• YCPI Workshop “What Were You Thinking” Joint session with BSA Young Designers

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    What a magnificent session we had on February 15 at Payette!  Such a fitting title: “What Were You Thinking?  Improving Architect – Contractor Understanding, Teamwork and Communications.”  Co-instructors were Marc Truant and Stavroula Birmbas, both from Marc Truant Associates.
    This joint AGC’s YCPI and BSA YDPDI joint session started off by breaking out into small groups.  Each group consisted of  a mix of architects, general contractors and subcontractors.  As I originally starting my career on the architectural side of the industry and am now working for a construction company, I was a bit of a ringer here. The conversation was an open, friendly discussion of our past experiences about our industries working with one another. We discussed what worked well and what didn’t and how we could improve these things in the future.  The biggest take away I got was the need to get all parties on board as soon as possible with an open line of communication – architect, gc and sub.
    As the session progressed we worked in our small groups to complete a 20 minute challenge to build the tallest spaghetti tower possible.  We were given the following supplies - a meter of tape, 20 pieces of spaghetti, string and a marshmallow that had to be placed on the top of the structure. When the clock started ticking we started planning.  One member of the group drew a design which we all agreed to execute.  We began creating the “legs” of our spaghetti tow­­er fairly quickly. With a few hiccups in the early stages of the construction process we were able to identify our team members’ weaknesses and strengths and use them to our advantage.  With effective communication and collaboration our group was able to achieve building the highest tower.  Here’s a link to photos of this exercise —   Untitled album 

    As the session began to wind down the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator helped guide our discussion. Marc Truant, president of Marc Truant & Associates, Inc. shared his experiences in the industry as a contractor with a background in design.  He spoke about his desire to integrate design and construction into one cohesive process to provide his clients with the best possible outcome.  Stavroula (Stav) Birmbas, a Project Manager in Marc’s company elaborated on this approach.  Bill pointed out that Marc’s and Stavroula's personality types were evident in their responses to questions asked by the session participants.
    This led to our final exercise of creating a response to a statement.  A representative in each of the Myer-Briggs group types spoke and we gauged if we agreed with what the person was presenting.  This was to gain a better understanding of the different personality type responses to the same statement.  A great conclusion to a very important session about collaboration and understanding of other people’s perspective. Thanks again to Stav and Marc for guiding the group and Payette for hosting us! 
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