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CivEng & American Sociocultural Revolution: Phase II

  • 1.  CivEng & American Sociocultural Revolution: Phase II

    Posted 08-14-2020 05:53 PM
      |   view attached

    We are within an emerging new sociocultural era, i.e., George Floyd, “Black Lives Matter,” sudden movement to virtual work environs, continued emergence of women asserting their long overdue respect to manage, lead, and promote civil engineering programs and projects.

    Stay Healthy!

    Cheers,
    Bill


    [1] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/23808985.1993.11678861




    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
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    Attachment(s)



  • 2.  RE: CivEng & American Sociocultural Revolution: Phase II

    Posted 08-18-2020 01:52 PM
    Bill, I think the recent events have helped turn the spotlight on the inequities that exist in our society writ large and less that we're in a new era, but that's semantics. As to changes, I think it's a question of doing more.

    In general senior staff, executives and companies need to:

    Stop the nepotism/ cronyism in hiring and promoting

    Set objective and quantifiable standards for performance and behaviors and hold  themselves and employees accountable

    Increase promotion of women into the top roles, CEO or president 

     

    And for publicly traded companies:

    Shareholders need to hold Boards accountable - stop the rubber stamping

    Ensure Board makeup mirrors diversity of clients

    Besides being the right thing to do there's a strong business case to be made for the above.

    ------------------------------
    Mitch Winkler P.E., M.ASCE
    Houston, TX
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  • 3.  RE: CivEng & American Sociocultural Revolution: Phase II

    Posted 22 days ago
      |   view attached

    Hi Mitch,

    A sincere healthy & "Happy New Year!"

    Thanks for the succinct outline of the very least our organization's leadership needs to do:

    1. "Stop the nepotism/ cronyism in hiring and promoting" . . .insidiously driven by the actions[1] and lack of action by leadership.
    2. "Set objective and quantifiable standards for performance and behaviors and hold themselves and employees accountable".[2]

                       "Drive out fear in your workplace."[3]

    1. "Increase the promotion of women" [4].

    "Culture: How inclusive is your culture? [5] Is your organisation culturally intelligent (Middleton, 2014), as well as emotionally intelligent. Who is visible within your organisation or team and why?

    • Back to The Future:

    Around the late 1980s, I was at a Wash., DC, evening celebration for the 90th birthday of

    Dr. W. Edwards Deming. [6]

    When it was time for Deming to speak, he stood at the podium, placed his crumpled yellow pages of handwritten notes down, looked up at the well-dressed audience of top executives and managers, and after a moment or so of silence said:

                        "You ought to be ashamed! You're not doing your job!"

    This experience of listening to a consultant speak the truth-to-power changed my life forever!

    While most all of Deming's advice helped shape the re-engineering from "Yesterday's Knowledge," the foundational part I begin with is Deming's

                                           " It's the system, not the people!"

          Moving on from our past historical management behaviors, now the suggested mantra for the executive and senior managers of our E/A/C organizations:

                         "Let the change begin with me!"

    Stay Healthy!

    Cheers,

    Bill

    [1] What your people see you do.

    [2] What and how you address publicly the failures of people working to change.

    [3] https://www.quality-assurance-solutions.com/Deming-Point-8.html

    [4] Consider institutionalizing Deming's model: Plan --> Do --> Study --> Act --> and continue model.

    [5] Diverse talent- Enhancing gender participation in project management.pdf

    [6] https://deming.org/



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: CivEng & American Sociocultural Revolution: Phase II

    Posted 21 days ago

    Hi Bill, I opened and read the link you sent on Edward Deming's approach to leadership and management as a refresher and wow.  His words still ring true and are still so relevant.  This should be mandatory reading for anyone in a leadership role as well as for staff - the latter to see what great leadership looks like. You might consider starting a new post on Deming to remind folks of his genius. Best wishes to you for 2021. I look forward to more stimulating and though provoking discussions!

    Mitch



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    Mitch Winkler P.E., M.ASCE
    Houston, TX
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  • 5.  RE: CivEng & American Sociocultural Revolution: Phase II

    Posted 12-11-2020 04:47 PM
    Bill, I've realized a while ago that in the present day and age, conscious awareness of all the things that still plague society is not enough for making progress.

    In all of these sudden new movements, I see a double-edged sword. On one hand, women are gaining more high-up positions in the workplace and the stigma surround virtual work is vanishing. On the other, this means there are more mobs: more people listening to their allies, but not opponents or themselves, if that makes sense.

    In other words, while it's good to progress towards equity, it's not bad to step back and remember fundamentals.

    ------------------------------
    Alexander Granato S.M.ASCE
    Student
    Bexley OH
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  • 6.  RE: CivEng & American Sociocultural Revolution: Phase II

    Posted 22 days ago

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for your willingness to "Think out loud and share."

    • Some reflections follow.

    "conscious awareness of all the things that still plague society is not enough…"

    1. As we learned in "Basic Structural Engineering 301," the design process for a new structure starts by first investigating the existing foundation and its performance history.

     

    ---> BTW, in Spring 1958, my "Computer" was a K&E [1]Slide Rule!

     

    1. "In all of these sudden new movements. . . "

    If one researches the so-called "Sudden new movements," as I learned later in my career, they

    were around for quite some time before being 'popular' much later in life.

    1. "more people listening to their allies, but not opponents or themselves, if that makes sense."

                   ***Alex, you hit the proverbial nail on the head! ***

    Our historically outdated engineering education . . .at the BS and MS levels. . .continues to ignore the non-engineering knowledge that is harder to internally process for the majority of engineers. . .at least for some 70% of us…than a course in "Indeterminate Structural Analysis."

    e.g., Break out the main sources of frequent challenges[2] individually you and other engineers have in project work, and sort them into 4 categories:

    1. People. 2. Process. 3. Technology.  4. Leadership, such that the sum-total of these 4 categories for each specific project challenge equals "100% of that project's challenges."

    And to be a bit clearer, these challenges cause far too many projects budgeted to earn 15% to 30% profit

    to end with less than 7% profit.

     

    Q.1. On average, what do you think the contribution of "3. Technology" contributes to the "100% of our project challenges.?"

    A1. After I hear back from anyone interested, I will post my learning on this . . . without naming sources.

     

    1. "it's not bad to step back and remember fundamentals."

    Alex, here the challenges we all face to elevate the educational needs of the 21st Century Engineer would now include, at the undergrad and grad level, identification of factually, why, what, and how we continue to argue that non-engineering course/learning is "The Soft Stuff."

     Alex, if you have read this far, meet me at a Starbucks near you!

    Have your people call my people :-)

    Stay Healthy!

    Cheers,

    Bill

    [1] Check out its black leather case you wore on our belt!

    [2] Consider doing the exercise with colleagues. And DO NOT use the findings against anyone.

    They simply reflect the current level of non-engineering thinking in your firm and our profession.



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: CivEng & American Sociocultural Revolution: Phase II

    Posted 14 days ago
    Hello Bill,

    Now that I have had time to think over everything you've described and read over the link on Edward Deming's approach, I am very glad to hear back from you personally about what good leadership looks like and how everyone can implement it within already existing structures. Thank you very much for looking out to others even in this climate.

    ------------------------------
    Alexander Granato S.M.ASCE
    Student
    Bexley OH
    ------------------------------