Hear about the story of how the Digital Advancement Academy was set up to address the industry digital skills gap, from Iain Miskimmin of Bentley Systems.
- Book 1 - Real Leadership: Through the Heart
- Book 2 - Plain Language BIM by Iain Miskimmin
- LinkedIn [ Iain Miskimmin | Will Needham ]
Hi Iain. Thanks so much for joining today on the podcast. I think I first met you about five years ago when I came in for a been training session for the Crossrail Academy. I was blown away, actually by your knowledge and your enthusiasm for the subjects. I'm really looking forward to speaking to you today.
To start off here briefly describe how you first got into the world of engineering infrastructure?
Cool. Allow me. Okay, so my whole sort of life has been full of good accidents, So I finally went to university. So I'm not an academic person. I don't really do learning very well. Not very good at a exams or tests lined up. So I went to university to study technically illustration, engineering illustration, some cracking projects and drawings that. But when I left that I couldn't find any work at all, so there was nothing available in engineering illustration world. Luckily enough, I had a family friend who was a manager at a pneumatic conveying company that did a pipe work to steel work. Did all sorts of things. And a, after scraping the barnacles off the bottom of his boat for a weekend, he said, "Come along on, we'll give you a kind of an apprenticeship," as it were, which was very good.
And I think that's one of those that resonated throughout my career in the fact that I've never really been qualified to do what I do. But I've put as much enthusiasm and energy and willingness to do the really dirty jobs to get where I want to go. So it's a you know, it's being being pretty pretty cool. So I started with structural engineering, just learning the job. Can drafting on the like in that company. And then that company folded. So I went out to New Zealand. Primarily, I wanted to join the Army reserves out there. And to enjoy myself, go out to Cambodia and do some stuff with a MAS which is then the Mine Action Service. But whilst I was out there, I did some favors for affect somebody did me a couple of favors with the National Trust type world and to cut a long story short, I ended up doing some work building tracks, putting drainage in building bridges, doing fencing, all sorts of really cool civil engineering stuff on that really flicked much switch on that world. So I went to go back to the UK I went to join a civil engineering company, started off right at the very bottom, doing some design works from site work and then just every stage of my career has been an accident. Pretty much. As we've gone up, I didn't even mean to come and work many systems. I was looking for another infrastructure engineering type company to work for. I wanted more money, of course. And I went along to an interview with a company.
According for Soft. Didn't know who they were. I thought infra it must be infrastructure. Fine. No worries. So, when I did, uh, chat with him. And pretty much the first questions they asked where How long have you been coding in C++? What? And things, things like like, Oh, what about Java? A place in the West Indies? It was that sort of conversation on then when, is this your CV? No. Oh, okay. So the employment company that I've gone through the recruiting company had gone through, put my name on the top of somebody else's CV accidentally, so just absolutely accident. But a couple of hours later, after talking to the guys, it was really interesting conversation. They said join a job. And so on, pretty much. That's how I joined Bentley originally because in for Soft couple of years later was bought out by Bentley on. And I could say that you know, when Bentley bought herself down, I was made redundant instantly. And then three days later, they hired me back because they realized there wasn't anybody to do that specific skill set within the company, which was quite handy, really, because I needed a job of the time. And that was the point where it was very difficult to get work wise. And ever since, whenever there is being a three legged nag or something nobody else wants to do, it's always been coming along, Oh Maybe Mr. Miskimmin could do that one? And Um, and what I'm trying to do with all of those is thrown in. That's much energy drive and an unwillingness to give up on something.
Yeah, I think that definitely comes through from everyone of I've spoken to you about and from my own experience is definitely the enthusiasm is definitely thing that shines through. There so much the things to unpack there from what you've mentioned already. But this this mistake in for soft is now 19 years old, 18 years old until you can, you must, you must really enjoy working there. I think what has really flipped my switch there is the people. The people are the good guys in the world. There's very few baddie societies. There's a lot of companies out there, where you really think I'd never want to work for you because, quite frankly, you're a bunch of bastards. You know you're going to get blood out the stone. And I don't mind working really hard. But if I'm working really hard, I want to have the back up behind me. What I've learned of those years is that with Bentley, if you've got a skill or are unique skill set that you can put them for, which is valuable, they will put a little umbrella above you, and protect you from the stupidity of bureaucracy of such with that you get with the big companies and just let you run with it, they'll give you enough rope to hang yourself. The key thing is to really keep going and not hang yourself and really get something out of it. I think that's always been kind of enthusiasm stuff. I've always been about a mindset that I would rather hire somebody and work somebody with bags of enthusiasm and skilled at first than somebody who comes in with a lot of skill but no enthusiasm to do the job because you always that volunteer, that enthusiastic person would always produce better results in the end, because they want to learn.
Yeah, I absolutely agree. Yeah, Enthusiasm's definitely their number one thing.
And they're willing to file if it helps. Sort of, I mean, you know, the phrase that's been coined many, many times in the last five or six years. Fail fast fail forward. Um, I mean, that was when I used to work a lot with Christian. It's now high up in Citrics. Pretty much. We coined that phrase in the early commit years 10 15 years ago now, and it seems to be very much the attitude now, which is great, you know, But To fail fast and fail forward, you need enthusiasm. First of all, to try in the first place. And then secondly, to keep failing and keep trying. Because if you get knocked back the first time around. You're not the person you know. Just keep trying. Keep going. Um, and even if you get something really difficult to do, such as the academy. When I was first muted, there was no guidance. There was no objective. There was no that was that wasn't anything that was just calling. We've got a room. We got some machines in it and we want you to help cross file to train their people.
So before we get started on that, I really like you to perhaps try this is the arm up to speed with the crossroads academy. Can you just quickly describe what it is and the role that is played in the hospital project here in London?
So the crossroad came in such was a results for conversation between Androgel Stone Home and Greg Bentley, my big boss, and they realized that the Crossrail team had good technologies in place. They had could stand. It's in place. They knew what they wanted to do. But they hadn't been able to communicate to the people what that was. And how they were supposed to be doing it. And the problem with Project launch crossroad, It's that when you got around about 220 different contracts and jobs is , all working in a very complex environment is that you need to be able to make sure everybody is playing off that same in sheet because if they're not, chaos rains and there's no interface. There's no sort of linking in that kind of world. So identified the fact that we needed to start educating people getting that sort of world, right? So the kind in the early days was very much on boarding.
So when a project came along was started up the project manager, the asset manager, the cattley, the GIS kind a middle management would have to come along and they'd learn what the cross really thoughts is what's going on? So there's four things that we wish used to try and drive home. And this is the same in any sort of education you should be doing. Firstly, is the bigger picture. What is the bigger picture? What we'll do it. Secondly, where do you fit into that bigger picture? So you know that you're important. Thirdly, what's in it for you? Because you need to understand. Everybody wants to have something out of it in the end. You know what's in it for you. And then finally being able to step them through every step of the process, holding the hands, making sure they understand what they're doing when they're doing it, How they doing it. It's a really good vehicle to get us that culture change within a very short space of time with an industry that doesn't really work very well on changes. As you've very well know.
Absolutely. Yeah, I think it's so important. It's often underdone on projects. I think Crossrail has won awards, right for the training. So it's obviously doing something right? You know how many people have gone through the training, roughly?
So in the London office, So it's a little bit different. Okay, so I can be out this before we give you some figures. Parts of Androgel, was to leave a lasting legacy of best practice for industry. So obviously we've on boarded a lot of people. We've held the hands during the project. We've helped him during the hand over for you. Also did was we created a whole set of presentations, and I think that was probably one of the ones that you might have attended on the level to be in world. How can we change industry and then educating the world on what Crossroad has done and on what the UK construction has done. So Crossroad as a whole we probably put around about four and a half 5000 people from across the world through that world. If we look at that broader picture trying to educate people on the level two world, UK and worldwide, that comes in around about 10 and around 1000 people so well over a thousand people a year. And it's been a really on open up because not just on my street. It's people coming in learning from us, learning from crossroad. And then Crossroad, educating them and then us learning from them in reverse, you know. So whether it's people like the mining industry from South Africa, so people from the bears coming in and talking about what they do, we learn from them, whether it's people from the Russian Nuclear Ministry, Ross Atom coming in and talking about what they're doing. We've learned a lot from them, and they've learned a lot from us. Whether it's any number of the Singaporean, Chinese, Hong Kong Far East contingent on and they they're probably our biggest outreach recently because they are very hungry for learning not only what the U. K. Government has done. But also what's Crossroad did and how they have overcome those issues because they are building dramatic amounts of Metro's undergrounds. All sorts of things in that well, so it's, you know, it's really good for the lessons we've learned and not being lost. But, uh, being past on.
Okay, so on those international teams, you say you had a lot of international teams come through the academy. What would you say that the aspects of the UK approach that they latch onto their really receptable?
I think the biggest thing is the, the initially is the leadership. They don't have the high level government side to drive that mandates our initial mandate is 2011 the government construction strategy, driving that forward to 2016 when the mandate was supposed to come into place, which, as you well know, unfortunately, there's no teeth behind in the moment. So that's sort of stold of it. But they like the fact that there was strongly put the top on and there was a can't, well you got to do it. Because they don't have that. And so they're like, you're going to that. The other aspect they like is the government soft landings and the outcome from procurement side. Everybody, of course, looks at the what I say everybody. Those slowly uneducated, you look at the three D model thing, pretty pictures been around a while, that sexy lovely. But actually, we know that it's not only that, but the data behind it. But the only way you're got to get that data is by procuring it properly, because nobody doesn't think in our industry, unless you pay to do it or you're legally obliged to do it. And if you're not employed by the way through that, it's never got to happen. So if you can't procure something correctly, then it's just not got to happen. So they are really interested in how we deal with procurement, whether that is outcome driven procurement, whether that's through project bank accounts, whether that's through the new financing models, that are coming out stock exchange at the moment.
As a whole raft of, I suppose digital revolution and neighborhoods that happening out there that most of our industry in the UK is just ignoring because they're just concentrating on delivering their pretty picture. Delivering their silly Kobe-fall-on-a hike- Kobe go on record and saying it's probably the worst thing we've ever done. Mechanizing a whole stroll from building a motorcar. Wasted time and effort. But you know, there's lots of industry around that lots of people making money, doing that, that, like, stop it. We now need to invent better ways of procuring that information in the first place. There are some really good things that they are interested in .The there's a couple of it's of thought leadership that we've created in the academy of the last till three years now. They're called the seven questions you might have seen some the articles are thrown up Arlington, and actually they're really interested in that because it gives them a framework of things to look at. So they can do whatever they want to do as long as they look down those seven questions and know they've taken everything into consideration as they're putting their digital strategies together, which gives them a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling, even if they don't want to follow something called BS something or ISO something. At least they got the headings of those types of things that looking to deal with.
Really interesting, Yeah, and I think that in the notes to the show. But I guess part of the reason why I started this podcast as well is that I think the UK can also learn from other countries and their approaches. So I wonder if there's anything that you've learned from them?
Actually, yes. I learned from every set that comes through, um, pretty much my my level to stuff my current industry thinking changes every week because you people come in, they tell me something different. Okay, So example here, talking to the nuclear guys about Kobe. Okay, Law of hand as you know. But talking from about Kobe and then going Yes, yes, we we use Kobe to deliver on nuclear power stations. Then well isn't that a bit insecure putting your nuclear data in its preachy such. We go we don't put any data in our spread sheets. So hang on a minute. Why is it used while they put links to data in the spreadsheet? So therefore, when they hand that Kobe file over the system that's reads, it has to have access to the system that's generated it so they can extract the information out of those systems so they have to have the access and permissions to do it, which does the security. So it's fine.
Oh, that's actually that's a genius thing. But if you're doing that why bother use Kobe in the first place. Why not just get your system to talk to their system and transfer the information? Really? But it's things like that and things like the guys down in South Africa. They really understand big data. They understand the functionality, how assets need a function , and if you don't understand a function you won't understand how to procure a new asset to replace it eventually or you'll do is just keep buying the same product time and time and time again. So you know they're South Africans to the Russians, to the Chinese, to the Americans, you know, all over the world there are people would have got cool ideas. And when this is a kind of recession going on. The ones I don't like are the ones where people sit there and not the heads are the ones I really enjoys. When we get into our even if a heated discussion to find out they do something differently than what I'm recommending. Is why is that? Let's find it out. Let's really get to number most the time we get to the end of that conversation. I'm going. Actually, that's a really good idea. It's something that the UK ought to be adopting and driving in our industry. So that knowledge share never ends.
Yep, now it's really good to hear. It's interesting that you're learning from people as you're teaching them somewhere. I just want to ask one more question about training and skills. We hear quite a lot of the moment, the doom and gloom about the future of the industry and the skills shortages in construction. How you see an infrastructure. Are you optimistic about the future? And if so, what can we or what are we doing to give ourselves the best chance surviving in the future?
I think I'm optimistic for those companies that willing to change. I see a lot of our industry construction history that are talking as if they're changing. But actually, the procurement methods, the way they do their contracts, the way they're running their business is still very much that old world contracting hard most squeeze blood out of a stone type world. And those organizations will disappear. I can you know, handle hard. I can think of five or six contracting companies which are alive and kicking today that I don't think we'll see on the shelf in 5 to 10 years time. Because it's that much of a market, and it's changing that rapidly. But those who are changing will certainly win the world. Those who are moving into outcome driven procurement, those who are adopting innovations, those who are putting digital as businesses as usual. More often an optional extra on a contract. All those who are going to survive
And just to focus in on skills and drowning and getting the right people to do jobs. In our industry, you've got a lot of experience in training and skills and hiring the right people. What do you think we can do to ensure that we have enough people in our industry attracting the right people?
To track the right people, we need to have technologies in our companies in the first place. Let's say, your university. You're using wonderful platforms, great technology. They are high arm, and suddenly you come to a contracting company and you're giving a seven year old personal computer with a rubbish bit of software on it on. And quite frankly, your back in the dark ages again. Are you going to stay in our industry? No. We could have seriously address those issues first. And then we've got to have a look at some of the issues surrounding how we educate our people. So one of the really interesting things that we've been looking at recently is how you design things and you link certain assets.
So assets in most people's worlds or things like bridges, still work pumps, lights, whatever it might be, but at it's also people and then you can link assets together. So I know I'm going a station and I'm got to have a X Y and Z in it and X Y Z has got to need people who can maintain it, operate it, whatever it might be. But I'm not got to build that station instantly. It's got to be a 5 10 year project. I know that I need these people with these skills. So therefore the link with the university should be going back and saying, well, actually, I'm got to need people with these skills. You got people in that kind of world. If we help to train them the nature and we got perfect. That's a job instantly. Usually leave university doing this particular thing because we need your skill set. So we got to be able to link what we're doing now, our assets. What we're designing, what we're constructing back in to the people that are got to be operating, maintaining, designing, constructing that, etcetera, etcetera in the future. And it's, you know, it's the way we got to go. We got to link back together.
Now obviously, organizations are doing things that, like the high speed university. Oh, I speak college. It's one up in Birmingham and you can still have some really good stuff that they're up sleeve training people so they will be able to operate high speed railways in the future. But we can't just do that for railways. We've got to think about that on a much broader scale so we can procure. I know it sounds harsh, but we can procure people that got the right thing. But if you think about the commercial world, if I wanted a new consumable or new thing coming up in 10 years time and your battery to fit my new I don't know my new laser scanner or my new laptop board of it might be, I'll go to my supply chain and talking to, say, in five years' time, I'm got to be producing this. You also need producing that. So when we come together, we're alike. So we're got to do that with people as well to get them into the right world. But it's it really is making or industry attractive because I used to do some stem stuff with the Bloodhound supersonic car oust project officially that part of it went bust, and it's now moved onto another incarnation of that. But one of the things we used to, is we used to go into schools and we talked about engineering. And then we're talking about principles of friction coefficient, streamlining and that kind of thing. We get them coming, these only young kids, but they got it. And they were built a blue phone rating car put wheels on it. Whatever. Then we stick a rocket up its backside of fire across playground. I loved it. They were really brilliant on that. You don't take them off to it. Who's the engineer? Oh, yeah, yeah, definitely. Who wants to be an automated of engineer? Yeah. Yeah. Aerospace engineer. Where? How about civil engineer? Well, okay, so, you know, cool buildings and structures and think that. Oh, yeah. Okay, fine. Hey, how about a maintenance engineer. Oh yeah, deadly science. We got to make our industry attractive for the next generation. If we don't, it's just got to be stuck full of crusty old people like me. I know we're changing, I know we're becoming slightly more diverse, but it's still that level. And until we start attracting younger people of a diverse range, it's not got to be an industry. But a lot of people want to join.
Keeping many examples of any positive steps.
Yeah. I mean, a lot of organizations are making some really positive steps, looking at innovation, looking at new technologies, trying things, not being scared or afraid of failure.
I think there's definitely been a noticeable uptick in the last, what? Since I joined in five years ago. I think when I joined, it's completely different to what it's like today. A lot of companies are definitely trying that hard.
I think they are. You know that there is a lot of potential change out there. I worry, a little bit that it's the same old people doing the same old things. Never disrespect to my peers of the been world of such. But you go along to any of the beam type meetings. There are some great guys and girls in there, you know. It's a brilliant people, but it's the same old people time and time, time and time again. And you sit through the same, you know, well thought, well, meaning so boxes of people standing on there and telling the crowd, this is what we should be doing. And yes, I completely agree this is what we should be doing. But actually, you're telling the same old people the same thing again and again. Everyone in the crowds going, Yes, yes, definitely. But we're not reaching 80% of our industry. We're still only reaching the 20%. And it's I don't know how to change that without serious change in our industry as a whole. That's got to be really difficult thing to do. And it's got to take a group of people with infusions, um, and energy because you're not got to get this with just skills. It is enthusiasm energy to really motivate the industry as a whole.
Thanks for your views on that. It's super interesting. I guess we'll switch topic a little bit and move into something on passion about. I'm sure you're aware about the technology side of things more? Seem to have so many different trends in construction technology in a moment. There any that particularly caught your eye that you think you're got to make the biggest impact?
So there's lots of new technologies coming out. Some of them, I feel are dead ends of the moment, some of them I feel are where we need to be concentrating on . To me the next big thing, construction industry is wearables. So things that we'll monitor your heart rate, monitor your breathing, monitor where you got upweights in your system, monitor where you are, what you're doing, how you're doing it. Not in a big brother type, right? But more on a health and safety caring way and also making sure that you're not doing more work than you should be doing. The fact that you're not being exposed to dangerous levels of vibration or sound, or almost things so being more of a protective industry. I mean, if you look at the industry. How much has changed in last 30 years in health safety side is a massive difference. Absolutely dramatic. In the zero harm type policies. Crossrail as whole was phenomenal in that world. The fact that you had such a complex, such a dangerous environment for how many years? Decades. Doing this work. And yet we've had the one fatality in that world, which is, you know, every fatality is regrettable. But if you look the other construction projects around the world of a similar complexity, death toll reaches three figures easily in most of those, which is completely unacceptable. So having wearable technologies, being able to monitor your workforce, making sure that they're not breathing in bad gases, that they're hang on vibration, they're white knuckle pair is protected. All those things massively important technology could really help in that.
Well, I wasn't expecting you to say that. That was interesting. And Bentley planning a role in that? You've got, um and you sort of research and development projects in that space?
Probably not in the wearables, really , uhm in being able to link sensors with databases, Yes, definitely. But I think I look more into the COMIT world when I look at the wearable world. Had an awesome conversation with these guys of the defense exhibition today. I'm going to get them into a commitment meeting because I want people to see what they're doing and the PPA that the vests, with all the built in power packs and the lights of the senses and the heart monitors and that, you know, or the alert stuff that goes into it. It's something that I think is the next generation because way spend a lot of money protecting our equipment on our sites. But it's now it's the time to start doing it with the people as well.
People are your biggest asset. They might be your biggest pain in the back side, but they are, in essence, you're biggest asset, and you got to treat them right. You've got to learn how to operate them properly. To maintain them properly, you've got to know everything there is to really get the best out of them, That are might not necessarily be working them hard. It might actually be more likely to be giving them more perks benefits, more safety, more relaxed, more well sorts of other things. So happy workforce on a healthy workforce is a much more effective and efficient workforce. If you sort of flip that around and said what the technologies that are not flicking man's rich and not got to make that big event, I am very skeptical for the construction industry about things like Blockchain.
And why is that?
So I can see it for finances. I can see if the legal world where you need to have that level, which is completely white on white, on white, when it comes to kind of evidence and to have liability. But when you look at construction, they're very slow at picking up anything new. So, you know, since the 1920's there's being 30 or 40 different reports coming out from the government, each one saying, you need to modernize, you need to modernize. Even report back in 1998 is where I really started in the construction world was you know, your lagging behind, you know, doing what you should be doing. That's where the commit organization was born out off, and then the farmer report came out a year or so ago, Modernizer died. You know, we're not doing what we ought to do in that world. Burnt the Blockchain technology.
So getting organizations use accommodate environment in the first place. Tricky. Because they go well, what's the return on investment? Why am I putting its information into this thing? I could just put it on a CD drive. Put it on a USB. I could get do any of that stuff. Getting them to understand that it's it's quite difficult in the first place. But then saying, well, actually, we need to spend more money because, you know, understanding the Blockchain world is the fact that I pay you a little bit of money for running a ledger and you have the money to play the ledger. You get a bit of money to run the ledger, you bit a lot of money to run a ledger. So we know it's absolutely spot on. Well, actually, the construction guys go. Why am I spending that way? When actually, I could just spend the money I've already got on a normal contractor environment. You know, it's like, it's like giving me an order trial? Well, yes, it can be a History or yes. Doesn't that tell me who has changed. What? And How? Yes? Okay, So why am I spending additional money on stuff? I, knowing how conservative risk averse the construction industry is and how legged up they are with doing new technologies, I would say that I just It's not got to happen on the block chamber.
Well, yep. That would be interesting.
I would love to see, you know, to be proved wrong. But what about maybe more general like distributed legend technology for, say, smart contracts, I understand, you've got to commit some project on that?
So contracts that stands the other part of the equation is what we're talking about. Nobody does anything unless they need to do. Yeah, that's actually obliged to do. Construction contracts themselves are terrible. They are massive. They are huge. They're only intelligible. You can see the the the science of the background agreeing with me. They're only intelligible and legible by lawyers on the construction. That they spends excessive amount of money on lawyers. It spends a massive amount of money on QSE as swell. So if you ever want to see an indicator that the company is starting to fail, look at the recruitment agencies and see who is hiring QSEs. Because as soon as a company is hiring, a massive amount of QSEs, you know they're in trouble because what they're doing
Specially this investigation they are trying.
They are trying to drag out new stuff helps you know money out of a contract. So you, you know, that's the. That's like an indicator on when when you see on a construction site, if you look at to the turnstile, people swipe in. If you look at the stats on your construction site, client should be doing this. And if they see a lot of QSEs swiping into their construction site, it's time to start looking at the contract looking at what's going wrong, because that basically means the contract is working on your side, are starting to get worried, and they're starting to look for ways of squeezing a bit more money on contract.
That's really interesting. I've never heard of that before. It's definitely an actionable insight from data that you need to complete looking out.
There's so much data out there, but we don't analyze and we don't get the maximum amount of. As the same, you know, going back to the the contracts world, contracts massively complex. They're not easy. If you don't understand it. What do you do? Well you get a lawyer? But does that cost me more money. And then my lawyer will interpret it differently than your lawyer and the problem we have out there, prevalently is my contract will contradict the specific works Information pack, which will contradict the general works information pack, which will contradict the employees information requirements or exchange information quantities is it is now. And that just means that those QSEs and the lawyers can just run rings around the client demanding money, the meanings is, which is a just what contracting is about, unfortunately. So I'm not specifically having a guilt contractors in that world I'm having a go, really at the clients, because if they don't get it right in the first place, then it's their own, own fault for not doing that so we can get better contracts which are easy to understand. And also contracts that are not a document but a database. That's the key.
So what I don't want to do, It's to have a contract that I have to wait through. I want a contract that I can ask questions off. So that's where technology like AI comes in. Forgot a database of clauses and reactions that's clauses my smart contracts as such. I want to be another, you know, other Lexa. Perhaps it's not on Lexa, maybe , you know, alarming that's chain my agent slide. Once I was a lawyer on the television many, many years ago. What's Ah Judge, Judge John Deed. So asked Deed. Asked John Deed. So, John, in the contract, it says that I have to finish by tomorrow. Is that correct? John says Yes. That's the kind of request. That's the kind of answer that I need. And I need that not only in my contracts, but I need that across the board everything. So when I have a an asset, my digital twin needs to have an LIA type capability so I can and just talk to my contractors, talk to my thing go. Monty, I've got 30,000 people arriving for an exhibition tomorrow. Will that underground station actually take it? No, but like the deal are in this morning, which couldn't cut whatsoever with the amount of people going to the XL. So I had to walk from can in town, into the XL because otherwise I don't stuck on a train station for an hour, waiting for sequence of trains which I couldn't even get on the platform for. So it would actually go. No, it can't cope with that. Okay, so what can we do about that? Well, we could open this station. We could move that around there, and it should come back with suggestions on how to solve it, because it has all the data behind.
Yes up, really, really interesting topic. Yeah, I could speak for hours about just sort of things. But we're slowly running out of time unfortunately. Maybe next time you come on and you could speak more about the proliferation of AI at some point. What's in construction? Yeah, but what I want to finish off with is ah, quick fire around three or four questions. Just 30 seconds to a minute, one each, and then we'll wrap up. So if you could change one thing about the UK infrastructure construction industry overnight, what would that be?
I would change the way it procures things. It's the only way, and money and legal if actually money is where it all comes from, because the legal any backs up the money. I change the bombs in our exchanges. People raise the money change that, not just to change up stealing concrete, but exchange that for data as well.
So have you backer of project thirteen and those sort of delivery models for the future?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely. I think it's doing some good stuff. I'd like to see some deliverables. I'd like to see something actually happen in all the, the you know, I think people are doing things, but book it there in the end.
Excellent. Okay, what book can you recommend that everyone should be reading?
If there's a book that has always been closes on my bookshelf is a book called Through the Heart. That's Leadership through the Heart by Brigadier Frank Noble. It's how I've always based my leadership. It's not about shouting at people. It's about making the most of people, empowering them, stealing them enthusiasm and energy and drive. Not making them fear of failure. It's It has shaped the way that I have led things and conducted my life. It's ah, not very well known. But yes, it's, it's a book.
Yeah, I haven't heard of that. But you've inspired me. I'm got to go and buy it tomorrow and read it.
Buy it at Amazon. Although, actually, you know, if I was trying to advertise these things, I would say, Yeah, well, there are two books really that you should be buying. One is the Plain Language Bin which I published two three years ago. And `my latest one, which is a Historical research, which is a story of second Battalion Roscoe's Fusillades in 1940 treated and quote. So on that story and published a book recently. I was so pleased last week to be able to present a copy to Major Livingston, who is the sole survivor of this particular unit. Now he's
- Awesome guy. He remembers that period 70 80 years ago perfectly. You know, it's only three days in his entire life, but he remembers it like yesterday, so yeah, he was an inspiration.
Really Good. Well, thank you for sharing.
And last, as you know, I'm traveling around on a mission to find and speak to some really inspiring people in our industry and no the matter where they're based. Outside of the UK, Who's the one person who you know, has constantly pushing the boundaries in the industry. Who I should go and meet?
If there was one person, if it was only one person to go and talk to, who would be a guy called Christian Riley. He used to pay, I suppose the innovations guy for Bechtel many, many years ago. But he's now, I believe the CT for Citrics and he's yeah, very, very clever. Knows exactly what he's doing, where he's going on where the world is going. So it's a, uh yeah, worthwhile having a chat to him. I I should try and should drop him a line and see if he's willing to uh, you got to cost two states?
In the future? Yes, potentially, Yeah.
I think he comes through the UK every now men and then back out to Trump's All the World. I very rarely see his Facebook posts when he's not an airport kind of traveling somewhere. But if you get an opportunity to talk to him, but he's happy to do so, he would be brilliant.
Right well, yeah, definitely have to meet. Well, thank you very much. And that was really interesting for me. Hopefully you've enjoy yourself. So thanks very much for your time.
No worries at all.