It all started on a London construction site in 2016, where I met Jono. We were both civil engineers from Australia who had moved to London for adventure.
We were also both obsessed with making our sites operate effectively. So we were frustrated by seeing the same mistakes happening repeatedly on every project we had worked on around the world. Most of the work people on project management teams did was fixing easily preventable mistakes. This only increased as the project went on in a reactive chaos spiral that overwhelmed everyone and made them miserable. We were equally jaded by the corporate cultures we had experienced which can be particularly bad in construction.
Neither of us could find a place where things were done how we knew they should be. So we decided to do it ourselves by building a team of kind, curious and impact-driven people who felt like we did and wanted to truly change things. A team where we all just enjoy spending time with each other and solving big problems.
We decided to start with project planning and scheduling. Projects struggle to get the basics right, and the schedule is the foundation of the entire management of the project. Our clinically precise plans and schedules were deeply valued by the project managers we worked with, they took us with them wherever they went and recommended us to other project managers.
After that, we decided to tackle project reporting. Most project reports are convoluted and confusing, they rarely give much useful insight to project management teams, and it is unheard of for reports to be useful for the site teams. We built reports that people could actually use to get their job done, not only some graphs to send up to management.
Soon after, we realised that it was difficult to get the level of visibility in our reports that we wanted. To do this, we needed detailed data from as close to the work face as possible. The obvious answer was from site management software but easy-to-use software didn't really exist. So we decided to build that too - we would go on to invest all our profits into a software product team to develop easy-to-use site management apps. Check out www.shape.construction to see more about that.
It turned out that doing things well and being reliable enabled us to grow very quickly and expand into fully managing project delivery from end to end. We have grown our team to over 160 people in over 14 countries and continue to grow rapidly. Many of the brightest people in construction join us because they want to be part of changing things, just like me and Jono did in 2016. They see we really are doing it and not just talking about it. Something quite unique in our industry.
As long as we stick to our values and avoid short-term decisions at the expense of the long-term, we will continue to evolve and become better and more impactful.
If our story resonates with you, then I'd invite you to become part of it by joining us or working with us. Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We exist to enable everyone in our team to flourish in a high-impact community that:
Connects us with meaningful relationships
Inspires us to develop ourselves to become better humans
Empowers us to pursue our own learning adventures
We believe that, by first doing this, we can achieve the highest levels of value for the world.
To fully digitise the construction of human civilisation
To create a new type of organisation that enables human flourishing while delivering a huge positive impact on society
We believe a life of human flourishing is all about meaningful relationships with others and challenging yourself to create a positive impact. So our values reflect the 4 levels of relationships that each of us has:
Your relationship with yourself
Your relationship with others around you
Your relationship with your team
Your relationship with humanity and the world
Improve your mind to improve your impact on everything around you
The day you start to feel comfortable is the day you stop learning
Deliberately study your topics deep enough to build up your understanding from first principles
Gather conceptual knowledge across multiple disciplines to put your work in context
Take ownership of your own understanding and don’t do things without first understanding why. Keep asking Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?
Reduce bias by ensuring exposure to diverse views
Be deliberate in developing meaningful relationships with everyone you meet
Act for the long-term best interest of others even if causes some short-term difficulty
Leave no one wondering what you really think. Say what you mean and mean what you say
Trust both the capability and integrity of others by default until proven otherwise
Give more consideration to others than you demand for yourself
Act with a vision for the end state in mind that is truly great. Acting blindly is chaos
Structure your thinking into a framework that can support your vision
If you are sure the path is right, do not yield until you have accomplished your objective or reality forces a course correction
Keep your commitments to others and keep them updated if things change
Pick up the litter and make sure even the smallest issues you notice are corrected
The right people for the right things
We benefit greatly from the social fabric we live within. It is our duty to have a positive contribution back to it, this must be our core motivation
Continuously make things better and never be satisfied
Wherever we go we want to leave something that outlasts us
If we have a better way or doing thing’s we want everyone to know about it and how they can do it too, so the world is improved
If we can make high impact material public without bearing significant costs we will