Many people talk about working smarter, not harder to lower labor intensity in achieving your objectives.

Below is an example of lowering labor intensity. It is an “open letter” to my prospects and clients in the design & construction industry. I’m building thought leadership on how to collaborate more in the industry and continually narrowing what I’m doing. If something I’m doing isn’t adding to my thought leadership on collaborating more I’m re-positioning it or dropping it.

Version 2.0 of the Architect, Engineer & Contractor (AEC) Leadership Forum

Dear AEC Industry Leader,

Five years ago we started the AEC Leadership Forum. The timing is now right to launch version 2.0 of the Forum. So, going forward, the AEC Leadership Forum will be called the Collaboration Forum and you are invited to join us for the 2013 Collaboration Forum on January 23rd in Austin, Texas.

Also, there are a few important points to share as the Collaboration Forum is launched and I hope these points resonate with you.

Point #1 The AEC Leadership Forum was originally created to be a collaboration booster for AEC executives. It was believed that a consistent, cross-discipline dialogue focused on producing a solution to an issue helped the AEC industry collaborate more. This belief was wrong. While the AEC Leadership Forum made us feel collaborative, we weren’t collaborative in how we used it. We were a cross-discipline collection of individuals dialoging on issues to gain insight and produce our own individual solutions (this is no different from what we already do at the other organizations we belong to). What we must do for the Collaboration Forum to be different is be collaborative and maximize the benefit of a solution by being collaborative on “how to do it.”

Point #2 You may not be clear on why I take the time to produce these Forums. Personally, I produce this Forum for two reasons. One is to create relationships. The second is my “BIG WHY”. It’s to help people move-up from confidence in themselves to conviction about using the heart to collaborate more and be collaborative instead of just feeling it. What does this mean for the industry? BEING collaborative increases team strength & speed. Being collaborative aligns with who I am and what I’m good at; and I know it works.

The Collaboration Forum will operate from this “BIG WHY.”Those who choose to participate will do so because it’s personal. Participation for them transcends topic or who they might meet. Participants will collaborate relationally, intentionally and institutionally with other participants. There will be elevated trust, higher value dialogue and a collaborative approach to working “on” an issue instead of “in” an issue.
In closing, the request of your organization is to participate in the Collaboration Forum annually in January. You can register for the Forum at

I hope our “BIG WHYs” align and we can spend more time together in 2013. Watch for more news as we build thought leadership in the industry on how to collaborate more to increase team strength & speed.
I wish for a happy & healthy new year for you and your family.

Your Fearless Collaboration Forum Leader,
Darren Smith

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