Beyond the Build


Balancing “The Know”

Like many organizations, we meet once a week to get a status report on our current projects, discuss any management changes needed and, most importantly, find out how we might help one another. No silos.

As we have grown, I felt a need for another type of meeting, involving more people in the company, to immerse others in the best practices of the “pursuit business.” This is part of the job description does not typically come naturally to engineers, contractors or architects, for that matter, but it is the lifeblood of success. We have tweaked the format to be respectful of everyone’s time, striking the balance of informed and over-informed. This is not always easy. We wish to have our team in-the-know about projects coming up, but not to fill everyone’s inbox, or mine, with things that are not relevant. We are always trying to refine our discussions to keep them relevant, informative and helpful. We do this by:

  • Having a crisp beginning time and end time and sticking to the agenda. Our meetings are never longer than 60 minutes and hopefully much less.
  • Compiling a list of pursuits–a single page–on Friday. We assign a sponsor and assistant and include relevant “cliff notes” for all to review.
  • Sharing the leadership of running these meetings between senior and younger managers, which is a learning process in itself.

I will also step in and share different means and methods I have found successful to stay connected with potential customer relationships but not get in their way. This system has worked pretty well so far. Comments are welcomed.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.