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On the 22nd September we had great pleasure in commencing our first Diploma in Collaborative Working in Construction.

Following a year in the making we have brought together 13 candidates from the industry ranging from principal contractors, Procurement Frameworks, Clients & Consultants on a journey that will have them explore and learn all things collaborative from Leadership & Team Management, Lean and Continuous Improvement, the Value Toolkit and Construction Playbook through to Design for the Environment and Collaborative Forms of Contract.

To spend the first module with a group of industry representatives who are enthusiastic, passionate and committed to driving change through the sector was encouraging, welcome and a real honor.

It has to start somewhere and learning the theory, skills and tools from industry experts is not a bad place so, if you would like to enquire about further programme’s of this diploma, please do not hesitate to contact us

See the full brochure for our Diploma HERE

Marc Preite – NTU

We all know the saying, “Nothing changes if nothing changes”. And if nothing changes, we remain the same. We don’t address failures of the past or exploit the opportunities of the future.  We don’t grow. We don’t progress. We don’t get better.

As we note in our guide Outcome-led procurement: A common sense approach to construction procurement,  Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”.

Innovation, which breaks that repetitive and to many a largely unsatisfying cycle, is the focus of Martyn Jones’ Thought for the Month.

What is it?  We talk a lot about it and the term innovation is thrown about widely and promiscuously.  The most common and widely accepted definition is the application of new ideas.

But this is not sufficiently nuanced to be particularly helpful in understanding and managing innovation generally or in the context and culture of construction.  Let’s explore some important elements of innovation.

The first, is that it’s important!  It’s the essential means by which organisations – and indeed whole industries such as construction – change, survive and thrive.

Innovation is both an outcome and a process.  The innovative outcomes that have received the most attention in the past have been improved products, followed by improved processes and trailing some distance behind these, services.

These all remain important but innovation is also to be found in new markets, new ways of organising and operating, and new ways of fashioning the means to add value in business propositions and models.

We also need to be aware of the nature and dynamics of innovation and the myriad of contextual factors that shape innovation choices, including historical, social, economic, cultural, political, technological and legal.

A combination of both demand and supply is seen as a determinant of successful innovation.

Innovation is a multi-factor process depending on collaborative intra- and inter-organisational relationships.

Innovations cluster together to create new technological-economic-social paradigms

There is a significant spatial or geographical dimension to innovation with links between innovation and regional support and learning.

These elements shape the strategies and practices decision-makers use to decide what innovations to pursue, develop, implement and sustain in order to add value to their endeavours – which might include better economic performance, corporate and supply chain competitiveness and productivity, environmental sustainability, and in our case the quality of the built environment and the wellbeing of users.

And there’s the scope of innovations to consider too.  At the incremental end of the spectrum innovations occur in established markets, technologies, and ways of doing things that are close to existing practices.

At the other end of the spectrum, radical innovations involve breakthroughs in markets, technologies and ways of doing things very different from current practices. They are rare, largely unknowable but highly consequential.

Between these two levels on the innovation spectrum is the fertile ground that promises many substantial innovations that build on existing products, practices and technologies, but extends them and diversifies them into new ventures and areas.

But our innovative ambitions need to be tempered by the matter too of the risks, costs, uncertainties and timescales associated with innovation, the extent of which will depend upon the ambition and amplitude of the innovation.

Another consideration for the fervent  innovator: The best returns on their innovation may not actually be accrued by them for their risky endeavours but by those who emulate, copy and follow them.

Another difficulty facing the innovator is that decision-making necessary for innovation will often conflict with the deeply embedded financial objectives, routines and incentives found in and between most organisations including those in construction’s organisations, project teams and supply chains.  Innovation requires collaboration across those professional and organisational boundaries, and routines with a tolerance of possible failure that most of construction clients and suppliers find difficult to accept.

All of these factors need to be taken into account in deciding what innovation to pursue and how to lead and manage the innovation process.

Despite all these challenges, innovation can be highly stimulating and rewarding for those involved.  And it is desperately needed too, particularly in dealing with the current climate crisis and other pressing issues associated with the emerging paradigm.

And, encouragingly for those daunted by the prospect of innovation, most innovations spring from the body of materials, experiments, ideas developed in previous innovative efforts so that most innovation involves new combinations of existing elements, bodies of knowledge or technology,

Given the immense challenges we now face in the built environment we need to shift from doing everyday things better (although recent events revealing construction’s difficulties with compliance show there’s considerable scope for that too) to those intermediate levels of innovation that through significant changes in resources and capabilities can add new solutions to existing problems.

But how do we go about manging innovation? That will be the focus of my next Thought for the Month.

Article by Martyn Jones

Construction Leadership Council announces competition for young industry professionals as it accelerates the sector’s drive to Net Zero The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) is today announcing a new Dragon’s Den competition targeted at young industry professionals, accelerating the drive to net zero.

The competition aims to:

• bring forward practical ideas which are almost ready for implementation on sites/in factories, and suitable for wider industry adoption;

• capitalise on the collective political, industry and societal demand to reduce our emissions levels; and to,

• harness the power and voice of young professionals already working in the sector, providing support to accelerate their practical ideas to implementation.

Short-listed applicants will present their ideas to the Construct Zero Dragon’s Den for debate and discussion, with the winner receiving a range of prizes including a £1,000 cash award (donated by the Builders Merchants Federation). This is an exciting opportunity for young industry professionals to pitch existing ideas to the heart of Government. Further details including how to apply can be found here.

The CLC’s sector leadership role and its Construct Zero programme is today recognised by the United Nations Climate Champions Team’s announcement of the CLC becoming a Race to Zero Accelerator. This marks a key step in our journey, providing a platform to build on existing UK and global engagement across Government and with industry partners.

Through the Construct Zero industry-change programme, the Construction Leadership Council has accepted the challenge of decarbonising the industry, bringing the sector together to deliver tangible actions and sustainable change across the construction supply chain. It’s change programme will: i) measure the sector’s performance; ii) share knowledge and best practice between businesses and; iii) engage firms and communicate the sector’s role in reducing carbon emissions.

Sector’s Performance

CLC has committed to holding the sector to account on progress through quarterly updates on its Performance Framework, with the first update due for publication in late October, prior to COP.

Knowledge and Best Practice

Construct Zero has led in bringing together businesses across the whole construction supply chain, through its Business Champion programme, ranging from SMEs e.g. Adair and Peak Construction, operating locally, to large scale companies, delivering major international infrastructure projects, e.g. Saint-Gobain, Costain and Multiplex.

We are also seeking to share knowledge globally- our joint event with Mace at New York Climate Week, will bring together major clients, contractors and consultants from across the US and UK to showcase the best of Anglo-American collaboration; exploring success stories where joint UK/US expertise is helping to address the huge climate impacts of the built environment across the globe; and form the first step on the road towards better trade links and net zero knowledge sharing to reach a brighter future.

Communications and wider engagement

Construction is one key element of a wider, complex business eco-system. That’s why we are working with key partners, including EDF Energy and CBI, to reach beyond our sector, ensuring our aims, message and approach reach a much wider audience. Construct Zero is committed to this challenge, and will be presenting at key events in the run-up to COP, as well as providing specific practical advice for construction SMEs on reducing emissions, which will be published shortly on the Business Climate Hub.

The call to do more and take steps to reduce our emissions is an immediate one, to ensure we leave a sustainable impact that will live long beyond our immediate future generations. Construct Zero is engaging directly with young industry professionals, drawn from our Business Champion programme, who are already playing a key role in meeting this challenge this head-on. We are delighted they are hosting an event on 23 September to discuss and debate the key issues as part of the Italian Government’s series of virtual summits in the run-up to the Youth COP Summit in Milan.

Finally, and most crucially we are working closely with the COP Unit to finalise our presence at the COP Green Zone.

For COP to truly leave its legacy, it’s imperative we continue to drive forward both the high-level actions and commitments that emerge from COP, together with the enthusiasm and drive companies have and are continuing to generate.

Only by working together in step and at pace, will we truly be able to rise to the challenge and build back better, faster and greener.

Construction Minister Anne Marie Trevelyan said:

“Engaging talented young professionals in the construction industry is key to the future of the sector by developing the highly skilled workforce that will accelerate its drive to net zero.

“This competition, and recognition from the UN as a Race to Zero Accelerator, shows the Construction Leadership Council is continuing to take its role seriously in offering the sector the direction and leadership it needs to build back better and greener.”

Net Zero Business Champion Andrew Griffith MP said:

“This competition is a fantastic opportunity for young professionals to make a mark on the construction industry by offering them the chance to have their innovative ideas to make the sector more sustainable

“Today’s competition launch shows the Construction Leadership Council is continuing to champion a cleaner, more sustainable sector – so it is right that they have been recognised by the UN as a Race to Zero Accelerator.”

About the Construction Leadership Council (CLC)

The CLC’s mission is to provide sector leadership to the construction industry. The expanded CLC has twelve workstreams that operate collaboratively to address the biggest issues facing the sector, focused on the Industry Recovery Plan. Workstreams include skills and inclusion, building safety and business models. The CLC is co-chaired by Ann-Marie Trevelyan MP, Minister for Business and Industry, and Andy Mitchell CBE, CEO of Thames Tideway.


Hello, and welcome to September’s Newsletter.

The past 18 months have been tough for all parties, end users, contractors and suppliers alike.

There have been challenges posed professionally and personally that we have met with the usual construction sector passion, vigour and emotional intelligence.

It is now fantastic to see the light at the end of the tunnel as we return to “normal” working albeit with a few Covid-19 related tweaks.

What this awful period has allowed us to do within the industry is to reflect upon of methods of working, adapt and in many ways improve upon previous systems. I am sure virtual meetings are here to stay in some capacity for the long term, the reduction in hours spent on the motorway and the advent of smarter working are clearly here for the long term.

We have many new challenges that have arisen; supply chain pressure, raw material prices, recruitment fulfilment and driver shortages to name but a few.

However, I think now more than ever is the time that organisations like CE Midlands can add real value to the construction sector, by assisting in improving business performance by driving innovation and best practise in the construction industry.

I hope you enjoy this addition of the CE Midlands newsletter and the opportunities it presents. For further information please visit where you will find podcasts, webinars and more.

Mat Gadsby, Head of Manufacturing Development, Ibstock Brick

We are delighted to inform you that we have partnered with Make UK, the manufacturer’s organisation. Make UK is the largest force backing UK manufacturing and has been helping the sector to compete, innovate and grow for 125 years.

You can find out more here

Make UK are in regular contact with Government and work hard to support the entire manufacturing and engineering sector. The latest advice and support on our new relationship with the EU is available here and the latest insights can be found here

As part of the agreement we’ll work with Make UK’s policy and lobbying teams, helping them understand our sector and the challenges we face, so please keep an eye out for Make UK surveys, and a few communications providing details of resources and benefits they will be sharing with us.

The partnership also entitles you to complimentary Affiliate Membership of Make UK. This will provide you with a range of benefits to complement your CE Midlands membership:

o Industry reports, publications and insight

o Member events, webinars, podcasts and briefings

o A range of discounted products and services

o Preferential rates on the Brexit Toolkit and Pay benchmarking reports

To take advantage of this offering, please complete the short form here

If you have any queries, you are welcome to contact Make UK directly:

Welcome to the CE Midlands (CEM) newsletter and thank you for taking the time to read it.  There is so much affecting the construction industry in these unprecedented times that we have to recognise and pay tribute to everyone who has worked so hard and been so determined to deliver schemes to the best of their ability.


Citizen have delivered more affordable homes than previous years despite the challenges we all faced and we are not unique in that position.  Collaboration, which is so close to the heart of Constructing Excellence, played a big part in that success for us all.  Revising our ‘Safe Systems of work’ in conjunction with our developer partners crystalised the one team approach, developing partnering relationships even further and bringing much more openness in managing rather than passing risk.


The networking and fast track communications through the leadership groups and leaders meets webinars are really well attended and that makes me proud to be part of an organisation that brings professionals together at such a time of need.  Indeed CEM has been around for a long time promoting best practice, supporting innovation and recognising individuals and companies through the CEM awards.


This year CEM are hosting two award evenings: the East Midlands Awards on 2nd September at the Athena Leicester and the West Midlands Awards which will be held at Edgbaston on 10th September.  Isn’t it fantastic that we can meet in person to celebrate the achievements and success that is so well deserved.  As a member of the judging panel it was so difficult to identify the winning entries because the standard was so high and the adoption of wider programme benefits, such as social responsibility, digitisation and modern methods of construction, show the absolute determination of the industry to evolve and embrace these new ways of working.


It’s still not all plain sailing, material deliveries are creating significant challenges.  A presentation at our Construction Client’s group showed the global logistical nightmare of the impact of ports closing due to COVID, resulting in materials being unloaded at the remaining available ports that now have to be transported back to their original destination.  That also means there is a shortage of containers to ship new orders, something which impacts on us all.  It was really helpful to understand the wider implications of the material issues with the leaders meets and leadership groups providing a valuable source of knowledge and with attendance increasing it is fantastic that so many professionals are coming together under the banner of Constructing Excellence Midlands to support each other and the industry.


Thank you all for your support and please do invite your colleagues to be involved with CEM and did I mention the awards!.  Look forward to seeing you there and congratulations to everyone who entered and has been shortlisted, you are changing the industry for the better.  Well done.

Anna Thompson of LABC shared this story with us this month

“A fellow campervan owning friend has been involved in this amazing project!”

In her words…

A year ago my friend and I came up with a plan. We wanted to create literacy boxes containing books we had written, matching paper crafts, scenery, characters, notebooks and stationery to be gifted to children in hard hit communities.

We secured a bit of funding and sponsorship to help develop the project. Today, on the hottest day of the year, we hit the road in my 47 year old T2 (Buttercup) obviously with no air conditioning wearing skirts and petticoats.

We delivered 175 boxes to various community centres across Liverpool. Was it unbelievably sticky? Yes. Did we fear we would melt? Yes. Did Buttercup get a bit grumpy in the heat? Only a little bit.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. Tonight children will be reading out books (one of them features Buttercup), making crafts and using their imagination. And now for gin!”


Commissioned by CEI-Bois, architects dRMM have designed a reusable timber pavilion for COP26 for the UN climate change talks to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, UK in November 2021.


Timber Beacon’ is dRMM’s response to the collective brief of a unique global timber industry collaboration. The 25+ strong alliance of innovators in engineered mass timber and wood-based products, global forest growth and development, are led CEI-Bois, the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries and the UK Timber Trade Federation.


As world leaders discuss our global responsibilities and collective response to climate change during COP26, our message for the future will be powerfully three dimensional: in wood there is hope,” said dRMM founding director, Prof Alex de Rijke.


Sponsorship is being sought to realise the full potential of this project. To find out more, contact This initiative is supported by UK Aid, under the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s FGMC programme (Forest Governance, Markets and Climate) and CESW.


The ‘Timber Beacon’ has been shortlisted by the British Government to be located at the COP26 Glasgow site for the duration of the talks.


Paul Brannen, director of public affairs at CEI-Bois, said “The global timber and global forest sectors see COP26 as the unmissable opportunity for policy makers to put into action what we already know about nature-based solutions; global forests and wood products are essential to averting catastrophic climate change, and increasing the use of timber products is an easy way to help decarbonise construction, renovation, and the wider built environment. Wood both stores carbon and substitutes for carbon intensive alternatives. We are also focused on globally recognised good governance as the key to growing forests around the world.”

CLICK HERE to view Timber Beacon Digital overview pdf

The introduction of the Building Safety Bill will bring much-needed improvements to safety compliance and building quality in the residential property sector, according to members of collaborative organisation Constructing Excellence Midlands.

The Building Safety Bill, which was introduced on 5 July 2021, features a new Building Safety Regulator at the core of the reforms, with a focus on safety accountability, increased pathways and compensation opportunities for residents raising concerns and a cultural change to crackdown on poor quality and unlawful building practices.

Andrew Carpenter, chief executive of Constructing Excellence Midlands, said: “The introduction of the Building Safety Bill is a landmark moment for the constructing industry and is promising to see such change now being made. It is a pivotal step towards tackling the UK’s housing crisis – giving more power to the leaseholders.”

Chris Stevens, managing director for the Midlands and performance excellence at Kier, said: “The Building Safety Bill is another positive step forward to improve safety across the built environment and, taken together with other initiatives such as the Building Safer Futures Charter, will help drive up standards and deliver long-term step change within the construction sector.”

The new measures in the Building Safety Bill aim to clearly identify where the responsibility lies for safety compliance, with liability and enforcement available to be enacted by the building safety regulator if required – increasing leaseholder rights to compensation.

The bill also intends to strengthen the regulatory framework for building products to enhance the requirements of the quality control process.

Julie Bell-Barker, head of construction projects and works at City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “I welcome this bill; It has got real teeth and holds clients, designers and contractors accountable for the decisions they make around quality and compliance. I hope the impacts of the reforms will be immediately recognisable and a driving force for cultural change in the construction industry – creating longer-lasting, higher quality and safer homes in the Midlands for years to come.”

Professor Rudi Klein, barrister and director at Klein Legal, said: “Hopefully this bill will help drive genuine collaboration in the industry and reduce the incidence of poor practices – such as payment abuse and lowest price culture – which compromise building quality and has plagued the construction industry for far too long.”

With Government signs pointing towards ‘Freedom Day’ on 19th July 2021 we are all looking forward to being able to welcome members and supporters to face-to-face events and activities again very soon.

The first such events will be our East and West Midlands Awards Dinners in Leicester on 2nd September and Birmingham on 10th September. I am sure we are looking forward to these prestigious events more than ever this year as we celebrate ‘best practice’ across the Midlands and at the same time provide excellent networking opportunities with like-minded forward-thinking industry professionals.

We are indebted to all our sponsors, and in particular our headline sponsor Salus Approved Inspectors, for their loyalty and generosity through what has been a very difficult two years for us all. Full details of how to book your tickets may be found elsewhere within this newsletter.

Going forward many of our activities will remain online, for example our weekly webinars and Theme Group meetings, as we have seen an increase in attendance during lockdown but of course we cannot wait to hold more Leadership Dinners, Summits and Workshops when we can enjoy that all important interaction with industry colleagues. It is going to be a hybrid offer going forward.

One of the most exciting and valuable aspects of what we have been doing during lockdown has been the creation of the Diploma in collaboration in construction. This launches in September 2021 and is the answer to a comment made by one construction client during one of our regular webinars. When asked what will prevent the construction industry delivering the Roadmap to Recovery, she answered ‘because they know the word collaboration but not how to do it’. CE Midlands took this comment and worked on a previous idea ten years ago to create a diploma which includes all the latest up-to-date industry initiatives like the Construction Playbook, Value Toolkit, Net Zero agenda, Building Safety Bill etc. Delegates will leave the course with the knowledge and behaviours required to deliver ‘collaborative working’ and furthermore will have a Level 5 diploma to prove it! For full details please visit: CEMDiploma

Two exciting re-launches have taken place in the past few months those being G4C, under the leadership of new joint chairs Nikita Badesha, Peter Richardson & Benjamin Hole (G4C – Constructing Excellence Midlands) and the Birmingham & Black Country Club under the leadership of David Hardman, Peter Lakin and Rachael Hobbis (Birmingham and Black Country – Constructing Excellence Midlands).

We encourage members with staff of 35 and under to join the former and those who carry out their business in Birmingham and the Black Country to do the latter. The next post pandemic re-launch will take place in Coventry & Warwickshire in October so please watch this space. If you are Coventry or Warwickshire based and would like to be part of this re-launch, please inform


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