Adaptation Across Generations is Key
The Digital Transportation in the Construction Industry panel at Vancouver’s Buildex tradeshow in February consisted of four innovators in construction technology who all agreed: technology is changing everything, but adoption is harder and more complicated than it looks.
Young workers tend to understand and adopt – seek out, even – technology without qualm, but the older generation is still unsure. Bridging the gap between the generations also means rectifying differences of opinion around this dynamic and that is key to moving forward.
“Young people are comfortable around technology, and the more seasoned generation may not be,” said panel member Kris Lengieza, director of business development and marketplace at Procore Technologies. “They [do] know how to build and how to solve problems in the field. A kid out of college can run a 3-D model with no problem and they’re used to video games, so they’re partnered with a senior superintendent who knows how to solve a plumbing clash because he’s solved this problem 100 times before.”
This is where the solution begins. Perhaps older workers don’t want to do all the climbing around a jobsite and swinging hammers, but they have all kinds of valuable knowledge in their heads. Young workers are eager to solve problems creatively and with the use of technology.
“Once older workers get up on technology, they know it better than anyone,” said Dave Burns, director of innovations and field applications at McCarthy Building Companies, and a panel member. He says adoption has to come from all angles and leverage everyone’s strengths.
“Try to get leadership to buy into the process and the strategy from the start,” said Burns. “That will knock down some roadblocks, but you need support from the ground up as well.”
Read more about this panel and other technology talks from Buildex at https://www.buildexvancouver.com/en/home.html.