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Thursday 22nd June 2023

The Canalside Conference Centre, Bridgwater

Despite previous attempts to encourage collaboration within the Construction Sector over the last 30 years there has been a reluctance to adopt this powerful way of delivering contracts and projects to meet the requirements of time, cost and quality as well as improving productivity throughout the supply chain.

With challenges facing the sector from skills and labour shortages, inflation, rising costs through, through to flat productivity and a near stagnant economy the time has never been more appropriate for the sector to look to change and transform the way it conducts businesses.

CESW has partnered with LeadersMeets in the Construction Industry Collaboration Initiative (CICI) in a drive to improve the construction industry in the South West. This initiative forms part of Constructing Excellence’s a national platform for industry improvement to deliver excellence through collaborative working with clients, industry, and users.

“Collaboration is fundamental to Constructing Excellence. This initiative led by the South West is an excellent mechanism to upskill and train those at all levels in the sector on how to effectively collaborate.” Alison Nicholl, Head of Constructing Excellence,

The initiative aims to enhance understanding of effective collaboration, change negative attitudes, and share knowledge, learning, and experiences through research as well as provide a short value for money training certificate where people can learn and develop the behavioural skills so vital to effective and productive collaborative working.

This one-day face-to-face session is being offered at a unique one-off price of £199 to CESW members and is available to the first 20 who register and pay click here

The venue for the day is the modern Canalside Conference Centre where the day will begin with coffee/tea from 08.30 am to start promptly at 9am. The day will run through to approximately 04.30pm with two short breaks and a lunch break during this time. The centre has a café where beverages and lunch can be purchased if desired during the day. To learn more about CICI and the research please click here

CICI was launched just over a month ago and you may well be wondering, what is happening?

To remind you, the three key aims of this partnership between CESW and Leadersmeets are to:

· Promote Collaboration and Collaborative Working between organisations across the sector as a powerful way of improving contact delivery to time, cost and quality;

· Provide behavioural training to help people in organisations and the supply chain in our certificate programme to meet the above first aim; and

· Continue to carry out regular research to update knowledge and support learning.

We are this month running the first CICI certificate one-day training event for our founder member, Constructing Excellence Gloucestershire Club, and are looking forward to this and will be giving feedback to you on this in the next newsletter.

Meanwhile, we are agreeing a venue so that we can offer to CESW members the certificate training and will be notifying you, the membership, soonest.

Our latest ‘snap shot’ research carried out in late April reveals a sector where the important value of trust – the firm belief in the reliability, ability, or strength of another organisation – is rated not better that an average at just 5/10 or 50%.

With such a low view of trust in the sector it is perhaps not surprising that 55% of respondents believe that there ‘is a lack of willingness to share risk’ between organisations.’

To read the latest research go to

There is a much to do if the sector is to change and transform and this initiative is seeking to drive it. If you would like to comment, take part, or contribute please contact

Housing Secretary gives warning of ‘severe consequences’ for cladding companies who refuse to remediate

Michael Gove MP has warned shareholders in three cladding companies associated with the Grenfell Fire that the manufacturers they invest in will face “sever consequences” if they do not come forward with a comprehensive financial package to fix unsafe buildings. The manufacturers in question were Kingspan, Arconic, and Saint-Gobain. The Secretary of State urged investors to use their position of influence to encourage the companies to “engage constructively in helping us [the government] reach a just resolution for all.”. Investors from Blackrock, Vanguard, and Fidelity all received letters.


This week Mr Gove also put the Building Safety (Responsible Actors Scheme and Prohibitions) Regulations 2023 forward to Parliament. These will create the Responsible Actors Scheme for eligible developers, meaning they will have to pay to remediate residential buildings for which they are responsible before being reimbursed from Government remediation funds.

Government responds to inquiry on Boiler Upgrade Scheme

Lord Callanan, the Minister of State for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, responded formally to the Committee for Climate Change’s inquiry into the Government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme. The letter admits that, even with the scheme, consumers will still be required to financially contribute to any upgrades. With the £5,000 grant taken into account, a typical household would face an estimated £2,500 bill. The letter also left open the possibility that the Government could still increase the grant.


New Chair of important Select Committee

SNP MP Angus Brendan MacNeil was elected yesterday as Chair of the newly established Energy Security and Net Zero Committee, which will scrutinise the work of DESNZ. Elected in 2005, MacNeil was formerly Chair of Energy & Climate Change Committee, and more recently the International Trade Committee. Membership of the rest of the Committee is expected to be announced over the next few weeks.


Construct Zero Performance Framework Dashboard – 5th Quarterly Report

The performance framework includes 31 metrics across nine priority areas, each of which tells a story of how companies and industry bodies are working together to manage down carbon emissions across construction activities, the resulting buildings and structures, and the transport of products and materials.

The annual CO2nstruct Zero Performance Dashboard shows progress over the last 12 months.

A copy of the full Performance 5th Framework update is available here.

Government announces £30 million government boost to capture and store more renewable energy.

The Department of Energy Security and Net Zero announced a £30 million boost to capture and store more renewable energy. The funding was part of the Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration competition with £69 million being awarded to businesses so far who have demonstrated innovative ways to store renewable energy.


Independent Review on Construction Product Testing, conducted by Anneliese Day KC, published Today.

On Thursday (20th April) Anneliese Day KC, published her review on Construction Product Testing which was commissioned by the Government to consider how confidence can be placed back into the testing regime in the future, and what changes need to happen in order to achieve this. The review doesn’t ascribe failings for recent product testing failings, but clearly assigns responsibilities to product manufacturers, Conformity Assessment Bodies, designers, constructors, regulators and enforcement authorities, and regulators. It recommends that future reforms should ensure that these distinctions are reiterated and reinforced.


Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities gives update on Building Safety

Prior to the publication of Day’s report, Michael Gove MP gave an update on Building Safety to Parliament this week in which he re-stated the Government’s commitment to “transforming the built environment through a culture of safety and high standards”.  The Secretary of State also added that he would be setting out proposals for reform of the UK’s construction product regime “in due course”.

Local Nutrient Mitigation Fund: Call for Evidence and Expression of Interest

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has launched a Call for Evidence which is seeking to create a comprehensive view of the impact of nutrient neutrality advice on development. It invites all local planning authorities (LPAs) affected by nutrient neutrality to :

The Department is also interested in hearing from others who have evidenced proposals which could reduce nutrient pollution and unlock housing.

The expression of interest invites LPAs affected by nutrient neutrality to:

The Call for Evidence and Expression of interest will close at 11:45pm on 24 May 2023. More information can be found here.

CLC’s Skills Plan for 2023-24

The Construction Leadership Council has published its 2023-24 skills plan for construction and the built environment.

The plan offers solutions to short and long-term skills challenges in England and includes details of:

This plan outlines how industry can deliver its objectives through shared, aligned priorities namely: culture change; routes into construction and built environment; competence and future skills.

Download the plan here.

Download the accompanying press release here.

The latest LeadersMeets survey of behaviours around collaboration in construction shows that our level of trust was rated no better than 5/10. So, this month Martyn Jones asks us to ponder whether a community-based approach is an effective way for us to build more trust.

The proponents of community-based approaches argue that we are social animals who function more effectively within a social system that is larger than ourselves and which binds us together for the greater good.

It means caring about our work, our colleagues, those we serve, the quality of our products and services, our partners, and our place in the world – geographic and otherwise. And in turn being inspired by this caring.

A community can be created where talented people are loyal to one another and their collective work, where everyone feels that they are part of something extraordinary, and their passion and accomplishments make their community a magnet for talented people. Surely something to bear in mind given construction’s inability to attract enough talented people.

So, what’s “communityship” then? Management guru Henry Mintzberg defines it as combining community with leadership. He sees it as occupying a pivotal position between individual leadership on the one hand and collective ‘citizenship’ on the other.

He goes on to explain that communityship needs leadership, but not the egocentric, heroic, exploitive form that has become so prevalent in the business world. It requires a more diffident form of leadership that might be called engaged and distributed leadership, exercised by committed community leaders, who are personally engaged in order to engage others in exercising their initiative.

Mintzberg considers Kotter’s top-down, eight steps for transformational change to be inappropriate in this approach and rejects the notion that organisations should be rebuilt from the top down or even the bottom up. Rather, community-oriented leaders need to see themselves as being in the

centre, reaching out rather than down. Being facilitators of change and recognizing that much of the change must be driven by others as they determine for themselves what transformation is needed.

How do we start rebuilding trust in construction using a community approach? How do we get from organisations as collections of human resources to communities of human beings? How do we transition from heroic leadership to engaged and connected management?

First, stop the practices that have undermined the trust of our clients and suppliers, and also our trust in each other. Only by acknowledging the causes of our measly 5/10 score for trust can we fix the problem. It means shedding much of their individualist behaviour and many of our short-term, self-serving practices in favour of those that promote engagement, collaboration, and trust.

As this needs to be developed from the middle out it is probably best undertaken by small groups of committed managers as they can be more effective than overbearing leadership or individual training in creating strong communities.

The greater sense of community can take root as the managers in these groups reflect on their shared experiences in their organisation. Using purpose and values they can ‘think beyond where we are now’, finding the time and space for reflection and contemplation on what is best for the end users of our products and services, commissioning clients, suppliers, and the wider communities we serve.

The insights generated by these reflections can trigger small initiatives that may develop into big strategies. In this approach, our organisations can learn their way into a new culture with more gratifying strategies based on the small ventures that emerge from the initiatives.

As these pioneering teams seek out and shape the transformations that they think are needed, they become examples for other groups in spreading communityship. With the encouragement and support of senior leadership, such approaches can become contagious, particularly when it is realised just how much more our organisations can gain from constructive engagement with the communities we serve.

A key indicator of progress to communityship is when the members of our organisations reach out in socially active, responsible, and mutually beneficial ways taking their culture and obligations beyond their boundaries – in our case, out into project teams, supply chains, and the wider environment.

And given the role of the built environment in adding social and economic value, we have immense opportunities to build communities and exercise communityship.

For example, our more enlightened clients – particularly those that are close to the long-term needs of the communities they serve – already recognise the importance of building a sense of belonging and community in their development projects. Not only within the community of end users and other stakeholders, but also embracing their external design and construction teams.

Our more enlightened main contractors already view their key suppliers as part of their community too recognising that longer-term, mutually beneficial relationships lead to connection and empathy, factors that create the conditions for positive and lasting project outcomes for all.

Communityship can offer construction a way to build communities and rebuild trust based on an intelligent combination of leadership, communityship and citizenship. As Mintzberg argues, what we need is a balance with these forces working together in a socially responsible way.

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