3 Invaluable Lessons from Rob Smedley

  1. It’s absolutely critical to invest in people and focus as much time on building relationships as you do projects.
  2. It is essential to collaborate with the Owner from day one.
  3. Communicating effectively with the entire team is key to the success of any collaborative project.

This week, host Sue Dyer speaks with Rob Smedley, the Design-Build Manager Buildings for RS&H. Rob is an AIA, DBIA, and has more than 30 years of experience on a variety of projects.  Rob shares about the importance of using Design-Build concepts on projects and communicating effectively with your teams.

Rob’s Journey into Design-Build (02:49)

Rob’s path was fairly typical, from school to intern, and then as a designer, moving into project manager, then project architect, and ultimately to principle. The shift came from an acquisition by an AE firm and Rob was introduced to new technologies in design and it spurred him into a whole new direction.

The Biggest Challenges with Design (09:45)

  1. The keyword is People – staffing resources and finding quality people is difficult
  2. Evolving Technology: “Technology is great, but it’s evolving daily”
  3. Generational workplace expectations and communication skills

Opportunities for Design and Construction Collaboration (14:58)

  1. Progressive Design-Build Method
  2. The importance of the Owner in the collaboration of “the trinity” (design, construction, integration)
  3. Partnering – it is critical and one of the Best Practices identified by DBIA
  4. Utilization of new technologies

The Barriers to Design, Construction, and Owner Integration (19:59)

  1. “People” are the greatest challenge
  2. Being comfortable with change
  3. The pressure of time: “Slow down and move with some purpose”

Having Better Project Integration (25:53)

  1. Invest in relationships and doing the “off-season work”
  2. Rehearsals – practice standard protocols
  3. Partnering: “raising the bar” in communication efforts
  4. Communication and “melting away” complexity

Rob’s Greatest Strengths as a Leader (33:55) 

Rob cares about the people, the organization, and the projects.  One of Rob’s favorite quotes is, “People don’t care about what you know until they know you care.” – John Maxwell.

Rob’s Greatest Career Challenge (35:30)

Being fired by a client. In retrospect, learning from the fatal flaw of not being focused on the motives of the client, changed the whole perspective.

The Very Best Advice Rob Has Ever Gotten (37:30)

Think boldly, act boldly, but not blindly.

Resources for Listeners (38:42)

Contact Rob

Contact Rob by Email

Rob’s Parting Advice (41:33)

If you are in this industry, Rob highly recommends getting familiar with 2 organizations: Design-Build Institute of America and the International Partnering Institute. Don’t just become a member, get involved. Also, be sure to invest in yourself.

Visit the ConstructionDreamTeam.com/resources page to see all of our guests’ recommended books, websites, etc. 

Construction Nation! Dream Teams don’t just happen they are built one step at a time. Why not send out this episode to your team, so they can help you. The faster you can build your dream team, the faster you can build your success.

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