We couldn’t do this without a collaborative attitude. For example, I’m particularly proud of how, for a major distribution park, we worked with Highways England, the local authority and others to amicably overcome congestion issues that our client had feared were insurmountable.
It’s also important that we challenge received thinking. An hour spent re-examining a plan can inspire changes that reap huge rewards for a client. We did this for a developer, completely redesigning the scheme to rationalise the infrastructure. A spark of inspiration from our team created a layout that improved safety in and around the site, used less land and consumed fewer resources.
While technical knowledge is an important part of being a changemaker, inter-personal communication is vital too. Dr Joe Nason, a lecturer on my MBA course, opened my eyes to the importance of adapting my approach for different people. I learnt that if you want to persuade someone to take your advice, you don’t just have to say the right things, you have to say them in the right way for that person.