Peers

I just came home from a peer group.  It was a great experience, but it made me ask myself what a peer really is.  Everyone in this industry who succeeds is competitive and committed to excellence.  Excellence requires learning, which is at the core of the purpose of a peer group.  A peer is defined as “a person who is equal to another in abilities, qualifications, age, background and social status.”  By this definition, it seems impossible to truly be a peer. All of the people and the businesses in the peer group are different.  We build different types of projects for different types of clients.  We take different risks and have different business models.  We have different org structures and strengths and weaknesses.  But this is inherent and necessary to value in a “peer” group.  We complement each other and learn from each other and get better by spending time...

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Core values are Part of a Company’s DNA

At our recent client event at the Dante Next Door restaurant in Cleveland, I was surprised at how similar seemingly dissimilar businesses can be.  Dante, who looks like Bruce Springsteen, is one of the top-rated chefs in the world and deserves to be.  He regaled us with stories of movie stars (he was Robert De Niro’s personal chef for a time) and rock stars, and his travels around the world, which shows what a formerly young man from upstate New York can accomplish.  He has a burgeoning business in Cleveland, with multiple venues of different types, all of which are well regarded and successful. A little talent of course helps, but Dante worked really hard, focused on learning to be the best that he could be, and stayed humble through all of it.  It’s a lot like our business in those regards, and like for Dante, the opportunities and successes have...

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What Does Continuous Improvement Mean In Construction?

It recently occurred to me how important continuous improvement is in ours or any business.  We hear about continuous improvement, but probably not frequently enough.  Continuous improvement is an attitude that must be ingrained in each of us, and in every company, in order to compete and succeed for our clients. Continuous improvement is always striving to do better.  It’s always looking for a better solution for clients.  And it’s always looking to learn and improve for the benefit of our clients, our teammates, and ourselves.  It’s always pushing the envelope-not settling for the tried-and-true, but not taking undue risks for clients, either. It’s a Core Value of ours.  Our clients want optimized solutions.  Their projects are significant, and we only get one chance to optimize each project, which is why continuous learning is and must continue to be an ingrained attitude at The Douglas Company. Peter Douglas, P.E. President The Douglas Company Read More >

Financial Stability – Providing You Peace of Mind

As an owner of a construction project, imagine receiving a call from your contractor telling you that they have run out of money and can’t pay for the labor or material to keep your project on schedule.  What options do you have?  The answer is, “there is no good option!” So if not having it is bad, what are the benefits of being financially stable?  It starts with making your project financing approvals quicker and easier.  Lenders want financially stable construction companies used on projects they lend on, as it helps reduce risk.  In situations where surety bonds are needed, financially stable contractors have a surety relationship that can provide for these needs without delay. Financial stability ensures during construction; the project owner is not bothered by untimely requests for money to meet cash flow needs caused by a problem on your project or worse, someone else’s project.  A financially stable contractor can...

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How Core Values Help Senior Living Developers

Core Values is another concept coined by Jim Collins to be a key to a company being “Built to Last” as outlined in his book of that title.  The Douglas Company has 4 Core Values, as follows: ·         Great client relationships with high customer loyalty ·         Integrity and professionalism in all we do ·         Keeping our commitments through proactive attention to detail and execution ·         Growth of our Associates and Business through learning, teamwork, and leadership Great Client Relationships with High Customer Loyalty Why It’s A Core Value We genuinely like, appreciate, and value our clients.  They do so many great things in society and do so much for us.  They trust us with their important projects, and we need to be worthy of that trust.  Because of all this, we value the relationship with them and want them to continue doing business with us. What It Means For Our Clients For our clients, this means that all of...

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Contributing to the success of our Clients and Associates

Core Purpose and Values concept was coined by Jim Collins in his book “Built to Last.”  In his research, he found that all of the great companies that had lasted a long time successfully had a Core Purpose and Core Values.  Since we aspire to last a long time, successfully, we developed our own. Core Purpose is your purpose for being.  But more practically, it’s what one gets excited to get up in the morning to do.  Our Core Purpose is “Contribute to the success of our Clients and Associates.” There are two parts to this - Clients and Associates. Our clients put their trust in us when they hire us, and they hire us to contribute to their success.  We must honor their trust by doing this, and we do, through building quickly & reliably, with quality, adding value, and controlling risk.  From a selfish standpoint, it’s intrinsically rewarding to be...

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Process in Senior Living Construction

Our new brochure is coming out and it talks about “The Power of Process”.  I believe in the process.  When service providers tell us they have processes they follow that have proven to be effective for their clients, I am more likely to buy from them.  The process gives reliability.  The process of a proven system greatly enhances the probability of success.  Great people are necessary and important, but without a proven process, can be unreliable. Some people complain about the process being a straitjacket that impedes their ability to succeed, and they are passionate about this.  I don’t believe it.  Those are the people who generally don’t succeed.  I was pleased to see and to read an article about Bill Campbell, former Chairman of the Board of Intuit and involved in many tech companies of significance.  He talked about the rigors of process and their ability to help people succeed. ...

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The Importance of Cultural Fit

The Douglas Company’s Core Purpose is “To contribute to the success of our Clients and Associates.”  To consistently achieve our Core Purpose, our Associates must be committed to consistently live our Core Values:  “Great client relationships with high customer loyalty” are accomplished through genuine care and concern for our clients.  “Integrity and professionalism in all we do” requires a high level of personal pride and willingness to do the right things the right way.  “Keeping our commitments through proactive attention to detail and execution” is achieved through perseverance and hard work to accomplish our goals.  “Growth of our Associates and Business through learning, teamwork, and leadership” is demonstrated through our genuine care and respect for each other. Our Associates do not live our Core Values because they are “directed to,” but rather because they are motivated from within.  It is in their DNA to focus on our Clients, to plan and execute well, and to take care of each other. ...

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