Tag Archives: Obama

Can Bob the Builder save the world economy??

One of the construction industries best know characters (if you are under 5) Bob the Builder, is front and centre of the efforts to save the world’s economy.

Bob the Builder

Bob the Builder

As a start, his construction team’s cry of ‘YES WE CAN’ has been central to the Barak Obama election campaign. But this is only the beginning.

Obama in the USA, Kevin Rudd in Australia and a range of other governments are now asking the whole of the construction industry Bob’s key question “Can we fix it?”  Hopefully the answer is ‘YES WE CAN’. The amount of money being directed to construction projects to provide stimulus to the economy is enormous and will require a major response if the funds are to be well spent. As an industry we need to provide value and quality for the money being invested.

This opens up a two of interesting challenges:

  • How are we going to meet the current short term demand for professional constructors? Possibly by attracting with people with project management, administration and scheduling people from the depressed IT industry – project management is supposed to be a portable discipline.
  • How are we going to meet the looming long term skills shortage? Maybe one way to attract talent would be for the construction industry to set up a ‘Bob the Builder’ fund to ensure every child under 5 has access to this wonderful range of toys. After all as the old adage goes “The only difference between men and boys is the size of their shoes and the price of their toys” how hard will it be to persuade a young graduate it is nearly as much fun directing the operations of a back hoe, JCB or equivalent as playing with Scoop or Muck??
Bob and Friends

Bob and Friends

There are some interesting challenges ahead and Bob the Builder may not be able to fix everything but for the rest of us in the construction industry we have our work cut out.

Can we do it?    I certainly hope we can!

Note: Bob the Builder is a copyright brand owned by HIT Entertainment Limited

Expectation Management

I cannot think of anyone in the last 30 years who has carried a greater weight of expectation into a new job than Barak Obama. Not only the diverse expectations of over150 million Americans, but also the hopes and expectations of billions of people around the world.

Expectations include; solving the economic crisis, balancing the American budget, promoting racial harmony and equality, solving the Palestinian crisis, the Iran crisis, the Iraq crisis and possibly even the Afghan crises… sorting out the American car industry, delivering health care to the underinsured and solving unemployment and poverty to name a few.

With all the resources of the USA and the White House it’s a massive challenge and we whish President Obama every success in his endeavours.

My concern is the backswing when unrealistic expectations are not fulfilled. How President Obama manages this is likely to be educational and if the last 24 hours are anything to go by highly innovative. I could not think of a more effective way to mark the difference between the old Presidency and the new than seeing the President Elect helping out at a charity on the holiday before his inauguration.

This is a project management blog – the rest of us need to remember ‘unrealistic expectations are unlikely to be fulfilled’ and we need to make sure our stakeholders expectations are managed if we expect to be successful. For President Obama, the rules may be different – I certainly hope so there’s a lot for him to achieve.

As Theodore Roosevelt said in 1910 during a speech at the Sorbonne in Paris:

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

There’s lots to do and many of the changes will need good project managers to make them happen.  The next few years will be an interesting and hopfully successful journy.