularly when it is realised just how much more our organisations can gain from constructive engagement with the communities we serve.

A key indicator of progress to communityship is when the members of our organisations reach out in socially active, responsible, and mutually beneficial ways taking their culture and obligations beyond their boundaries – in our case, out into project teams, supply chains, and the wider environment.

And given the role of the built environment in adding social and economic value, we have immense opportunities to build communities and exercise communityship.

For example, our more enlightened clients – particularly those that are close to the long-term needs of the communities they serve – already recognise the importance of building a sense of belonging and community in their development projects. Not only within the community of end users and other stakeholders, but also embracing their external design and construction teams.

Our more enlightened main contractors already view their key suppliers as part of their community too recognising that longer-term, mutually beneficial relationships lead to connection and empathy, factors that create the conditions for positive and lasting project outcomes for all.

Communityship can offer construction a way to build communities and rebuild trust based on an intelligent combination of leadership, communityship and citizenship. As Mintzberg argues, what we need is a balance with these forces working together in a socially responsible way.

Applications for Round 14 of the Co2nstructZero Business Champion programme are now open.

More information on the Co2nstructZero programme and priorities can be found on this link here.

In Round 13 they received a record number of applicants, this is really refreshing, and is a key example of the amazing work, happening across the industry to become Net Zero.

Complete the Business Champions interview form and submit it to by COP 17 April. The programme welcome’s applications from across the sector and strongly encourages SME’s to apply.

Please note:

Questions within the application form relating to the Co2nstructZero Nine priorities, answers should demonstrate which of the nine priorities a company is achieving or working towards and should include what they are doing and how this links in with newly introduced or existing net zero activity within the company.

Section one includes a set of questions for the Business Leader and Section two is a set of questions for the Emerging Leader (a young professional employee between 20-35 years old)

We are really looking forward to receiving Round 14 applications and reading more about the fantastic net zero work happening across the sector. We aim to get application outcomes announced around the end of May, once assessments have been completed by the CLC Programme board and CZ programme leads.

This month Martyn Jones looks at our shapes as individuals and organisations and asks if we are in the right shape.

Many of us in construction have deep specializations in one domain, but rarely contribute outside of that domain or comfort zone. And that’s fine as we need the input of the very best specialist knowledge at each stage of the design, manufacture, construct, operate and recycle stages of the building lifecycle.

Such people are known as ‘I-shaped people’, since like the letter ‘I’, they have depth of knowledge and understanding (the leg of the I), but not much breadth.

By contrast ‘T-shaped people’ supplement their expertise in one area (the vertical leg of the T) with valuable but less-developed skills in associated areas, the horizontal arms of the T.

As an example, a person who can contribute to the development of other parts of a construction project outside their specialism is a T-shaped person. For example, a construction manager contributing to design. T-shaped people tend to be more collaborative by nature and hence drawn to organisations such as Constructing Excellence with our ethos of learning, collaboration, and customer focus.

In the post-Egan era, people in construction still need a defined, recognized specialization and primary role, but also the skills, versatility, and aptitude for collaboration to help other people where necessary when working in construction project teams.

Both types of people are essential within construction organisations, project teams and their supply chains. But the perceived wisdom is that when we commit to being T-shaped, we get the benefits of specialization and generalization, while avoiding the pitfalls of being only a specialist or generalist. We can foster the diverse connections, interactions and conversations that can result in new, exceptional construction project ideas and outcomes.

Here are just a few benefits of becoming T shaped.

T-shaped people by nature are better at collaborating with other people because they have a broad range of knowledge and can communicate and interact meaningfully with specialists in different fields. This makes the whole idea of creativity through collaboration much more feasible and rewarding.

People still retain the satisfaction of depth in the leg of the T by also getting to experience the gratification that comes from diving deep in one subject area and being able to bring more expertise and specialist knowledge in that area to the table in the horizontal arms of the T.

People become more creative. There is a classic idea in the arts and in business that the greatest ideas happen at the intersection or interfaces between disciplines and indeed industries. When people have a broad base of knowledge, they build immunity to the ‘paradox of expertise’ where advanced knowledge and success in one field can cloud one’s ability to see new patterns, prospects and possibilities.

People stay more engaged and interested. When people focus on just one area, no matter how fascinating, they can become stale. Variety is key to keeping minds engaged with other areas of challenge and interest outside their specialty.

T-shaped people are more attractive to employers. This happens for two reasons. The first is that they have standout resumes compared to those who only focus on their specialism and never branch out. Second, being a T-shaped person just makes you more interesting.

But is being T-shaped now enough? More than ever, we need effective coaches and leaders to help us respond to the opportunities and challenges posed by the new Digital paradigm. This is expressed in yet another shape – the ‘X-shape’. This is typically called the ‘executive’ skill shape since senior leaders often possess it.

Yes, of course, people with X-shaped skills have deep expertise in a core knowledge area, as depicted in one arm of the X, but also strong leadership skills, credibility and standing as represented in the other. They can formulate strategies and execute them. They aren’t just practitioners, they are effective coaches, managers, delegators, and leaders. This skill shape recognises the ability of an individual to set strategy, lead people, and motivate and coach a team alongside their specialist skills.

How to become X-shaped?

Engaging with Constructing Excellence would be a great way to start as membership provides the opportunity to learn alongside those in other disciplines and leadership roles right across the development process. Through this interaction you get a better understanding of what their work involves and identify opportunities for creativity at their interfaces between the specialisms.


Find time to attend conferences and engage with LeadersMeets and other opportunities for learning to develop your knowledge and skills in as many ways as possible to enhance your abilities and knowledge.


Work on soft skills: Look at areas such as communication and take opportunities to make presentations to your colleagues, and members of your project teams and supply chains but also to the wider construction community. Again, this is where Constructing Excellence and LeadersMeets can help by providing opportunities for you to present and test your thought leadership ideas.


Identify gaps: Don’t’ just focus on the stuff you understand and are comfortable with. Look to expand your current expertise and experience, starting with clearly identifying where you need to gain additional knowledge and expertise.


Work on projects that are different from what you normally do to again widen your experience,


Make an impact: Use what you learn to make a difference in the teams you work in so that your ideas and abilities get noticed.

The next Diploma session is on 2nd May. Students that sign up now will be able to catch up on the April module.

Find all the details HERE

Watch this video now with Steve Green, who discusses the Quality and Compliance section of the course


The Inspiring Change Conference & Awards promote Fairness, Inclusion and Respect by highlighting inclusive workplace culture and showcasing best practice by organisations across the UK construction and built environment sector.

The 2023 Conference will bring together a range of inspirational speakers from diverse backgrounds and workplaces to share their expertise.

To be held on 27th June 2023 | No 11 Cavendish Square, London

Find out more HERE

Award Nominations


The Inspiring Change Awards recognise and celebrate organisations and individuals within the built environment sector that have created more inclusive cultures through activities to support workplaces, education of the current and future workforce, and the community.

Closing date for entry is Friday, 5th May 2023. Please email completed entry forms to

Find out about awards for inspiring organisations, projects and individuals HERE.


GUESTS from across the Midlands construction industry will help to raise vital funds for a children’s cancer charity as they attend upcoming awards ceremonies hosted by Constructing Excellence Midlands. The organisation has partnered with Children with Cancer UK – one of the leading childhood cancer charities in the UK – ahead of its upcoming East and West Midlands events which will celebrate the very best of the construction industry within the regions.

The events, which will take place in Birmingham on 1 June then in Nottingham on 26 June, will provide an important fundraising opportunity for the charity, which funds much-needed research and provides support for families living with childhood cancers. Andrew Carpenter, chief executive of Constructing Excellence Midlands, said: “As an organisation we promote best practice within the construction industry and an important part of that is delivering social value through the work that we do. In partnering with Children with Cancer UK for our awards events, hopefully we can support them in raising some all-important funds as well as spreading awareness of the amazing things they do.

“The awards themselves are an amazing opportunity to celebrate those people and organisations doing great things within the industry and we are looking forward to celebrating that at the events.”

Founded in 1988 by the O’Gorman family, who lost two children to cancer, Children with Cancer UK has huge ambitions not only to raise their profile but also to maximise fundraising capacity in what is their 35th anniversary year.

Jo Elvin, CEO at Children with Cancer UK, added: “The charity plays a vital role in funding ground-breaking research into understanding – and ultimately conquering – childhood cancers. With 10 children a day currently facing that bleak diagnosis, the charity is committed to realising a world where every child survives cancer. We’re delighted that Constructing Excellence has chosen to support us at their Midlands events and look forward to sharing our story with guests.”

Constructing Excellence Midlands promotes best practice and collaboration across the Midlands construction industry. Entries are now open for both the East and West Midlands awards and sponsorship opportunities are available.

Nikita Badesha is chair of Constructing Excellence Midlands’ G4C group, a self-funded networking and events organisation for young professionals aged 35 and below working in the construction industry. She is also a project manager at Rider Levett Bucknall.

“I was brought in as the first chair in 2020, helping to grow the group from the ground up into an established networking organisation for young professionals, mostly operating in Birmingham in tandem with the growth of Constructing Excellence Midlands. As we’ve gained traction, we now average between 30 and 40 young people at our free events, of which places tend to be snapped up within a week.

“There are huge benefits to being a part of G4C – not just for the young people involved but also the carryover effect this has to businesses looking to professionally develop the emerging talent in their teams and grow their network within Constructing Excellence Midlands.

“The G4C committee consists of nine young professionals in construction from an array of companies operating across different disciplines in supply chains. In my role as chair, I help to set up events on a rolling basis, with our staple monthly sponsored breakfast networking sessions a massive hit on the first Thursday of each month.

“In addition to these, we host regular CPD sessions, featuring industry speakers who have been well received at breakfast sessions. We alternate between technical and soft skills discussions, having previously discussed topics such as changes to housing association regulations, sustainability, change management, as well as how to improve LinkedIn skills.

“As a project manager by trade, I don’t have an entirely technical understanding, so I’ve found it particularly rewarding to learn more about smart buildings and their key considerations. Likewise, engineers in the group may have not been familiar with how to negotiate, but our sessions have provided them with this knowledge to fall back on.

“Attendees have reported that these events give them a great appreciation of the different organisations that work in the industry and that they often find themselves transferring learnings back into their day-to-day work – and feel more confident to question things and be actively involved in project discussions.

“We always have time before and after events for networking time to get to know our peers better and collectively have discussions on the state of the construction industry. We also hold social events which equally attract great interest, with our Summer and Christmas socials always highly enjoyable affairs. A lot of young professionals who come to our events have become good friends and go to other CPD and networking events together.

“We have exciting plans for G4C Midlands. We will be launching a podcast to increase reach for those who can’t come to events and to help build our credibility so that companies understand the value we can create for their teams.

“Personally I’m proud to have helped grow CE Midlands. I’ve been able to put the skills learnt from my business degree to good use in the management and operations of the group. By being actively involved in the G4C, it has helped to put my name out there in industry, with many people at events recognising my involvement with the organisation.

“CE Midlands has also been incredibly supportive in giving me not only this responsibility but the platform to amplify my MSc dissertation on Gender Diversity in Construction, from the

back of which I’m keen to continue playing my part towards helping to break the concrete ceiling.

“I’m excited to help G4C grow further across the Midlands and put on more informative and exciting events for the benefit of young professionals starting their careers in construction.”

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